Channel 4 looks to crisis support after BB race row

Under-fire broadcaster Channel 4 looks likely to bring in crisis and corporate agency advice in the wake of the Celebrity Big Brother race row.

Head of press Matt Baker told PRWeek that 2007 was a ‘key year’ for the broadcaster and he was ‘looking at’ hiring external support ‘to correct any damage done to the channel in the eyes of stakeholders’.

Ofcom will publish the results of a review into C4’s funding in March. The channel’s opponents have already used the CBB row to call for an end to any form of state support for the publicly owned corporation. This year is also the broadcaster’s 25th anniversary.

Baker said he was considering setting up a ‘standing’ crisis management function – ­either an individual, team or agency.

Communications for the current saga – which erupted after CBB contestant Jade Goody was accused of racism and bullying towards Indian actress Shilpa Shetty – was handled in-house. C4 drew flak for not issuing an immediate apology for Goody’s behaviour, and for the poor media tactics of senior executives.

Baker said the channel was defined by its ‘ability to provoke controversy, stir things up and take risks’.

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