Nadine Dorries set to publish White Paper on Channel 4 privatisation
Nadine Dorries is reportedly set to release a new White Paper that will outline her plans to privatise Channel 4 in another major step toward selling the state-owned broadcaster.
Sky News reports that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is expected to release the plan this week.
Dorries, the culture secretary, confirmed earlier this month that the government would privatise Channel 4 in a move that caused widespread backlash within the media industry.
The channel is owned by the state and has a public broadcasting remit, but is funded by advertising.
Dorries said this model is “holding Channel 4 back from competing against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon” and that “a change of ownership will give Channel 4 the tools and freedom to flourish and thrive as a public service broadcaster long into the future”.
Channel 4 executives, who have long rallied against a potential sale, expressed their dismay in a series of statements.
The broadcaster’s chief executive Alex Mahon said: “In our engagement with the government during its extended period of reflection, we have proposed a vision for the next 40 years which we are confident would allow us to build on the successes of the first 40.
“That vision was rooted in continued public ownership and was built upon the huge amount of public value this model has delivered to date and the opportunity to deliver so much more in the future.”
City analysts have valued the broadcaster at anywhere between £600m and £1.5bn and there has been speculation that other broadcasters like Sky, ITV, Discovery and Paramount may be interested in making bids.