Television sports presenter Gary Newbon has come on as “sub” for Lord Digby Jones, replacing the former minister for UK Trade & Industry as chairman of a city centre debate to discuss the future location of Channel 4.
The debate, which will consider whether or not Birmingham’s creative talent pool and thriving business community will be incentive enough to attract the broadcaster to the city, is to take place on 27 September (6 pm – 8.30 pm) at Fazeley Studios, Digbeth.
It is being sponsored by Bareface, the award-winning Birmingham-based digital marketing and web design agency.
A decision on the relocation of Channel 4 is expected to be announced a few days after the debate.
Jo Jeffries, director at creative agency 7LOCO, who is organising the free-to-event in association with Birmingham Press Club, said: “Sadly, Lord Digby Jones has had to withdraw from his role as chairman. However, we are delighted that Gary Newbon, one of the region’s best-known journalists and presenters, is able to take his place.”
Press Club chairman Llewela Bailey said: “There is a huge talent pool in the city, not just in broadcasting but right across the broad spectrum of media, the arts and the creative sector. We want to find out from people just what they think about the potential relocation – and listen to their ideas, initiatives and what they think we can offer Channel 4 if it chooses Birmingham rather than Manchester or Leeds as its new base.”
The panel will include Marc Reeves, editor of the Birmingham Mail and editor-in-chief of Reachplc’s publications in the West Midlands; Oli Hills, a social media guru and managing director of news website Birmingham Updates; Chris James, group head of news and production at MADE TV, Sarah Jones, former ITV Central journalist and now head of the School of Media at Birmingham City University and Indi Deol, advertising director of DESIblitz, the award-winning Birmingham-based web magazine aimed primarily at British Asians.