Nadine Dorries to press ahead with plan to privatize Channel 4 | Channel 4

The culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, is pushing ahead with plans to privatize Channel 4, with the government backing proposals to sell off the broadcaster after 40 years in public ownership.

The plans had met a fierce reaction from the media industry, with TV production companies and prominent broadcasters such as Sir David Attenborough opposing them.

The broadcaster’s chief executive, Alex Mahon, told staff of the news in an email on Monday night, saying: “We have been informed in the last hour that the government will shortly announce that the secretary of state has decided to proceed with the proposal to privatize Channel 4.

“In our engagement with the government during its extended period of reflection, we have proposed a vision for the next 40 years which we are confident would allow us to build on the successes of the first 40. That vision was rooted in continued public ownership and was built upon the huge amount of public value this model has delivered to date and the opportunity to deliver so much more in the future.”

Mahon hinted that the current leadership of Channel 4 would not go down without a fight, suggesting that “ultimately the ownership of Channel 4 is for government to propose and parliament to decide” and the lengthy process of passing legislation to privatize the channel meant it was not a done deal.

The channel is run on a commercial basis and carries adverts but reinvests all of its profits into making new programmes. The channel’s current leadership have argued that a new private sector owner would instead seek to maximize profits at the expense of programming.

Leave a Comment