Carter tops U.K. regulator

One of Ofcom's first tasks to be review of public service b'casting

LONDON — Stephen Carter, former topper of cabler company NTL, will be chief executive of Ofcom, Blighty’s new super-regulator for the media and telecom industries.

One of Ofcom’s first tasks will be a review of public service broadcasting ahead of the government’s own review of the BBC’s charter, which is up for renewal in 2006.

Ofcom chairman David Currie was keen to hire an exec with a business and/or economics background, as well as experience in both media and telecom. Before joining NTL, Carter was U.K. chief exec of ad agency J. Walter Thompson.

Ofcom brings together under one roof the Independent Television Commission, the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Radio Authority, the Radio-communications Agency and telecom watchdog Oftel. Carter now must hire execs to run the regulator’s five key departments.

Ofcom, which will have a staff of 1,100, must be up and running by fall, once the new Communications Bill has passed through Parliament.