Peter Johnston (BBC)

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Peter Johnston (born 1966, in Ballymena, Ireland) is the Controller of BBC Northern Ireland. Prior to joining the BBC, he worked for Shell International in London and Price Waterhouse Coopers in Belfast. He joined BBC Northern Ireland in 1994 as a research executive, becoming head of marketing and development three years later. He was appointed Controller on 27 October 2006, the youngest person ever to hold that position.[1][2][3]


[edit] Early Life

Peter Johnston was born in 1966 in Ballymena, Ireland. He was educated at Ballymena Academy and Imperial College London where he completed a Master's Degree in Chemical Engineering and Management. After leaving university in 1988 he took up a post in the marketing division of Shell International in London. In 1991 he returned to Northern Ireland and joined Coopers and Lybrand as a management consultant. He first developed his interests in the world of broadcasting and media management when he provided consultancy support for several of the local ITV franchise bids and an application for a Channel 5 television license. [3]

[edit] BBC Career

Peter Johnston left Coopers and Lybrand in 1994 and joined BBC Northern Ireland. He first worked in audience research before becoming Head of Marketing and Development three years later. His responsibilities in this post involved overall commissioning and scheduling of programs and content for Northern Ireland audiences on BBC Television, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Foyle and BBC Online.[4]

In 2003, he became Head of Broadcast. In this position, Peter increased the range of local TV programs produced for BBC One NI and BBC Two NI including doubling the number of single documentaries, increasing the range of music and comedy output and introducing a number of new presenters and formats. Programs commissioned during this time won nine Royal Television Society awards including both Nations and Regions categories at the awards for three years in a row. Peter also led a series of schedule changes to Radio Ulster which won seven Sony Awards during this period.[2][4]

He also represented the marketing and communications teams in English Regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the BBC's Marketing Board before becoming Head of New Media for BBC Nations and Regions in London. In this role he sat on the BBC's New Media Board and the BBC's Nations and Regions Board. Throughout this time he spent periods working on BBC strategy and policy projects in London including leading the pan-BBC brands project, authoring the BBC Nations and Regions submission to the Burns Panel during the Charter Review period and co-leading the Audiences group in BBC Director-General Mark Thompson's Creative Future project.[3]

Peter Johnston was appointed Controller (now Director) of BBC Northern Ireland in October, 2006. He took up the appointment a month later, following the retirement of Anna Carragher who had held the post for six years. Through this position Peter has overall editorial and managerial responsibility for BBC Northern Ireland and leads 650 staff. He leads this team to produce over 8,500 hours of local radio and television content each year and a range of online content. Peter provides the vision and creative leadership necessary to deliver BBC Northern Ireland's portfolio of multiplatform programs and services and is responsible for maximizing public value through creativity, innovation and efficient use of resources.[4]

Peter is also currently a member of the BBC Direction Group and the News Group Board.[4]

[edit] Work Outside the BBC

Peter Johnston serves as a judge on the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) charity Oscars and the People of Ireland Awards and is a member of the Council of the NI Chamber of Commerce.[3]

In 2009 he was appointed as the chairman of Skillset's Northern Ireland national board.[5]

[edit] Salary

Peter Johnstons's Salary as of June 2012 is £145,000. The total remuneration he receives is £152,800.[4]

[edit] Personal Life

Peter Johnston is a former rugby player, however he now enjoys watching the sport rather than taking part himself. He has a passion for the North Coast where he has spent summers since he was a child and where he currently spends most of his free time with his two children. He is married and lives in County Down.[3]

[edit] References

  1. Colemen, Maureen (2007) "I'm the guy who axed George Jones", Belfast Telegraph, 12 March 2007, retrieved 2010-06-19
  2. 2.0 2.1 Day, Julia (2006) "BBC appoints Northern Ireland controller", The Guardian, 27 October 2006, retrieved 2010-06-19
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4
  5. "BBC Northern Ireland controller Peter Johnston appointed new chair of Skillset's national board",, 9 December 2009, retrieved 2010-06-19
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