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  1. Media Law
April 24, 2014

No Telegraph or Mail representatives on board of funding body for new IPSO press regulator

By Dominic Ponsford

The directors have been named for a body which will hold the purse strings and help decide appointments to new press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

The Regulatory Funding Company replaces the Press Standards Board of Finance which collected fees for the Press Complaints Commission.

The RFC will help choose the five industry representatives on the 12-person IPSO board and on the 12-strong complaints committee.

The Guardian has previously expressed concern that IPSO will be controlled by the big-three national press owners: Telegraph Media Group, the Mail titles and News UK.

But only News UK has a member on the new IPSO board.

The members of the RFC board (representing various industry sectors) are as follows:

Magazines: Albert Read, deputy managing eirector, Conde Nast Publications

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Regional press: Belfast Telegraph editor Michael Gilson, Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield, Archant group finance director Brian McCarthy and DC Thomson chief executive Ellis Watson.

National press: Northern and Shell group editorial director Paul Ashford, News UK chief financial officer Christopher Longcroft and Trinity Mirror group legal director Paul Vickers.

It is notable that Richard Desmond’s Northern and Shell group has a member on the RFC board. His group, which includes the Express titles, has boycotted the PCC for several years because Desmond said he saw it as an “old boys’ club”.

Every publisher which has signed up to IPSO was invited to make nominations for the RFC board. The members were chosen by Vickers, who was appointed as the first director of the RFC and who has chaired the Industry Implementation Group which has been setting up IPSO.

The first chairman of IPSO is set to be announced “imminently” according to Vickers who said the first job of the RFC will be to work with this person to agree a budget for IPSO and raise funding from the press industry.

He said: “I am very pleased that the industry has shown its support for the new system by nominating a group of directors with such deep experience and complementary skills. The building blocks for the new self-regulatory system are fitting into place."

The Pressbof board (which the RFC replaces) was as follows:

  • Telegraph executive director Lord Black of Brentwood (Chairman)
  • CN Group chief executive Robin Burgess OBE
  • Newspaper Society director David Newell
  • Conde Nast director Nicholas Coleridge CBE
  • PPA director Barry McIlheney
  • Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre
  • Herald and Times group managing director Tim Blott
  • Trinity Mirror group legal director Paul Vickers.

IPSO has yet to reveal how many publishers have signed up to it. All national newspaper publishers – with the exception of the Independent titles, Guardian News and Media and the Financial Times – have signed up to IPSO.

The FT revealed last week that it will be regulating itself from now on. The Guardian and Independent are expected to announce whether they will join IPSO after the first chairman of the regulator has been announced.

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