Sky establishes editorial board for Sky News | Major Businesses | Business
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Honouring the commitment it made to address a potential regulatory deal breaker during its protracted acquisition by Comcast, pay-TV provider Sky has today entered commitments to guarantee the continued operation and long-term funding of an editorially independent Sky News.

skynews 12sep2017The long-term commitments with Comcast Corporation are legally binding and extend the post-offer undertakings given by Sky and the US cable giant in May 2018. Namely this was a commitment to maintaining inflation-adjusted funding in Sky News, to maintain Sky’s HQ in Osterley and not to acquire a UK newspaper, for a period of five years, as well as to establish the Sky News Board within three months of 9 October 2018.

Moreover, by the commitments just signed, given by way of Deed Poll, Sky and Comcast have extended their commitment to maintaining Sky News funding to ten years. They have also established the Sky News Board, with oversight of the continued editorial independence of Sky News, Sky News’ compliance with the Sky News Editorial Guidelines, and the long-term funding commitment.

The members of the Sky News Board are: Nigel Baker, formerly vice president of business operations for the Associated Press and a journalist with more than 40 years’ experience including senior roles at ITN and Reuters in the 1980s/90s, who will act as chairman; Sue Inglish, who chairs the disasters emergency committee and is a former head of BBC political programmes and former deputy editor of Channel Four News; Chris Banatvala, an independent media consultant specialising in regulation and policy; former ITV journalist Mark Astaire, chairman of corporate broking of Barclays plc.

Each member satisfies the independence criteria set out in the Deed Poll, having UK media experience and independence from Comcast. Sky and Comcast undertake to maintain and observe the Sky News editorial guidelines and have made a number of enhancements to them to further preserve the editorial independence of Sky News. This will see the head of Sky News retain complete editorial control over all news output, and instructions to editorial staff are to come only from the head of Sky News and his authorised delegate. Any attempts to influence the selection or running of news stories or the political comment and opinion to be broadcast on Sky News, are to be escalated by the head of Sky News, to the Sky News board.

“We have invested in Sky News since it launched nearly thirty years ago, and we are delighted that Comcast has joined us in extending its commitments, which will secure the future of Sky News for the next ten years” commented Sky Group CEO Jeremy Darroch. Head of Sky News John Ryley added :“Sky’s belief in Sky News has enabled us to build an outstanding record of world class reporting. This long-term funding commitment ensures that we can continue to invest in quality journalism and strengthen our position as an independent, trusted news source.”