How does 15 years working his way up the greasy pole in an ad agency followed by two years in the number two spot at a collapsing cable firm prepare Stephen Carter for the hot seat at Ofcom?
Carter’s job now is to rope together 600 people from five utterly different agencies – including hundreds of Radiocommunications Agency techies and inspectors, dozens of Oftel economists and analysts and the clock-watchers and nipple counters at the Broadcasting Standards Commission.
I guess the answer to my first question is ‘it doesn’t’. Although the regulator – and the legislation that sets it up – has had a pretty smooth ride so far, you don’t need to be ‘informed opinion’ to know that Ofcom and its new Chief Executive will not have it easy for long.
Foreign bids for ITV, Sky’s expected moves on Five, a fraught merger of the ITV companies, Channel 4’s fall from grace, the broadband mess, disputed mobile phone price cuts. All this and the continuing ad recession and plunging profits. I’m not taking bets but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ofcom’s initial structure and personnel up for review within two years.
Profile of Stephen Carter in The Guardian,
The Ofcom names chief executive, BBC
Stephen Carter to head new UK media watchdog, FT
Industry insider beats rivals to the top job at media super-regulator, The Guardian