Channel 4 fights privatisation as Leeds HQ thrives - The Yorkshire Post says

Channel 4 is not going down without a fight in the row over privatisation, it seems.

Bosses at the broadcaster have gone one further from their initial statement of disappointment to yesterday unveiling an ambitious counter-proposal which they say offers “an attractive, realistic and sustainable solution”.

It has promised to support the Government’s levelling up agenda by doubling the number of roles that are relocated outside London to 600 and spend 50 per cent of its commissioning budget outside the capital.

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Ministers announced plans to privatise Channel 4 last month, a move now going through Parliament, but which had been met with anger by some of the region’s Conservative MPs.

Channel 4 Chief Executive Alex Mahon pictured at Northern Ballet, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme.

Alec Shelbrooke, Conservative MP for Elmet and Rothwell, wrote to the Prime Minister along with Jason McCartney and Kevin Hollinrake, describing how privatisation was “contrary to the goals of our levelling up agenda”.

Owned by the public but commercially-funded – it bears repeating that this 24/7 TV and on-demand service costs us nothing, a point which because of ignorance or calculation seemed lost on Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries at a select committee last year – Channel 4’s boost to business in Yorkshire is just beginning.

Numerous companies have set up in the region after Leeds was announced the home to C4’s headquarters. Perhaps any future private owner might think a more regional C4 would be in its own commercial interests – but it would be under no obligations.

A minority are jeopardising the North’s gain of Channel 4, but we all stand to lose.

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Channel 4 privatisation plan the wrong move - Yorkshire Post Letters