Broadcasting debate – panelist biographies

On 24th October Leicester Exchanges will be debating the future of public service broadcasting. To find out more about the event at Savoy Place, and to book your tickets, view our previous post.

Joining us on the panel are:

Dawn Airey

Dawn Airey has held senior roles in all the commercial terrestrial broadcasters as well as BskyB. Her broadcasting career began as a management trainee for Central TV in 1985. In 1993 Dawn moved to the ITV Network Centre as Controller of Children’s and Daytime Programmes before moving to Channel 4 to become Controller of Arts and Entertainment. In 1996 she was appointed Director of Programmes for Channel Five and was promoted to Chief Executive in 2000. In 2003 Dawn was appointed Managing Director Sky Networks and was responsible for all of Sky’s wholly owned channels (excluding sport). In 2007 she joined ITV as Director of Global Content and in 2008 she became member of the Board of ITV. In October 2008, Dawn Airey returned to Five as CEO. She left the company in late 2010 and became President of CLT-UFA UK TV, part of the RTL Group, Europe’s leading entertainment network with 46 television channels and 29 radio stations in nine countries.

Dawn was awarded a Fellowship by the Royal Television Society in June 1998. She is a Vice-President of the RTS, a non-executive Director of Thomas Cook PLC, and Chair of the Grierson Trust and Chair of the National Youth Theatre.

David Wheeldon

David Wheeldon is BSkyB’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs. He looks after public policy and industry relations across all of Sky’s business areas including its linear TV channels, satellite platform, home communications products and mobile TV services. He is also Vice President of the Association of Commercial Television Europe, representing the interests of the commercial broadcasting sector in Europe with thirty-two member companies active in 34 European countries.  Prior to joining Sky in 2007, David had a similar role at the London Stock Exchange Group where he had responsibility for public policy affecting listed companies and the operations of the stock market.

Professor Peter Lunt

Professor Peter Lunt is Head of the department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester. Peter graduated from University College London is 1984 with a First Class Honours Degree in Psychology. He went on to study for a DPhil in Social Psychology at Oxford. Peter previously held academic posts at the University of Kent, University College London, and Brunel University. His research interests include media audiences, public participation in popular culture through talk shows and reality TV, the role of media regulation in developing media policy and public debate, consumption research on savings, debt and identity and the links between media and social theory. Peter has also secured sizable research grants from the European Commission, the Economic and Social Research Council and what was the Department for Trade and Industry. His most recent book is ‘Media Regulation’ (Sage, 2011) with Sonia Livingstone.

Peter Preston

Peter Preston is a columnist for the Guardian and the Observer. He was educated at St John’s College, Oxford, where he edited the student paper Cherwell. He joined The Guardian in 1963 and was editor for twenty years, from 1975 to 1995. Peter was a member of the Scott Trust from 1979 to 2003, Chairman of the International Press Institute from 1995 to 1997, and Chairman of the Association of British Press Editors. He has also written two books, Bess (1999) and The 51st State (1998). He continues to be a prolific columnist today.

About the event

Are financial pressures putting at risk the ability of broadcasters to deliver public service content? Should the problems of the commercially funded public broadcasters be left to the market to resolve? What does the future hold for public service broadcasting in an increasingly digital age?

These are just a few of the issues our panel and audience will be tackling on the night, along with questions from the floor. Make the most of this opportunity to debate this important subject with industry thought leaders.

The time, the place

Wednesday 24th October 2012. Savoy Place, 2 Savoy Place, London, WC2R 0BL.

  • Refreshments from 5.30pm.
  • Event starts at 6.00pm prompt, 7.30pm finish.
  • Drinks reception 7.30pm – 8.30pm.

Book your tickets now!


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