LONDON (Brand Republic) – The UK government’s controversial plans to weaken the regulatory powers of the BBC’s governors, following the moving of the Nine O’Clock News to 10pm, may be postponed until after the general election in an attempt to avoid a public battle.
The communications white paper, due on December 12, had been expected to propose that the governors be stripped of some of their powers following their decision to allow the Nine O’Clock News to move to 10pm –- a decision said to have angered culture secretary Chris Smith MP.
However, the Department of Trade and Industry along with Number 10 is understood to be hesitant about drawing up hard and fast rules so close to the general election. Instead, the white paper will publish a range of options for the corporation to consider.
If the BBC governors were to lose their regulatory authority, an independent regulator would police the corporation.
The white paper is also expected to outline plans to abolish laws which currently prevent further consolidation within ITV network and the formation of a single ITV company.
Recent reports suggesting that the white paper would leave in place regulations preventing a merger between the two largest ITV companies, Carlton and Granada, are said to be wide of the mark.