Chair of digital radio taskforce announced
19 December 2007
Barry Cox, Former deputy chairman of Channel Four will lead a review which aims to help more listeners benefit from the choice available on digital radio, Culture Secretary James Purnell announced today.
Mr Cox will chair the Digital Radio Working Group which has been tasked with investigating how Government can better promote and increase the numbers of people listening to digital radio.
Mr Cox worked as a journalist on the Sunday Telegraph, was director of the ITV Association between 1995 and 1998, and Deputy Chairman of Channel Four between 1999 and 2006. He is also a consultant with ITN.
He was elected Chairman of the Digital TV Stakeholders Group between January 2002 and December 2004. This required him to take a leading role in helping Government and industry plan the switch from analogue to digital television.
He will chair a group made up of representatives from the industry, the BBC, commercial radio and consumer representatives and will have to address three questions:
- Under what conditions would digital listening become the norm?
- What are the barriers to growth?
- How can those barriers be tackled?
Culture Secretary James Purnell said:
“The UK is leading the world in the transition to digital radio. It’s clear that there would be advantages for both consumers and business to completing that transition. That’s why I have set up the Digital Radio Working Group - to reach a consensus about whether, how and when the obstacles for transition to digital could be overcome.
“Barry Cox has a proven track record in the broadcasting industry. I’m certain he will be an ideal chairman for the group.”
Barry Cox said:
“Helping Government, Ofcom and the industry to find the most sensible way to a largely digital future is a fascinating challenge. The move to digital radio presents more difficult issues than it does in television, and I look forward to engaging with all the stakeholders and securing the best answer to the problems.”
Barry Cox worked as a journalist on the Scotsman, the Sunday Telegraph, Granada’s World In Action, and at LWT, where he became Controller of Features and Current Affairs, and then Director of Corporate Affairs. He was Director of the ITV Association between 1995 and 1998, and Deputy Chairman of Channel Four between 1999 and 2006. He is also a consultant with ITN.
He was elected Chairman of the Digital TV Stakeholders Group between January 2002 and December 2004. This required him to take a leading role in helping Government and industry plan the switch from analogue to digital television. In October 2004 he was appointed chairman of SwitchCo Ltd (Digital UK), the broadcaster consortium set up to implement digital switchover itself between 2008-12.
He was the News International Visiting Professor of Broadcast Media at Oxford University in 2003 and delivered a series of lectures on the digital future.
Barry has written three books: Civil Liberties in Britain (1975), The Fall of Scotland Yard (co-author, 1977) and Free For All: Public Service Television in the Digital Age (2004).
For further information on the Digital Radio Working Group see DCMS press notice 142/07
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