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Waitrose chief Mark Price lined up as Channel 4's interim chair

Waitrose chief executive, Mark Price, is being lined up as interim chairman of Channel 4 after Lord Burns departs in January.

Channel 4 and Ofcom have reportedly held discussions on the possibility of appointing Price, who is currently the deputy chairman of Channel 4, to the position.

Applications for the position close next month and Ofcom have stated that they intend to fill the role before the departure of Lord Burns on 27 January. The discussions are a precautionary measure in case the application process takes longer than expected.

Price, who was appointed to Channel 4’s board in 2010, is an active businessman and so would be unlikely to take on the role full-time which calls for someone who can “guide the organisation through a period of substantial change in the sector”. As well as his role as chief executive at Waitrose he is also the deputy chairman of the John Lewis Partnership having risen up through the ranks of the company which he joined in 1982 as a graduate trainee.

Ofcom had recommended that Burns stay on for another year after his term ended however the idea was rejected by ministers who are now considering a £1bn privatisation of the the state-owned broadcaster.

Price's involvement with Channel 4 deepened last year as the result of a partnership between the two companies which saw a live Saturday morning lifestyle and cookery programme, entitled Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose, commissoned by Channel 4.

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