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News Round Up: BBC, Parliament, News Year's Eve texts, Ofcom, BSkyB

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By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

December 30, 2010 | 4 min read

This morning's news round up of media, marketing and technology news doing the rounds at the moment.

Parliament should have say in chair of BBC Trust, says Labour frontbencher

Conservative party hostility for the BBC is so great that Parliament should be given a formal say in the appointment of the next chairman of the corporation, says Labour's shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis. The Guardian reports that Lewis wrote to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, arguing that the all-party culture media and sport select committee could help depoliticise the process by publicly interviewing the final shortlist of two candidates in February. Lewis claims that the Conservatives hold an "ideological contempt" for the BBC and said it was "essential the new chairman of the BBC Trust is a strong voice for the licence fee payer and totally committed to protecting the BBC's independence".

SMS still king for New Year revellers

A kiss at midnight on New Year's Eve is no longer enough for partygoers celebrating the turn of the year, with millions now sending text messages as well. The Belfast Telegraph reports that a bumper number of texts are expected to be sent on Friday night, with over 25% more than last year predicted by mobile phone network Orange. The group said it had seen an increase in SMS traffic on December 31 for the past two years, with a record 159 million messages likely to be fired off by customers during this year's celebrations.

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Ofcom to demand further inquiry of Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB buyout

The Guardian reports that media regulator Ofcom is expected to recommend that Rupert Murdoch's £8bn buyout of BSkyB should be subject to a further six-month long inquiry by the Competition Commission. On Friday, Ofcom will submit their report into whether News Corporation's buyout of Sky will damage media plurality in the UK. Critics, including an unlikely alliance of Fleet Street owners, including the companies behind the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror and the Guardian – argue that by controlling 100% of BskyB, Rupert Murdoch will have a disproportionate influence over British media .

27 December second busiest day of the year in online retail

Online analysts Hitwise have released figures showing that 27 December was officially the second biggest online retail day of 2010 behind Boxing Day. The company estimates that UK Internet visits to online retailers on 27 December were 4.5% higher this year than the same day last year. On 28 December traffic levels returned to normal in line with last year, but this has been a record year for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and 27 December in terms of online traffic to retailers. The biggest growth between 27 December and Boxing Day was on eBay, while the biggest winners of the 27 December traffic were John Lewis, Tesco and Groupon.

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