Lisa Opie, former md of BBC Studios UK Production, has been appointed chair of Together TV, replacing executive chair Caroline Diehl MBE, founder of the channel.
At the same time, Satmohan Panesar, currently commissioning editor at ITV, will become vice-chair.
Both will join in September.
Together TV’s purpose is to inspire positive social change in people’s lives and communities. Run by a team, led by chief executive Alexander Kann, it currently has five million monthly views.
Opie will lead Together TV’s board that includes senior executives from partners including broadcasters BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, and Arqiva, the charity sector and its community-society shareholders.
Opie has been Ubisoft Leamington and Ubisoft Reflections’ managing director since 2021, having joined from BBC Studios, where she served as managing director of the Studios’ UK Production. Prior to that, she was md for BBC Studios Factual and controller of Business Factual & Daytime for BBC Television. In addition, she spent more than ten years in director or managing director roles at different media companies, including Twofour Digital, Channel Five Broadcasting and Flextech Television.
Caroline Diehl MBE, founder of the Channel, is stepping down as executive chair and trustee at Together TV. Diehl founded The Community Channel – now a charitable Community Benefit Society, operating as Together TV – in 2000, when she was founder and chief executive of charity Media Trust. In her broadcasting venture, her pioneering work alongside a dedicated team, led by chief executive Alexander Kann, has seen the channel to grow to five million viewers monthly and an ever-growing audience on social and digital platforms.
Following Caroline’s recent Churchill Fellowship, Caroline wants to focus on her new Impact Media initiative, to connect and strengthen social impact media platforms around the world.
Due to recent Freeview changes resulting in reduced terrestrial hours, Together TV has launched a new Freeview IP simulcast of its 24-hour TV channel. As one of the first channels in the main Freeview section, Together TV is pioneering new technologies that enable viewers to watch Together TV as a linear channel but delivered in higher quality via an internet connection. By tuning on Freeview 83, most viewers using a recent TV set will be able to keep watching Together TV as usual. The simulcast launch follows the free social purpose streaming service recently launched and reflects the channel’s purpose-driven ethos throughout.
Lisa Opie said: “I am very excited to join Together TV as the new chair during such a pivotal time for the channel. As a long-time supporter of the channel, I have loved seeing its transformation to ever-closer engagement in the lives of its viewers. The channel’s purpose to inspire positive social change in people’s lives and communities is ever more relevant. I have been hugely impressed with Together TV’s success and pay tribute to Caroline, who has guided and grown the channel since launch. I’m honoured to be taking the reins”.
Caroline Diehl MBE, founder and chair at Together TV added: “With the appointment of Lisa as our new chair, alongside a strong, diverse and passionate channel team, I know I am leaving the channel in the very best hands, with a robust commitment building positive social impact across our communities that will continue in years to come. My special thanks to our media partners, who have been with us since launch back in 2000, and to all the many colleagues, friends and supporters who’ve been part of our impact journey over the years. It’s an exciting time for the Channel and for me!”
She added: “Satmohan chairs our board’s Content Group and has been the board lead on our Diverse Film Fund’s delivery, resulting in innovative content, support for new diverse filmmakers, and winning the BAFTA in May 2022 for Best Short TV Programme. ITV’s and Satmohan’s support form a key part of our growth and innovation.”
Alexander Kann, chief executive at Together TV added: “We are thrilled to welcome Lisa as Chair of the channel, and I am forever grateful for Caroline’s vision and passion to carve out this special space for a social impact broadcasters. As my boss for the last decade her incredible energy and dedication to the channel has never been less than awe-inspiring. Thank you from all of us – your legacy is a thriving channel with impact at its heart. It is thanks to you we can now look forward to getting this next chapter started”.
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