Hooper to assume post of chairman at the Radio Authority

Chris Smith, the culture secretary, has named Richard Hooper as the new chairman of the Radio Authority. He will replace Sir Peter Gibbings, whose five-year term expires at the beginning of next year.

Chris Smith, the culture secretary, has named Richard Hooper as the

new chairman of the Radio Authority. He will replace Sir Peter Gibbings,

whose five-year term expires at the beginning of next year.



Hooper is a founding member of the Government-regulated body, and will

preside over the board for five years. At the same time, another member,

David Witherow, has been appointed as Hooper’s deputy.



The appointment puts an end to months of speculation over who would

replace Gibbings, during which time the Department of Culture, Media and

Sport canvassed opinion from a wide range of senior industry

figures.



Among the names linked to the post were the former director-general of

MI5, Stella Rimington, and John Swift, the former rail regulator.



The Radio Authority has come under fire from the commercial radio

industry for not being as flexible as the Broadcasting Act allows in

terms of ownership regulations and awarding licences.



Smith said: ’Richard has a particularly strong background and knowledge

of the broadcasting and wider media industry. As a founder member of the

Radio Authority, he is well placed to steer it in coming years. And I

have do doubt that David, with his longstanding involvement with radio

and broadcasting and experience as a member of the Authority, will

provide valuable support.’



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