Last time we went through Charter Renewal, the White Paper was published in March 2006, and the parliamentary process took until July before the legislation was ready to be sent off for Royal Assent, with the next Charter coming into operation at the start of 2007.
If the White Paper this time comes next Thursday, parliamentary consideration could well straddle the summer recess, but the thing could still be wrapped up in time for 2017 - unless there's a hoo-ha. Lord Hall writes in The Guardian today: "For all the external noise, the debate with the government has been constructive and good-natured." Mmm.
Greg Dyke kicked off the last Charter Renewal process inside the BBC in 2003, by appointing bright boys Roly Keating and Charles Constable to start the work. And he hired consultants Oliver and Ohlbaum. This time it was Culture Secretary Whittingdale who spent on O&O, who came up with their 'scientific' assessment that BBC1, Radio 1 and Radio 2 weren't as distinctive as they might be; more oddball/worthy programmes and some wussy scheduling wouldn't hurt audience figures much.