On Wednesday, James Harding spoke to a lively MGGB audience and gave a compelling account of
the state of the world, together with his recipe for fixing it. He ranged from the need for a written UK
constitution to the internet and the concept of “public service platforms”. James also explained the
crucial role that the type of considered, inclusive journalism championed by Tortoise has to play in
re-shaping the agenda and engaging the public. The questions kept on coming.
I announced on Wednesday that the Club’s Chair for 2019/20 will be Dr. Kerris Bright, Chief
Customer Officer at the BBC. I’m certain you’ll want to join with me in offering your congratulations
and support. She is already working on an impressive speaker line-up and I’m sure you’ll all be
delighted to open up your black books as she looks to fill the schedule.
So, on to last regular dinner on July 3rd. Dame Carolyn McCall, MGGB member and Chief Executive of
ITV is to be our speaker. Current trading is tough, with continued Brexit uncertainty suppressing ad
spend, with regulatory threats and with big audiences last year to lap over the summer. Then there
are the structural shifts in the market for younger viewers, as subscription video-on-demand
captures an ever-increasing share of 16-34 year olds and as YouTube advances among the 5-15s. ITV
has big investment programmes ahead, in its own partnership with the BBC for the subscription
funded “Britbox” and in catching up on data-driven, targeted advertising. Carolyn’s account of how
ITV is making headway in the face of these hugely disruptive forces will be unmissable. Book here or
write to Clare.
Finally, as most of you will know, at our special dinner on Wednesday, 17th July the Prime Minister
will be our guest speaker. It is already a sell-out and Clare is operating a wait list. For security
reasons, the Central London venue will be announced much closer to the date.
I look forward to another eventful month and to seeing you all at Claridges on July 3rd and again on
July 17th, as my season as your Chair draws towards a close.