Minister for the Creative Industries, Siôn Simon, appointed Richard Hooper as chair of the Selection Panel for the Government’s procurement of piloted independently funded news consortia (IFNCs).
Announced in the Digital Britain White Paper in 2009, the Digital Economy Bill creates new powers for Ofcom to set up IFNCs from 2013.
Three pilots are to be run in Scotland, Wales and the Tyne Tees/Borders TV region.
Richard Hooper was Deputy Chair of Ofcom from 2002 to 2005 and recently chaired the Independent Review of the Postal Services Sector. He is currently Senior Independent Director of Yell Group plc and of VocaLink Holdings Ltd.
The 5 other panel members are:
Board member of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland and spent twenty-seven years at BBC Scotland, retiring as Deputy Head of News and Current Affairs.
Former CEO of GCap Media plc and of Virgin Radio.
Has spent a career lasting more than thirty years in journalism, working as Political Editor for ITN at Westminster and Political Editor for BBC Wales in Cardiff.
Founder of “talk about local”, a unique public service project to bring an online voice to hundreds of deprived communities in England funded by 4IP, Screen West Midlands and Advantage West Midlands. Previously Tony Blair's civil service policy advisor on technology, culture, media and sport.
Has worked in the regional press for almost 25 years, most recently as editor of the Birmingham Post. He left the Post in December 2009 to launch a media consultancy business, and is a commentator on regional press issues and digital and social media developments.
Stewart Purvis will act as an advisor to the panel. He began his broadcasting career at the BBC. During the 1980s, he was Editor of Channel Four News and went on to become Editor-in-Chief of ITN and then Chief Executive from 1995-2003. He is currently the Partner for Content & Standards at Ofcom