This month, the BBC will name a replacement for Sir Christopher Bland, the pubcaster’s current chairman. Frontrunners are said to be veteran journalist David Dimbleby and Michael Grade, head of Pinewood Studios and a former C4 exec. The chairman of the BBC is appointed, following open competition, by the Queen in Council on the advice of ministers. Bland resigned to take up a new post as chairman of British Telecom. He has been head of the Beeb since 1996.
The debut of BBC3 and BBC4, the pubcaster’s two new digital channels, has several commercial digital channels concerned about their future viability. BBC4, which has an arts and culture slant, would appear to overlap substantially with Artsworld, for example. BBC3 is aimed at the youth market. Some digi-casters have voiced their concern to the government in hopes that the new channels’ validity will be re-examined.