John Whittingdale

Vaizey replaced as UK culture minister

Ed Vaizey has been replaced as the minister in charge of the UK’s culture and media sectors, as the fall-out of the country’s recent political changes continue. Matt Hancock has been appointed minister of state for digital policy at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, effectively replacing Vaizey, who was minister of state for […]

UK gets new culture secretary

MP Karen Bradley has been appointed UK culture secretary, taking over from John Whittingdale. The move was announced yesterday, during Theresa May’s first full day as prime minister, as part of a broad cabinet shake-up that resulted in a number of senior ministers being replaced. Bradley has been the member of parliament for Staffordshire Moorlands […]

C4 privatisation ‘risks outweigh benefits’

A report into the future of Channel 4 has concluded the risks associated with the mooted privatisation of the UK public broadcaster outweigh the potential benefits. The House of Lords, the UK’s upper house, came to that conclusion in its ‘A Privatised Future for Channel 4?’ report, published today. The House of Lords select committee […]

UK’s creative industry ‘can lead post-Brexit growth’

The UK’s creative businesses can lead economic growth in a post-Brexit Britain, according to the government and industry-backed group the Creative Industries Council. It said the prospects for the country’s creative industries remain strong after the recent vote to leave the European Union. It has outlined an ambitious plan to grow the country’s exports from […]

BBC eyes int’l SVOD expansion, keeps UKTV stake

BBC Worldwide will look at expanding new American SVOD service BBC Extra into new territories, and will not be forced to sell its £500 million (US$723 million) stake in UKTV, a government White Paper published has revealed this morning. The BBC’s commercial arm has been considering “the best way to monetise its content abroad”, and […]

Moore: factual to be ‘heart’ of BBC Two

BBC programming chief Charlotte Moore plans to place factual programming at the centre of the BBC Two schedule, as the debate over ‘distinctiveness’ at the UK’s pubcaster rages. Moore recently became controller of BBC TV channels and iPlayer, replacing Kim Shillinglaw at BBC Two, and plans to put factual “proudly at the heart” of the […]

Gov’t could force BBCWW to sell UKTV stake

The British government could force BBC Worldwide to sell its 50% in multichannel operator UKTV, which has been a vital cash cow for the BBC’s commercial operation. The culture department of the Conservative government has considered forcing a sale various times in the past two years, and according to the Telegraph, it has now revisited […]

UK gov’t to close BBC ‘iPlayer loophole’

UK culture secretary John Whittingdale has vowed to close the “iPlayer loophole”, which allows non-licence fee payers to access the BBC online catch-up service for free. Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention yesterday, Whittingdale said that he will bring in legislation to extend the licence fee to cover catch-up, as well as live linear, content […]

BBC Trust: write funding process into Charter

The BBC’s governing body has called for a “proper process” for setting the BBC’s funding to be included for the first time in the new BBC Charter. The BBC Trust said that to protect the UK pubcaster’s independence the public should have “a formal say” in setting the BBC’s funding in the future, and that […]

BBC under pressure over staff levels, cost-cuts

A UK culture ministry official has said that the BBC is not implementing cost savings at the same rate as other private and public sector enterprises, and added the government thinks the public broadcaster should play a part in reducing the UK deficit. Speaking at the Westminster Media Forum Future of the BBC event in […]