Saturday, February 06, 2010
Ex Broadcasting ministers and former DG second guess the Tory policy
Cavendish Centre W1 4th Feb 2010 - RTS - The Tories are Coming?
Much as a group of old soldiers join up to relive their glory days a bunch of former broaddcast policy makers got together under the chairmanship of Channel 4 News's Krishnan Guru Murthy to talk about their goldne past
The stellar line up of former MPs Chris Smith and Norman Fowler (both now Lords), David Mellor (ex MP and Chelsea strip wearer) and Lord Birt (former Dalek BBC Director General) spoke about their expectations around a possible Tory Broadcasting policy on Thursday. All agreed that their wouldn't be a sudden lurch but that the BBC trust was doomed.
While Mellor spoke about how he craftily defeated Thatchers plans for the BBC Chris Smith spoke about how it was necessary to have a reasonable length of time on the job (of late the Media portfolio has changed hands with worrying speed ).
City TV could be the one innovation if cross ownership regulations are relaxed and if it is considered worthy of investment (good news for the Guardian Media Group who have been slogging away at this for some time.)
Birt was determined that change was inevitable and thaat the DCMS had not risen to recent challenges -all agreed that ITV would no longer be able to function as a PSB in the soon to be digital only TV environment.
There was some praise for OFCOM but a view that policy should lie with government and not the unelected quango seemed to hold sway.
Time will tell if a future government feels obliged to hold to the Status Quo - if pressure for cuts and sales of assets become impossible to resist change will be inevitable - let's see how it all looks in 18 months time.