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24 September 2014
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Michael Grade

New BBC Chairman appointed

The Government today announced that Michael Grade has been appointed BBC Chairman for four years from 17 May 2004.


Welcoming the appointment Richard Ryder, Acting BBC Chairman, said: "The Board of Governors warmly welcomes the appointment of Michael Grade. We are delighted that he will be the BBC's new Chairman and we look forward to working closely with him.


"He will find a united Board which is optimistic about the future.


"The Board is conscious of the importance of the tasks it will tackle under his leadership, including Charter Review, the appointment of the Director-General, the Graf Review of, the first stage of the Ofcom PSB review and the DCMS reviews of new services.


"We are very grateful to the DCMS for expediting the appointment of the new Chairman in such a short period."


Mark Byford, Acting Director-General, said: "Michael Grade is one of the major world figures in broadcasting and the wider creative industry, with an outstanding record of achievement.


"He has a deep understanding of broadcasting, and firmly believes in the BBC and its place at the heart of national life.


"He is passionate about creativity, talent and ambition in programmes.


"That is why everyone in the BBC will warmly welcome this exciting appointment.


"It's great that Michael is coming back to the BBC and he will enjoy the full support of the whole organisation."


Michael Grade said: "This is quite a day for me.


"Apart from my obvious pride and delight, I also feel my experience has prepared me to step into the role at a difficult moment in the Corporation's history.


"I would like to thank those who appointed me for having the courage to break the mould.


"I would also like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Gavyn Davies, who gave so much to support the ideals of the Corporation and who showed great courage and dignity in the manner of his departure.


"The editorial independence of the BBC is paramount in maintaining the support of the viewers and listeners. Without it, there is no point to the BBC.


"It is my job, and the job of the whole board, to ensure that the BBC can continue to earn public and parliamentary support so that the provision of universally available, value for money, public service broadcasting is neither jeopardised nor marginalised.


"Nothing must be allowed to deprive our children and our grandchildren of the rich experience we have come to expect and enjoy these past decades from the British Broadcasting Corporation."


Notes to Editors


1. Michael Grade will take up his post as Chairman on 17 May 2004. Until then, Richard Ryder will remain Acting Chairman.


As made clear in a statement issued on 31 March, Richard will then serve as Vice-Chairman under Michael Grade until later in the year when he will retire from the Board.


2. Gavyn Davies OBE was appointed on 19 September 2001 for a five year period from 1 October 2001. He resigned from the BBC on 28 January 2004.


3. The BBC and Michael Grade have agreed to suspend the process for the appointment of the Director-General until Michael Grade takes up his position as Chairman.


4. Michael Grade has had a long and distinguished career including leading roles in commercial television, the BBC, film and the leisure industries.


He became Head of Entertainment and Director of Programmes at London Weekend Television in 1973, moved to the USA to become President of Embassy Television in 1981, joined the BBC as Controller BBC-1 in 1984 and became its Director of Programmes, Television in 1986.


He then spent nine years from 1988 as Chief Executive of Channel 4 Television.


In 1997 he joined First Leisure Corporation, first as Executive Chairman and then as Chief Executive until 1999.


He is Executive Chairman of Pinewood and Shepperton Studios, Chairman of Hemscott plc and, since 2002, Chairman of the Camelot Group, operators of the National Lottery.


He is a non-executive director of the Scottish Media Group, interim Chair of the Television Corporation, Chairman of the Royal National Theatre's Development Council, a member of the Council of the Royal Albert Hall, and a trustee of the National Film and Television School and of the World Wide Fund for Nature.


He is also a director of the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Chairman of Index on Censorship and is on the Board of Charlton Athletic Football Club.


5. He will be resigning from the Boards of Camelot, SMG and the Television Corporation before 17 May, as well as from a number of other commercial and pro bono appointments.


He will retain his non-executive chairmanship of Pinewood Shepperton and the Chairmanship of Hemscott Group Plc.


A list of these and any other commitments and his investments will be disclosed in full to the BBC Secretary and the DCMS.


A system will be put in place for dealing with any conflict, real or perceived. The Vice-Chairman is always available to take over the item in question.



The Board of Governors


The BBC is a Corporation established under successive Royal Charters. Its current Charter runs to December 2006 and sets out its public obligations.


BBC services are regulated by a separate Agreement under the Charter which recognises the BBC's editorial independence.


The corporation receives most of its income from the television licence fee.


Twelve Governors are appointed by the Queen in Council on the advice of Ministers to ensure that the BBC fulfils its obligations.


They are men and women with a wide range of experience and interests in public service and the arts, business and industry.


All are part-time non-executives. They meet monthly and hold the BBC's managers to account for their performance against agreed strategy and objectives.


The Communications Act 2003 maintained the role of the Board of Governors, their core responsibilities being:


• interpreting the Charter and setting the strategy to deliver the BBC's remit and responsibilities

• upholding and protecting the BBC's political and editorial independence

• assessing the BBC's performance against remit and objectives

• calling management to account.


The Role of the Chairman


Key skills and qualities required for the post (as defined by DCMS):


• proven senior experience at chair level

• strong leadership, vision and strategic skills

• highly developed communication skills and credibility to act as an effective link between the BBC, Government and Parliament

• an appreciation of the public interest in relation to broadcasting issues

• an understanding of the role of the BBC Goverors, and an ability to work constructively with a range of people and organisations in the public and private sectors

• experience of the management of a large and complex public service or commercial undertaking

• knowledge of statutory requirements with regard to broadcasting.


Salary currently £81,320 per annum, for the equivalent of four days a week.



Category : BBC
Date : 02.04.2004
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