Scottish media chair exits for pol post

Chair resigns to become minister for business, industry

LONDON — Gus Macdonald has resigned as chairman of Scottish Media Group and has sold his shares in the company in order to become a minister in Tony Blair’s government.

The move, which also involves Macdonald becoming a life peer, has been greeted by a storm of political protest, with critics charging that Blair is circumventing the normal democratic process in a bid to curry favor with the Scottish media.

Macdonald has accepted the post of minister for business and industry in the Scottish Office. He will not join the House of Lords, the upper house of the British parliament, until the fall.

This is the latest twist in a career that has always mixed politics and the media. Macdonald made his name as a socialist firebrand when he was a union organizer in the Glasgow shipyards, but he then progressed into financial and political journalism, TV, current affairs and management.

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