Lord Burns is to step down as Channel 4 chairman after ministers overruled a recommendation by the media regulator that he stay on to steer the broadcaster through the BBC Charter Review next year.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) rejected a suggestion from Ofcom that Burns should be granted a year-long extension, according to Sky News.
Sources said Burns was likely to step down at the end of his term in January, subject to the availability of a suitable replacement.
An Ofcom spokesman told Sky News: “Ofcom is proceeding with the recruitment of the next Channel 4 chairman to succeed Lord Burns when his term ends early next year.”
A DCMS spokesman said: “Lord Burns second term…expires on 27 January 2016. Ofcom is responsible for appointing the C4 chair. We understand the regulator will shortly announce its plans for recruitment to this important post.”