Downing Street “sources” provoked much excitement by suggesting that two very un-woke newspaper editors, Charles Moore and Paul Dacre, might be just the ticket for two of the most senior jobs in British broadcasting, chairs of the BBC and OfCom respectively.Now that Lord Moore has thought better of it, only Dacre remains as a possible, but not very probable, candidate for the job as the media regulator. He shares similar qualifications to the sort of people who’ve held these posts in the past – apart from the diversity handicap of being an old, elite, white male.
Thrilling as the personality culture wars may be, Ofcom’s routine in-tray of work will prove more consequential. For the future there is the huge question of how and whether post-Brexit Britain can regulate the transnational internet giants. For now the report on the Future of Public Service Broadcasting which OfCom is due to deliver to the government by the end of this year should be of even greater concern to this nation of gogglebox watchers.
We still love our telly, watching three hours and forty-six minutes of it each day according to the BARB ratings agency this June. Of that the five terrestrial broadcasters account for the majority of viewing (54.6%), although their share continues to subside slowly.