23/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 12:56

S4C viewer complaints prompt authority concern

Category: Wales

Published: 22nd Mar 2012 19:27:08

Viewer complaints about changes to the S4C schedule have prompted concern from members of the Welsh language channel's authority.

The quality of the nightly series Heno was one of the key points of discussion at the authority's monthly meeting.

S4C's public funding is being cut by a quarter from £102m to £75m by 2015.

Chairman Huw Jones said there was sympathy with programme producers trying to increase audience appeal on reduced budgets.

The new programme schedule was introduced on 1 March, the day that Ian Jones took over as S4C chief executive.

On taking up the post, he pledged to reach out to a "lost audience" of viewers who found the programming and style of Welsh used by the station too formal.

But following complaints about schedule changes and programme quality, the issues were raised at a meeting on Thursday.

We have a fundamental obligation to ensure that our viewers' opinions - especially when they are as clear and consistent as they have been in the last few days - are heard and have an influence on what is seen on screen”

"The authority sympathises with producers and staff as they face the challenge of increasing the appeal of the service while also working with a budget which has been significantly reduced," Huw Jones said.

"But we have a fundamental obligation to ensure that our viewers' opinions - especially when they are as clear and consistent as they have been in the last few days - are heard and have an influence on what is seen on screen.

"We must protect the standard of the service.

"The chief executive has pledged to place the audience at the heart of the service and we welcome the positive steps he is taking in partnership with the production company Tinopolis, to ensure that Heno is a programme that will successfully contribute to S4C's objectives and the viewers' enjoyment."

The authority said it expected to see "positive changes" to the programme in the short term.

Another report regarding other aspects of the new schedule would be presented to its meeting in April.

Ron Jones, chief executive of Tinopolis, declined to comment on reported criticism by him of S4C's programme strategy in the Welsh language magazine Golwg.

The Welsh language channel is having to come to terms with a cut in public funding from £102m in 2011 to £75m in 2015, which will come in future from the BBC licence fee.

In November Wales's heritage minister Huw Lewis warned AMs that S4C viewers would see the effects of the budget cuts on their TV screens.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. S4C viewer complaints prompt authority concern [Online] (Updated 22nd Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1418113/S4C-viewer-complaints-prompt-authority-concern [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Electoral Commission warns of voter registration deadline

    An independent elections watchdog has warned there is only two weeks left for voters to register to be eligible to vote in the local government and European elections on 22 May.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Hull Truck theatre gets £400,000 bail-out

    The Hull Truck theatre has received £400,000 in emergency grants to help it out of financial crisis.
  • Energy switching numbers still low, says Ofgem

    Nearly two-thirds of people have never switched energy supplier, according to a survey for the energy regulator, Ofgem.
  • Eight renewable energy projects approved

    Eight major renewable energy projects, expected to support 8,500 jobs, have been given government approval.
  • Mortonhall baby ashes: Families 'stunned' over report move

    Parents of babies whose ashes were disposed of without their knowledge have said they were "stunned" to learn a report into the scandal was handed over last week.