The Week: Media news - Ofcom drops publisher plan

Ofcom has scrapped plans for a public-service publisher, a body that would produce, distribute or fund public-service content.

Although Ed Richards, the Ofcom chief executive, told the Royal Television Society the idea had "served its purpose" in shifting the debate on public service broadcasting, it is understood the plans will not go ahead. Ofcom proposed the idea in 2004 in response to broadcasters' dwindling ability to afford to make public-service programming. It was envisaged as a body with a budget of £300 million. The projected costs were scaled back last year to between £50 million and £100 million a year, before a senior advisor for digital media at Ofcom discounted the idea earlier this year.