Skip to main content

When Boris Johnson announced he was stepping down Be Broadcast ran a poll which highlighted that 86% of PR professionals expected a change in the sale of Channel 4 with a new PM and incoming cabinet.

This morning, the new culture secretary has said she will “re-examine the business case” for privatising Channel 4. Michelle Donelan’s predecessor Nadine Dorries set out plans to take the broadcaster out of public ownership.

During an interview with The Today programme, she announced she was “making sure that we still agree with that decision”.

That sounds, in PR terms, like a stand-down to us.

The deeply unpopular proposal has faced fierce criticism across the board – the channel itself, production houses and the creative sector.

But can the same be said about the impacts being seen over at the BBC?

Yes, evolution is absolutely key but we also believe that the BBC has been evolving over recent years anyway. Further cuts, nips and tucks here and there only serve to weaken the institution.

Comparisons to services such as Netflix are indeed valid – but have to looked at in context. Netflix doesn’t – and unless structural change is made – compete on a News level but we are seeing cuts there.

Amazon Prime Video doesn’t deliver that localised viewing that the BBC does so well. Will it ever?

Our view on all of this is that there needs to be much more consultation – what works right now as a vote winner will impact us all in years to come. Government should seek to ease this debate – we won’t mention recent comments from Truss during hustings about the BBC – if it truly wants to see the sustainability of state broadcasters in the coming years.

× How can I help you?


Spin the wheel
Remind later
No thanks