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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Watchdog Ofcom appoints new chief
Ed Richards
Richards has been on the Ofcom board since the regulator was created
Ed Richards, a former advisor to Tony Blair, has been named as the new chief executive of media watchdog Ofcom.

Mr Richards, who has been Ofcom's chief executive officer since 2005, said he was looking forward to his new role.

"This is a fascinating job in a fascinating and fast changing area... I am thoroughly looking forward to the challenges," he said.

Mr Richards replaces Stephen Carter, who became the regulator's first chief executive in 2003.

Mr Carter announced he would be stepping down earlier this year.

'Profound understanding'

Ofcom's chief executive is a public appointment made by the Ofcom board but must be approved by the trade and industry secretary and the secretary of state for culture, media and sport.

Mr Richards joined the Ofcom board in March 2003, at the time the regulator was being set up - it took over from previous media watchdogs including Oftel and the Independent Television Commission (ITC) later that year.

Prior to his Ofcom appointment, Mr Richards was the prime minister's senior advisor on media, telecoms, internet and e-government.

Other previous jobs include controller of corporate strategy at the BBC and a consultancy role at London Economics Ltd.

"Ed has played a critically important role in the establishment of Ofcom," said Chairman David Currie.

"He has a profound understanding of the markets we regulate and is ideally placed to lead the organisation into the future."

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