UK Parliamentarians Slam Ofcom's Velvet Glove with ITV

08 March 2004

The powerful House of Commons' select committee for culture, media and sport last week declared itself "less than thrilled" at the efforts by newly formed media supra-regulator Ofcom to reign-in the cost cutting excesses of the just-merged ITV.

The committee, chaired by formidable veteran MP Gerald Kaufman (Labour, Manchester Gorton), criticised the watchdog for accepting ITV's "glib attempted justification" for cutting nearly 600 jobs in the Meridian and Central regions and the closure of its Nottingham studios.

The regulator was urged to be tough over what the committee fears are attempts by ITV to "asset strip and put themselves in a situation where they're ready for sale". Kaufman warned Ofcom not to misinterpret its remit. "Light touch is not the same as no touch," he admonished.

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