Investment banker appointed BBC Trustee

Pubcaster under pressure over license fee

LONDON -- As the BBC faces a historic battle to protect control of the license fee, the government announced Friday that it has appointed investment banker and media specialist Anthony Fry to a post on the pubcaster’s oversight committee, the BBC Trust.

Fry, a banking veteran with more than 30 years experience, has advised such groups as the BBC, BSkyB and Vivendi on investment and strategy and has held senior positions at Rothschilds, Credit Suisse First Boston and Lehman Brothers. He is currently senior managing director at boutique investment bank Evercore Partners, and will bring “expert knowledge” of commercial media markets to the board at a time when the pubcaster faces serious commercial challenges, Trust chairman Michael Lyons said.

“The Trust needs to understand the commercial sectors in which the BBC operates and the full impact of its activities. Anthony Fry will make a strong contribution to our work,” Lyons said.

Fry, who takes up two-days-a-week the post Nov. 1, joins the Trust at a time when the BBC faces pressure to use license fee cash to shore up other public service broadcasters, as well as a possible fight to prevent commercial arm BBC Worldwide being handed to Channel 4.

"I hope that my long and ongoing experience advising media corporations around the world will provide a valuable and different perspective to the BBC Trust,” Fry said.