Welsh indie sector calls on Rona Fairhead for clarification on future of S4C regulation

6 March 2015


TAC Statement – Wednesday 4th March 2015

TAC, the trade body for welsh independent TV production sector, today responded to the speech by BBC Trust Chair Rona Fairhead, in which she outlined her vision for the future regulation of the BBC.

Fairhead said that there were ‘blurred lines’ between the Trust and the Corporation, and that these would only be made clearer through greater separation of the two.

She therefore called for a unitary board of the BBC, and a clearly separated regulator to assess its performance against specific criteria.

Mrs Fairhead’s proposal very much focussed on the regulation of the BBC, but commenting on the speech TAC Chair Iestyn Garlick said:

“This overlooks the fact that the BBC Trust has some oversight of another broadcaster, as S4C receives some funding from the TV Licence Fee.”

“The recent Culture, Media & Sport Committee report on the BBC, which Mrs Fairhead praised, clearly stated that S4C should remain editorially and managerially independent.”

“The BBC Trust may feel it is a minor detail but these new proposals have profound implications for the ability of S4C to determine its own direction going forward, and we will be writing to Mrs Fairhead to ask where she sees S4C fitting into this new arrangement.”

He added: “Ultimately, to prevent this kind of treatment of S4C as an afterthought, TAC’s proposal is that S4C reverts to being directly publicly funded, and at a higher level than present, in order that its regulation can once again be entirely separate from that of the BBC.”

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