RTL, the Germany-based owners of Channel Five, has offered to set up a government-appointed editorial board as part of merger plan with Channel 4. Five’s chief executive, Dawn Airey, told The Guardian that the independent editorial board would monitor the output of both channels if the two broadcasters were allowed to merge. The board would ensure the new group’s programmes met strict quotas on the quantity and quality of its public service programming.
A combined Channel 4 and Five would expand its remit and produce more news and current affairs shows, she said. Executives from Five who have been pursuing a merger with Channel 4 for months.
Airey said RTL would agree to cap the amount of money it took out of Channel Five, and set up a fund to protect its public service broadcasting output, which would be ring-fenced and used to meet those commitments if the economic environment deteriorated.