Ofcom to chart media's future

Ofcom to chart media's future

The Government’s vision of how the media industry should be regulated in the digital age has generated a mixture of frustration and cautious praise, but many key figures have criticised the Communications White Paper for leaving too much to the imagination.

The key element of the paper, which was unveiled by Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport this week, was the creation of a super watchdog, Ofcom, which will end the “alphabet soup” system of regulation by combining bodies such as the Independent Television Commission, Broadcast Standards Commission and Radio Authority.

Ofcom will have wide-ranging powers, including the enforcement of competition regulations across the industry, as well as maintaining standards of content for which it will have the power to fine those in breach of the rules.

Former managing director of BBC radio Liz Forgan and ITC chief Patricia Hodgson have already been tipped as possible candidates to run the new body. The document also paves the way for the merger of Carlton and Granada to form a single ITVcompany. However, such a move is unlikely to be given the green light soon. While the fixed 15% share of audience limits placed on ITV companies and the rule banning one company owning both London franchises will be swept away, further ITV mergers will be placed at the discretion of Ofcom.

The watchdog, which will not be created until after the next election, is unlikely to approve such a deal until ITV accounts for significantly less than its current 60% share of total TV advertising revenue meaning a single ITV is still years away. ITV’s director of programming David Liddiment welcomed the initiatives outlined by the Government.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up

Waitrose has joined forces with Channel 4 and produced a Saturday morning lifestyle and cookery programme called 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose', with TV presenters Lisa Snowdon and Steve Jones signed up to front it.

Share
Newspaper ABCs: Guardian smashes through 100m browsers in March 2014

Newspaper ABCs: Guardian smashes through 100m browsers in March 2014

The Guardian reached more than 100 million monthly unique browsers for the first time in March, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures published today.

Share
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers

Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers

Italians swearing and shouting while sitting behind the wheels of their cars and negotiating the busy streets of Rome could become a thing of the past if they all start driving Toyota's Hybrid vehicles, implies a short film for the car brand.

Share

Get news by email