The BBC is set to receive a British television and radio executive as its new chair as it faces an uphill battle getting a licensing fee hike approved by the government.
Media secretary Lucy Frazer has named Samir Shah, who has served as a non-executive director on the BBC board and is the current chair of One World Media, as her preferred candidate to become chair of the broadcaster this afternoon.
Shah must first appear before MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for pre-appointment scrutiny.
If successful, he will replace Richard Sharp, the former Goldman Sachs banker who left the role after a report found he breached the rules around public appointments.
Following his resignation, Sharp warned the position is fraught with danger, saying it is a “target” and whoever holds it is “vulnerable”.
Frazer said: “With a career spanning more than 40 years in TV production and journalism, Dr Shah has a wealth of experience to bring to the position of BBC Chair.
“He has a clear ambition to see the BBC succeed in a rapidly changing media landscape, and I have no doubt he will provide the support and scrutiny that the BBC needs to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future,” she added.
The BBC chair is appointed by the government because the role is a middleman between the publicly-funded broadcaster and Parliament, which controls the former’s budget through a UK household licence fee.
Last week the BBC announced it is rejigging its digital journalism offerings in an effort to save itself £500m, as traditional TV declines and inflation hits.
In January 2022, the government announced a fee settlement for April 2022 to March 2028, which froze the licence fee for two years.
Now that two years are nearly over, the new chair of the BBC will have to bargain with the government for a new license fee deal.
But both the Prime Minister and media secretary have suggested the corporation may not get the fee hike it is hoping for, as the cost of living bites consumers.
This story was edited to say the appointment of Shah has been confirmed