EDITORIAL: Challenges ahead for BBC PA boss

As John Dickie settles into his plush new office, the BBC's new head of PA can reflect on having landed one of the plum jobs in UK public affairs. The Communications Bill and the creation of Ofcom under D-G Stephen Carter will provide him with early contact-building projects.

But in the longer term, the PR battle to save the licence fee - up for renewal in 2006 - will be bloody and public. Rival broadcasters will campaign hard to do away with what they see as a regressive tax, creating a lop-sided playing field.

In recent years commercial broadcasters have established a tradition of solidarity in their lobbying. Their campaign against a digital license fee supplement was a textbook case of the sort of well-run PR and public affairs drive Dickie and his colleagues will now be up against.

The salary and kudos of such a role are not to be sniffed at, but if he can overcome the challenges ahead, he will justify every last perk.

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