Channel 4, Britain's only state-owned commercial broadcaster, has slid into the red for the first time in ten years, managing director David Scott revealed this week to Parliament’s media select committee.

Colouring the ink is the adspend recession, down in the current fiscal by over £30 million ($42.7m). In the year to December 31 C4’s operating profit hit £33.8m ($48.1m) on revenues of £716.4m ($1.02 billion). However, ad income for the year declined by 5% from £638m to £606m.

Pre-tax profits will not be revealed until May when they will be reported to the House of Commons.

Meantime: “We have been paying between £5m and £10m a year in corporation tax in recent years, but in 2001 we will not make a profit, so we will not be paying corporation tax,” Scott told the assembled parliamentarians.

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