It was most surprising to hear today that Lord Carter may be leaving the government.
He’s currently preparing the much-vaunted Digital Britain Report, that is intended to form the UK governmental approach to digital media and its distribution.
The Times is reporting that “He is believed to have told Mr Brown that he was willing to serve only until July and hoped to return to business after a low-key exit over the summer recess.”
When asked in more detail about this he “declined to deny” it.
UPDATE: (16:37 12.jun.2009) Joint statement from Departments for Business, Innovation and Skills and Culture Media and Sport:
“The Prime Minister appointed Stephen Carter as Communications Minister with the specific task of commissioning and producing the Digital Britain report and its follow-up recommendations. This was agreed at the time.
“Lord Carter will present his report to Cabinet on Tuesday before it is published later next week. He will then put in place a detailed implementation plan before the summer recess. We can confirm that he will step down at summer recess with the completion of his work, as originally intended and with the full agreement of the Prime Minister.”
UPDATE – End.
Industry experts have advanced the idea that Lord Carter may move to take up the role of chief exec of ITV, when Michael Grade leaves.
Lord Carter unsuccessfully ran for the ITV role three years ago and previously ran OfCom.
Given the Digital Britain Report is designed to guide the development of digital media, it would appear somewhat of a compromise to allow Lord Carter to move to a media company that is needing to focus itself on its digital future – or die.
In the eyes of many it will place an unneeded question mark over the Report, which some view as being skewed toward the interests of the Media companies, over the individual.
The Times has suggested that another area of controversy is that he’s been privy commercially sensitive information about the BBC and Channel 4, direct competition of ITV.