Media: Talk of the Trade: Silent support for Mellor

DAVID MELLOR's fate is being watched with interest by broadcasters, anxious that he should survive in his post. He is respected as the one cabinet minister who understands the intricacies of media policy. In ITV he is remembered for his bravery in standing up, in the dark days of spring 1990, against the wilder excesses of free-market Thatcherism in the Broadcasting Bill. At the BBC there was huge relief when, immediately after the election, he backed a continuation of the licence fee, a move seen by right-wingers as hasty and premature. And at BSkyB Mr Mellor is seen as a defender of free- market choice, holding off a cross- media inquiry into News International's spread from newspapers to television.

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