Lord Burns: Channel 4 chairman forced to step down by ministers amid privatisation fears

Lord Burns was expected to be reconfirmed as chair of the corporation

Lord Burns will step down as chairman of Channel 4 in January 2016
Lord Burns will step down as chairman of Channel 4 in January 2016

Ministers have forced Lord Burns, the chairman of Channel 4, to step down, fuelling speculation that the not-for-profit broadcaster is being prepared for privatisation.

Lord Burns, who had urged ministers to consider the idea of turning Channel 4 into a charitable trust as an alternative to selling off the broadcaster, was expected to be reconfirmed as chair of the corporation.

But the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has rejected a recommendation from Ofcom that Lord Burns should be granted a year-long extension to his tenure, Sky News reported.

Lord Burns will now step down at the end of January next year and the position will be advertised. A member of the Office of Budget Responsibility’s oversight board and a consummate Whitehall insider, Lord Burns was appointed Channel 4 chairman in 2010.

Ofcom had proposed that Lord Burns remain as chairman to provide continuity during the BBC Charter Review process which could have a significant impact on Channel 4.

A sell-off, which could raise up to £1bn, is one option being considered by ministers. The charitable trust route is also believed to remain an option.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in