Michael Grade, a British Broadcasting heavyweight, has been named chair of the Regulator Ofcom

Michael Grade, a British Broadcasting heavyweight, has been named chair of the Regulator Ofcom ...

Michael Grade, a British broadcaster who has overseen every major UK broadcaster, has been appointed chair of the media and broadcasting regulator, which has come to an end, putting an at-times confusing hiring process to the test.

Grade, a former Controller and Chair, ITV Executive Chair and Channel 4 CEO, who is also a Conservative Life Peer, will be endorsed by the government's Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee, a formality that will be rubberstamped in the next few weeks, at which point he will replace interim chair Maggie Carver.

The 79-year-old is a British broadcasting businessman well known in media circles, and his father was an ITV founder.

If Channel 4 was privatized, Grade and a consortium had been linked to a merger, and he has been public with his criticism of the UK's Public Service Broadcasting sector, pledging the decrease of the BBC's licence fee, and declaring that it's "perfectly justified" to question the existence of the PSBs.

One senior industry expert who has knowledge of the situation described him as the "opposite" of former Ofcom Chairs, who were unconcerned with their opinions.

"To appoint someone who has been able to define the entities they will conduct is a curious and interesting process," said the source. "His very personal views aren't supported by the public or parliament, and he will discover once he starts that he has the keys to him."

Grade, according to a source, will'sing from the same hymn sheet' as Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who has also been public with her criticism of the BBC.

Grade takes over the UK's media and broadcasting regulator at a critical moment, with Ofcom overseeing significant changes to legislation on online safety and massive shifts in the broadcasting landscape. The BBC has been regulated for several years, and at the same time the relationship has been tested.

The race to reclaim former President Terry Burns has been a rocky one.

Paul Dacre, a former Daily Mail editor, was a conservative government advocate, but he was ruled "inappropriate" by a selection panel owing to his impartial opinions, and the process must be resumed.

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