Culture Secretary Nadine Doris announced today that Michael Grade is the government’s preferred candidate for the Ofcom chair.
Lord Grade has a long career in broadcasting for more than nine years as chief executive of London Weekend Television, BBC, ITV and Channel Four television.
He was appointed chairman of the BBC in May 2004, replacing Gavin Davis, and resigned in November 2006 when his appointment as executive chairman of ITV was announced, a position he resigned in 2009.
Lord Grade was the non-executive chairman of Pinewood and Shepperton Film Studios for 16 years. He is also the non-executive chairman of Talent Bank and production company StoryFirst. He is also on the advisory board of Miroma SET (formerly R4E Plc), a media and entertainment marketing company.
Lord Grade is a co-founder of the GradeLinite Company, a drama production company. He was the chairman of Ocado, First Ledger Corporation, Camelot, the charity fundraiser and the Bradford Media Museum, as well as a member of the former Press Complaints Commission and a trustee of the Science Museum.
In January 2011 he became a conservative peer in Yarmouth’s Lord Grade. However, if he is appointed as the offcom chair, he will move to the cross-bench at the earliest opportunity. Lord Grade will also relinquish any non-executive role that could lead to a conflict of interest in making him an offcom chair.
Culture Secretary Nadine Doris said: “I am delighted to announce that Lord Grade is the Government’s preferred candidate for the new chairman of Ofcom. The highest level of experience of a large number of Lord Grade broadcasters and his expert knowledge of the British media landscape make him an ideal candidate for the role.
“In the future, Ofcom will play a more important role as the UK’s communications regulator. The introduction of online security bills will give digital platforms new responsibilities and resources to ensure that illegal and abusive content is dealt with online. I am confident that under the leadership of Lord Grade, Offcom will meet the challenge with great success. ”
Lord Grade said: “Ofcom is honored as the world’s first rate communication regulator so I am particularly proud to be its chair. Ofcom’s role in British life has never been more important at the top of the ever-changing broadcast landscape, with new responsibilities on the horizons of online security control. I look forward to my presence before the DCMS Selection Committee to outline what I can bring into this role and how I can help ensure that Ofcom is appropriate for the future.
Lord Grade will now appear before MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for pre-appointment verification.
Under the terms of the Act, the appointment is made by the Secretary of State. The recruitment process for this role was always conducted in accordance with the Public Appointments Governance Code, with due process followed.
Ministers were assisted in their decision-making by an advisory evaluation panel that included a departmental official and a senior independent panel member approved by the Commissioner of Public Appointments.