Michelle Donelan, the new Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the United Kingdom, said she was “re-examining the case” for selling Channel 4, raising the possibility that a plan to privatize the publicly-owned broadcaster could be scrapped.
"We are looking especially at the business case for the sale of Channel 4 and making sure that we still agree with that decision," Donelan told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme. According to her, the authorities would take a fresh look at the benefits and costs of privatizing Channel 4. “I am the type of politician that bases their decisions on evidence, on listening and that is what I will be doing over the coming weeks. I will take that approach when it comes to Channel 4 and every aspect of my brief,” she declared.
At the same time, Donelan confirmed that she would look again at the BBC licence fee, after its predecessor, Nadine Dorries, had previously announced the next licence fee deal would be the last. “It is no secret that I have been a long-term sceptic of the licence fee and that we need to make sure that the BBC is sustainable in the long term. So I am looking at this in the round,” Donelan assured.
“I think the BBC have done a tremendous job in the last few days and nobody could fault them. I went to see the operation and it was phenomenal and required everyone to get their heads down and prioritize public service through the period and they did that, spot on. It showed the true value of the BBC but for me that means it’s even more important that we make sure the BBC is sustainable in the long-term,” she concluded.