Coalition on future BBC charter happy with new chairman

A coalition of charities set up to help the voluntary sector benefit from a future BBC charter has tentatively welcomed the appointment of Michael Grade as chairman.

Don Redding, co-ordinator of the 80-charity coalition, Public Voice, said he was happier having veteran broadcaster Grade as chairman than a "political crony" as was feared.

Public Voice wants the BBC's main purpose to be to "serve the communication needs, rights and interests of UK citizens" after the charter review in 2006.

But Redding is concerned that the BBC's unpublished manifesto for charter renewal might be unfavourably altered by Grade.

"It emphasises linking the BBC in new ways with local communities," he said. "I'm not sure he will accept what the manifesto is driving at, or that he will understand the potential social mission for the BBC in the digital age."

The manifesto remains unpublished because of the fallout from the Hutton Inquiry.

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