Sunday, December 4, 2016


If the DCMS is sticking to its timetable, a short list has already been made from applicants to be the first Chair of the new BBC (unitary) Board, and candidates will have, by now, been invited to interview on 12-14 December.

The mood music is funereal. Commentators say there's no sign of a rush from stellar or obviously-qualified contenders, and suggest the headhunters are still scratching round for inspiration. (I note that Simon McDonald, part of the Odgers Berndston team, has left Twitter since my last piece on this.)

The problems are made worse by the current performance of the Prime Minister and Karen Bradley in big media decisions - biffing, so publicly, Rona Fairhead, and messing around with C4's future and non-execs.

The reality of the candidate specification is horrible. Essential requirements:

  • Prepared to preside over decline under a Tory Government
  • Ready to face regular kickings from Select Committees
  • Happy to have exes and jollies publicly scrutinised for just £100k a year 
  • Demonstrable board level experience of FTSE 100 company, or firm with 20,000 employees
  • Ideally, more qualified than BBC DG Lord Hall
Can they pull a rabbit out of the hat ?

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