AudioUK has appointed Kellie While, Head of 7digital Creative, as its new Chair.
Kellie replaces long-standing Chair Phil Critchlow who has decided to stand down after seven years in the role.
Cumbria-born Kellie originally forged a career in folk music before joining Manchester production company Smooth Operations.
Following the merger of 7digital and UBC Media, Kellie was appointed Head of Production at 7digital in 2015 and now leads all activities across the production side of business as Head of 7digital Creative. She is responsible for major radio programmes across most BBC radio networks as well as audio and visual content for other broadcasters, commercial partners and in podcasting from bases in London and Salford.
Kellie will Chair the Board and provide strategic direction as AudioUK seeks to increase opportunities and improve terms of trade for production companies in radio, audiobooks and podcasting.
The recent AudioUK AGM also welcomed four new members – Simon Crosse (Shooting Shark), Karen Pearson (Folded Wing), Chris Skinner (Somethin’ Else), and Adam Uytman (Wisebuddah).
Kellie While said: “I’m delighted to become Chair as we look to build the audio production market across podcasting, radio and audiobooks. Phil’s leadership achieved many key successes. I thank him for his huge contribution and I look forward to working with our members in what is such an exciting time for audio, to grow our sector, increase our training and be as inclusive as possible. We want producers who are wondering ‘where do I go from here?’ to join us as we look to take the sector to the next level.”
Phil Critchlow said: “For the last 10 years, first as Vice-Chair and then Chair, it’s been a pleasure to work with our Board and executive team to achieve notable successes. These include new BBC terms of trade and more opportunity to bid for BBC radio programming, as well as the birth of the Audio Production Awards and Audiotrain.
“Most recently we’ve successfully made the case to government to provide £3m for the Audio Content Fund, which is already building significant new relationships between our members and commercial radio. In a rapidly changing landscape there’s never been a better time to work in audio.
“I wish Kellie all the very best as she takes on the role and feel confident the organisation is in a great place for all involved to take it forward.”