Sunday, May 16, 2010

BBC Worldwide threatened by privatisation

The Sunday Express reports:

A new non-executive chairman of the BBC will be installed to act as a board-level watchdog pushing through wide- ranging reform, including the privatisation of its commercial subsidiary BBC Worldwide.

The secret plan to appoint a non- executive chairman has been revealed by the former Thatcher minister Lord Fowler, who is chairman of the influential Lords Communications Select Committee.

Lord Fowler said the privatisation of BBC Worldwide would make millions for the Exchequer.

“Even the last Government said there was a strong case to privatise this organisation and I think the new Government will feel that the case is overwhelming. BBC Worldwide is restricted in how it can develop because it hasn’t got the investment, so I think a scheme of bringing in private investment would have the support of those working there.

“You’re talking about raising quite a considerable amount of money, most of which could go to the public coffers. At a time when the Government is concentrating on raising money to combat the national deficit, then something like this is a glaringly obvious step to take. This could be like one of the mem­orable privatisations from the Eighties.”

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