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DCMS seeks further reassurance on Sky News

8 October 2018

Jeremy Wright looks to Comcast for reassurances on editorial independence of Sky News

Jeremy Wright the minister for the department digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) will be seeking further reassurance from Comcast about the future of Sky News.

The minister, who was appointed in July 2018, told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge that he is talking to Comcast for reassurances about editorial independence and the future of the news channel.

“Sky News is a massive asset and so I don’t expect that Comcast are going to want to change the way in which Sky News operates but in any event, I’ve left them in no doubt at all about the importance of editorial independence in Sky News and what we expect to see, not just over the immediate period following the changes to corporate ownership but in the longer term”, he said on Sunday.

He highlighted that the American company which recently won the takeover bid to run Sky has committed to certain undertakings in relation to Sky News including committing to the service in the long term and to editorial independence.

Comcast outbid Fox on 23 September with a bid of £17.28 a share, valuing the company at £30.6bn. The bidding process went through a rare takeover panel process as a result of the previous offers being made by Sky and Fox not being accepted.

As part of the takeover panel process Comcast made assurances about the future of Sky News as “post offer undertakings", rather than directly to the Secretary of State.

DCMS’ original assessment of the Comcast bid found no issues of media diversity.

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