Five paid-up members of the nation’s Great and Good were named Thursday as non-executive members of upcoming media and telecoms überwatchdog OfCom (Office of Communications).

Ofcom will become operational by the end of 2003 with regulatory powers covering broadcasting and telecommunications networks and the services they deliver. It will replace and merge the functions of the four current regulatory bodies: the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Independent Television Commission, the Office of Telecommunications, the Radio Authority and the Radiocommunications Agency.

The newly appointed quintet will serve under Ofcom chairman Lord David Currie. They are:

Urmila Banerjee (55), currently a non-executive director of Channel 4, a post from which she will resign; and formerly senior vice president at ICO Global Communications (1995-2000) and director of BT Products and Services Division.

David Edmonds (58), currently director general of telecommunications regulator OfTel.

Richard Hooper (63), chairman of the Radio Authority until January 2000; now managing partner, Hooper Communications.

Sara Nathan (46), editor of Channel 4 News at ITN (1995-97) with earlier editorial stints at The Magazine Radio 5 Live and Radio 4 News and Current Affairs.

Ian Hargreaves (50). freelance journalist and former editor of the New Statesman, The Independent (1994-96) and deputy editor, Financial Times. Prior to this he served as director of news and current affairs at the BBC. He will not take up his appointment until an “appropriate” stage – a political sop by ministers to criticisms that the non-executive element of the board was too small.

These non-executive board members together with chairman Lord Currie will be responsible for the recruitment of a chief executive to OfCom, an appointment which also requires political nods from the respective secretaries of state: culture, media and sport (Tessa Jowell) and trade and industry (Patricia Hewitt).

It is hoped the chief executive will be able to take up the OfCom reins early in 2003.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff