View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
November 19, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:47am

Paul Dacre pulls out of Ofcom chair race and takes on ‘exciting new job in the private sector’

By William Turvill

Paul Dacre has pulled out of the running to become Ofcom’s next chairman and revealed he is taking on an “exciting new job in the private sector”.

The former Daily Mail editor, 73, was said to be the government’s preferred candidate to oversee the UK’s broadcast regulator.

After Dacre’s initial application for the job was rejected by an interview panel, Boris Johnson’s government advertised for the role again, allegedly to give him a second shot.

In a letter to Saturday’s edition of the Times newspaper, Dacre revealed he had chosen not to re-apply, and hit out at civil servants managing the process.

Click here to subscribe to Press Gazette’s must-read newsletters, Future of Media and Future of Media US

He wrote: “To anyone from the private sector, who, God forbid, has convictions, and is thinking of applying for a public appointment, I say the following: The civil service will control (and leak) everything; the process could take a year in which your life will be put on hold; and if you are possessed of an independent mind and are unassociated with the liberal/left, you will have more chance of winning the lottery than getting the job.”

Dacre questioned whether Ofcom’s current leadership would have the “wherewithal” to manage planned new regulations on technology firms without damaging freedom of expression.

“I wish Ofcom all the luck in the world as it faces the awesome challenge of trying to regulate the omnipotent, ruthless and, as we’ve learnt, amoral tech giants without damaging freedom of expression – a freedom I spent 28 years as an editor fighting for both publicly and privately with ministers.”

Content from our partners
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange
Journalism can be relentless: But overworking could be fatal

He said he would “die in a ditch to defend” the BBC, but added that the corporation needs to be “saved from both itself and the frighteningly well-resourced streaming giants”.

And Dacre, who left Mail publisher Associated Newspapers earlier this month (he was made editor-in-chief and chairman of Associated after he left the editor’s chair in 2018), also revealed he has found a new job.

“I’m taking up an exciting new job in the private sector that, in a climate that is increasingly hostile to business, struggles to create the wealth to pay for all those senior civil servants working from home so they can spend more time exercising on their Peloton bikes and polishing their political correctness, safe in the knowledge that it is they, not elected politicians, who really run this country.”

Picture credit: Murray Sanders/Associated Newspapers

Topics in this article : , , ,

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network