Blair’s Buddy Appointed Chairman of BBC

18 September 2001

Word around the UK media village is that the bookies’ favourite Gavyn Davies has won the shootout to become the new chairman of the British Broadcasting Corporation. However, his appointment has yet to be formally confirmed.

Davies, currently deputy-chair of the publicly-owned broadcasting behemoth, is an economist at Goldman Sachs and is said to have topped a shortlist of one presented for the approval of his close friend prime minister Blair. Insiders say that Davies’ overt support for New Labour will not have disadvantaged him in the mêlée for the job – nor the fact that his wife Sue Nye is secretary to chancellor Gordon Brown.

In an apparent political trade-off, the role of deputy-chair has been offered to yet another economist, the Conservative-supporting Lady Sarah Hogg.

Out in the cold are a number of applicants who actually know something about broadcasting – notably the BBC's present vice-chairman and senior current affairs presenter David Dimbleby, as well as the highly respected former chief executive of Channel 4 Michael Grade.

Meanwhile, BBC director general Greg Dyke, himself in the job for little more than a year, denies that he threatened to quit if the chair went to Dimbleby. Dyke, however, is said to find Davies an acceptable boss.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)