Former ITV & Channel 5 Bosses To Examine Future Funding At The BBC

Former ITV and Channel 5 bosses will examine the future funding model of the BBC.

The UK government has just set out the panel that will advise on the future of the license fee, which could be culled in 2027 after more than 100 years. The panel will assess the sustainability of the current model and examine alternative options for funding the national broadcaster, while exploring new ways for the broadcaster to increase commercial income and how it could transition to any potential new funding model.

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Panelists include Sir Peter Bazalgatte, a storied former chair of ITV, and David Elstein, the former CEO of Channel 5.

Others include Amber de Botton, who worked at Sky News and then was ITV’s Head of UK News, and Lorna Tilbian, the Executive Chairman of investment and wealth management firm Dowgate Capital. Full list is below.

The panels will be chaired by Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, and Media Minister Julia Lopez.

“The BBC has a unique role in public life, and fulfils an important service in projecting and promoting our values and culture at home and around the world,” said Frazer. “We want to see it thrive for generations to come. But in an evolving media landscape, with increased pressure on licence fee payers, it’s right that we take a look at whether the current funding model is fit for the future.

Frazer recently rubberstamped a rise in the license fee but not as much as was previously promised, which has led the BBC to a circa-£90M funding shortfall amidst soaring inflation.

The panel

  • Martin Ivens is the current Editor of the Times Literary Supplement, a weekly literary review published by News UK and was the former Editor of the Sunday Times newspaper. He has experience transforming print media into the digital age.

  • Sir Peter Bazalgette brings a breadth of public service broadcasting expertise as the former Chairman of ITV and current Co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council.

  • Siobhan Kenny, the former CEO of Radiocentre and Director of Communications at DCMS, is the CEO of her own consultancy. She has a unique understanding of the UK radio and audio sectors and how different funding models apply.

  • Dame Frances Cairncross is a respected economic commentator, formerly working as the Management Editor of the Economist, and led the independent Cairncross Review which explored how to secure a sustainable journalism sector in the UK.

  • David Elstein has extensive experience in broadcasting, serving as Channel 5’s first Chief Executive and chairing media organisation boards including the British Screen Advisory Council and the National School for Film and Television.

  • Oli Hyatt co-founded and was the former Managing Director of Blue Zoo Productions, creating TV content for young audiences.

  • Helen Bower Easton has valuable insight of the BBC World Service and foreign policy as the former Director of Communications for FCDO, and is the current Director of Communications for the Financial Conduct Authority.

  • Amber de Botton worked at Sky News and then was ITV’s Head of UK News and Head of Politics before serving as Downing Street’s Director of Communications.

  • Lorna Tilbian is the Executive Chairman of investment and wealth management firm Dowgate Capital and former Executive PLC Director at stockbroker Numis Corporation PLC. She has over 30 years of experience working as a media analyst and as an investment banker.

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