Carter is Ofcom UK Chief Executive: Official

23 January 2003

Hard on the heels of Monday’s leaked news [WAMN: 21-Jan-03], the appointment of Stephen Carter (38) as ceo of the nascent broadcast and telecoms supra-regulator Ofcom has been confirmed.

He will receive an annual salary of £350,000 ($565,546; €527,919) a year – an unprincely sum compared with comparable chief executive earnings in the commercial sector.

He will join Ofcom on March 1, working with chairman Lord David Currie and his non-executive board to create the body’s infrastructure.

This will supersede and meld the respective functions of the five present regulatory organizations: the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Independent Television Commission, the Office of Telecommunications, the Radio Authority and the Radiocommunications Agency.

Said Carter, a former managing director of J Walter Thompson in London who left the WPP shop to become managing director of ailing US cable giant NTL: “An effective Ofcom is critical for all media and communications businesses. For me, the opportunity was an irresistible one. I am delighted to join the board in helping to bring Ofcom to life.”

Ofcom chairman Currie joined in the ritual backslapping: “I am very pleased that Stephen is to join us. He has exactly the right qualities to deliver these requirements, as well as considerable experience of working in the advertising, broadcasting and telecommunications sectors. Stephen and the board will now begin the recruitment of a first-rate executive management team to support him.”

The appointment of Carter, a Scot who graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a law degree will be welcomed by another Lord David – the maverick government political peer Puttnam – who recently complained: “In Britain, the regulators don't attract the best and the brightest lawyers.”

Puttnam compared the UK regime regulatory with the US system which is “well resourced with sharp teeth”. He appealed: “I don't want to see third division lawyers representing the public realm, I want to see Premier League ... It is unbelievably important, and the Treasury has to pick up the bill.”

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff