Stephen Carter, former chief executive of J Walter Thompson (London) – and latterly managing director of troubled cable giant NTL – is to be the first chief executive of broadcast and telecoms supra-regulator Ofcom.

Carter, a dark horse candidate who zoomed out of nowhere earlier this month to become frontrunner for the appointment [WAMN: 09-Jan--03], was chosen over the heads of former favourite Patricia Hodgson, currently ceo of the Independent Television Commission, and a third runner believed to be Nick Lovegrove, a McKinsey consultant who advised John Birt when he was director general of the BBC.

Carter who will report to the Ofcom board chaired by Lord David Currie, won the day because of his background in business, advertising and the media. His appointment will be formally announced later this week after ratification by culture, media and sport secretary Tessa Jowell and her opposite number at the Department for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt.

Ofcom will take up its duties later this year on enactment of the government’s Communications Bill. It will supersede and merge the functions of the four extant regulatory bodies: the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Independent Television Commission, the Office of Telecommunications, the Radio Authority and the Radiocommunications Agency.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff