Channel 4’s Chief Executive has stood by the TV network and said that it was not left-leaning, despite the fact that it was being privatized by the Culture Secretary.

Channel 4, launched in 1982, is a Government-owned but commercially funded public service broadcaster, with a remit to broadcast ‘diverse, alternative and challenging programming that appeals to a younger audience’. 

To address Channel 4’s financial woes, earlier this year the Government proposed privatizing it.

Some argue that it was also due to the channel’s left-wing bias or alleged “woke” agenda.

The chief executive of Channel 4, Alex Mahon (pictured) has defended the television network, saying it isn't left-wing, as Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries considers privatising it

Alex Mahon, the chief executive of Channel 4 (pictured), has stood by it, saying that it’s not left-wing. Culture Secretary Nadine Dowries contemplates privatising it.

However, Channel 4’s chief executive Alex Mahon has come out to defend the network.

According to The Telegraph she stated she does not believe Channel 4 has left-leaning views and that it focuses more on younger viewers.

Mahon, who has headed the channel for four years and earned £991,000 in her role last year, told the paper: ‘Ultimately, we are an organisation that is set up to represent the underrepresented. It has always meant minorities. This has traditionally meant LGBT or minority ethnic communities.

“If you do this, you will always be accused as being liberal.” That is the way Channel 4 was always, and it is part of their natural makeup.

Tensions have existed between Channel 4’s Government and Channel 4 in the recent past. Channel 4 had replaced Boris Johnson as a block ice at a clime-change debate, after Johnson refused an invitation.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport launched a consultation on privatising Channel 4 earlier this year. Pictured: Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries

An earlier consultation was launched by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on privatizing Channel 4. Pictured is Nadine Dorries, Culture Secretary

And veteran newsreader Jon Snow allegedly chanted ‘f**k the Tories’ while at Glastonbury in 2017. 

Mahon stated that she believed the government was conducting legitimate consultations, and not based on any agenda focused solely on specific events or programs. 

Channel currently is funded entirely by its ads sales. It occasionally receives support from the production of original movies. 

And this year, Channel 4 is expected to see £1.2billion in turnover – a rise of 24 per cent on the previous record set in 2010.

And of this, the network’s profit is set to breach the £100million mark for the very first time. 

Mahon stated that any reductions that Channel 4 would need to make if it were privatized would be likely to affect work done by smaller regional production firms.

The Government wants to privatise Channel Four, whose programmes include its news show

Channel Four’s news program is being privatized by the Government.

It comes after a report by the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee which said that the Government should have waited to consult on the future of Channel 4 until they had set out a vision for public service broadcasting.

This November’s report reveals that the government did not “take the right approach” when it declared privatisation their preferred option.

Lord Gilbert, Chairman of the Committee, stated: “It’s difficult to come up with a conclusion on Channel 4’s ownership without understanding the future public-service broadcasting landscape.”

In The Future Of Channel 4 the report stated that the current debate over the future of TV broadcaster is a binary between privatisations and maintaining the status quo.

According to the report, “It should rather start by setting our ambitions for Channel 4 before considering what best can be done,”

What Channel 4 is and how it was created by Mrs Thatcher. It is now 100% taxpayer-owned

Channel 4 was established in 1982 to be the fourth British television station. Since its inception, it has been supported by sponsorship and advertising deals.

It was launched with an episode on Countdown by Carol Vorderman, Richard Whiteley, and is now well-known for its left-leaning coverage and programming for young people.

It is also home of the Great British Bake Off and known for its groundbreaking drama, most recently: It’s A Sin.   

Channel 4 is commercially supported. It raised revenues of £985million in 2019, but a pre-tax loss of £26million.

John Whittingdale (Media Minister) will oversee the process. He was a long-standing advocate for privatization of Channel 4 back in 1996. 

As it seeks new savings, selling Channel 4 might be viewed as an easy win by the Government.

Channel 4 has 100 percent ownership by the taxpayer. However, very few people are aware it is state-owned.

According to the committee, both the risks and the opportunities should be considered. Much will depend on whether the government is willing to safeguard Channel 4’s public services remit and contribution to creative industries in any possible sale.

According to reports, the committee was surprised that, in written and oral testimony, Channel 4 Corporation (C4C), when they were asked about potential benefits, as well as potential risks, ‘described only’ risks.

Lord Gilbert stated that he was grateful for Channel 4 and the Government’s sincerity when pursuing the best future possible for the brand. But, Channel 4’s board should not be afraid to explore all avenues of achieving its goals, even privatisation.

“Likewise, the government would not be remiss if it did not consider potential reforms that could make Channel 4 more viable without changing its ownership.

In the report it was stated that privatisation would bring about increased investments in programming, content partnerships, and technology via capital access. It will enable Channel 4 diversify its revenues and increase its sustainability, which will help them be internationally more ambitious.

According to the report, however, Channel 4 may not be able to access capital through privatisation.

This committee suggests that Channel 4 should strengthen its role in support of small, medium and diverse production companies. However, it must not be dominated by large established production companies.

Lord Gilbert said: “The Government must justify its decision to own Channel 4 in the context of a compelling and clear vision for public service broadcasting’.

White papers are documents designed to outline the Government’s plans for future legislation. They may also include an upcoming draft of a Bill.