The new chair of the UK broadcaster Channel 4 has been appointed. Media regulator Ofcom has confirmed that businessman Sir Ian Cheshire will join the channel’s board on April 11, taking over from interim chair Don Ayre.
By hiring Cheshire, Channel 4 will benefit from its decades of business experience, both commercial and public – at a time when the broadcaster is awaiting the government’s decision on whether to privatize the channel, which is currently not a public-owned one. -A company for profit, which will change significantly if the money is put up for sale. The proposal has attracted a lot of critics, citing Channel 4’s diversity and promise of programming range, which they claim would put the channel at risk if sold.
Cheshire is currently chair of Spire Healthcare plc, chair of environmental investment trust Menhaden plc and a non-executive director of BT plc. He is also chairman of the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund and the Mental Health Council of the Work Leadership Council.
Previously, he was in charge of B&Q and later Kingfisher plc. He has also served as chair of Barclays UK, the British Retail Consortium, Debenhams plc and Maisons du Monde SA, and senior independent director of Whitbread plc.
His public service role includes chairing a non-executive directorate in the cabinet office and chairing the Ecosystem Markets Task Force and the Economics Honors Committee. He is currently the chairman of the Independent Food Farming and Countryside Commission. He was knighted in 2014 for his services to business, sustainability and the environment.
There is no mention of an impending decision on the future of Channel 4, or Nadine Doris, Cheshire or the UK’s culture secretary, who approved the appointment.
Cheshire said: “I am delighted to be joining Channel 4 at this crucial time in public service broadcasting. As this transitions into a new era of media use, I look forward to helping Channel 4 reach audiences across the UK for many years to come. “
Doris said: “I am delighted to approve Sir Ian Cheshire as the new chair of Channel 4. Sir Ian has an impressive track record of leading some of the largest business in the UK and I am confident that his proven leadership will help Channel 4 to become stronger. To strengthen and ensure that it lasts for the future. “