Your Noon Briefing: Sturgeon’s plan for Scots broadcasting, Sunday Herald, etc

WIDELY reported, including on the front pages of both The Scotsman and The Herald: First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is to call for a dedicated mainstream TV channel for Scotland and for BBC Radio Scotland to launch a new channel.

Begins The Herald (here): “Nicola Sturgeon will today warn her government can be an ally to the BBC in the upcoming review of its governing Charter – but only if the broadcaster proposes radical reform to how it operates in Scotland.

“The First Minister will call [at the Edinburgh International Television Festival] for the creation of new radio and television channels based in Scotland and for a new federal structure involving the four parts of the UK.”

Her case is outlined in a media release issued by the Scottish Government.

It starts: “The Charter renewal process is an opportunity for a bold and ambitious BBC that better reflects the rich and varied political and social realities in the UK, First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, will tell an audience at the Edinburgh Television Festival on Thursday.

“Delivering the Alternative MacTaggart lecture at the EICC, the First Minister will say that broadcasters, and in particular the BBC, are yet to catch up with the consequences of devolution, with radical reform required to maintain the trust of people in Scotland.

“Ms Sturgeon will use her key note address to call for consensus on reform and say that the current financial landscape should not be a barrier to the BBC doing things differently as she sets out a series of proposed reforms that the charter renewal process should consider:

* The renewed charter should see the BBC move to a federal structure, with separate governance boards for each of the home nations sitting under a UK-wide board.

* A second English language channel should be introduced on BBC Radio Scotland to provide a better variety of programmes for the radio audience in Scotland.

* A dedicated mainstream television channel should be established in Scotland, helping the independent production sector and improving the range of content for Scottish audiences.”

The Scotsman’s take on story starts (here): “Nicola Sturgeon is to call for radical reform of the BBC including the creation of a new distinctly Scottish television channel and a second Scottish radio station.

“The First Minister will argue in a speech tonight that widespread change is needed because the Corporation is failing to reflect changes that have taken place in the UK as a result of devolution and since the [Scots independence] referendum.”

The BBC starts its take (here) on the story, thus: “Nicola Sturgeon will call for the BBC in Scotland to have more power, more money and its own TV channel, when she addresses the Edinburgh TV Festival.

“Scotland’s First Minister will call for ‘bold and ambitious’ reforms to the way the Corporation operates.”

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BEGINS the trade website, “The Sunday Herald was the only weekly title audited by ABC to grow its sale in the first half of this year, again apparently benefiting from its support for Scottish nationalism.

“The Newsquest title appears to have continued to reap the benefits of its support for the SNP – which saw it boost sales at the time of last year’s independence referendum. It was the only newspaper title to back Scottish independence.

The Herald was up 15.5 per cent year on year, but dropped down 3,000 copies compared to the last six months of 2014.”

Read more, here.

And the story is also picked up – here – by The Guardian.

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BEGINS the website, “The Radio Production Awards (RPAs), which recognise and celebrate the creative skills of individual producers, are now open for entries.

“In a year without the Radio Academy Awards, these are the only craft awards for radio that are open to the entire UK industry.”

Read more, here.

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BROADCASTING regulators, Ofcom, has announced the appointment of Iain Stephen Morrison to the board of MG ALBA, the body responsible for funding Gaelic-language TV programmes in Scotland.

Says Ofcom: “Iain Stephen has been appointed for a four-year term, effective from 10 August 2015.

“[He] was nominated for appointment by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the principal public body in Scotland responsible for promoting Gaelic development and providing advice to Scottish Ministers on Gaelic issues.

“Mr Morrison is currently editor of the local community newspaper, Am Pàipear, based on the Isle of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides.

“Am Pàipear has won two awards at the Highlands and Islands Media Awards 2015, as Community Newspaper of the Year and for its best use of digital media.

“Mr Morrison has also worked as a broadcast journalist for the BBC and as researcher for the independent company, MacTV.”

Read more, here.

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TODAY at the Edinburgh Television Festival… as well as First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, giving the ‘Alternative MacTaggart Lecture’, Scots tennis coach (and Strictly Come Dancing star) Judy Murray is taking part in an ‘Ed Talk’.

And a networking lunch, being hosted by Creative Scotland’s Natalie Usher (director of Screen), will “hear about the achievements and ambitions of the television sector in Scotland”.

Check out today’s programme, here.

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A FESTIVAL of marketing taking place tomorrow in Edinburgh was yesterday previewed in The Scotsman – by a director of the Marketing Society.

Graeme Atha was writing about Amplify, in the Friends of The Scotsman section of the newspaper.


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COMEDY writer and TV producer, Scot, Armando Iannucci, yesterday evening gave the keynote MacTaggart Lecture speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival – which began yesterday and continues until tomorrow.

A transcript of his speech can be found here, on

And various reports of his speech can be found, for instance here (The Scotsman), here (The Herald), here (The Guardian) and here (Broadcast).

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BEGINS an announcement issued by Fife-based O’Leary PR: “Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland has selected O’Leary PR as its media relations agency, to raise the profile of the not-for-profit organisation.

“Established in 1994, HIT Scotland works to inspire and support the hospitality industry by funding exceptional training experiences for individuals working in the sector. In this time, HIT Scotland has awarded over 1,000 emerging talent scholarships and 10,000 bursaries.”

Read more, here.

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MAGAZINE publishers are being invited to showcase their work at a Scots festival celebrating the sector.

Some 300 people are expected to attend Magfest, being run by the Professional Publishers Association (Scotland) and taking place on the 18th of next month.

The organisers have identified six FAQs:

* Is there a cost? No

* Do you need to be a PPA member? No

* Do you need to attend Magfest? You’d be crazy not to, but No

* Does it have to be a newsstand or consumer title? No

* Does my wee magazine with a circulation of 12 copies still count? Yes

* I publish a magazine elsewhere, but to a Scottish audience – can I send my magazines? Yes

For more information, email here.

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SCOTS entries, here, in an article on, that begins: “UK regional newspaper web traffic growth appeared to more than cancel out print readership decline in the first half of this year.

“According to ABC, UK regional newspaper websites grew their daily total of unique browsers (difference devices) by an average of 32.8 per cent, year-on-year.”

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BEGINS the publisher of The Scottish Sun, The Times Scotland and The Sunday Times Scotland: “The latest figures from the National Readership Survey show News UK’s Scottish titles are performing impressively across the market.

“For the first time since December 2012, The Scottish Sun is the undisputed number one daily newspaper in Scotland, selling 220,893 copies each day and read by 541,000 adults daily (Source: ABC six-monthly Feb-July ’15).”

Continues the News UK announcement, which can be found here: “The National Readership Survey results also show that The Scottish Sun has continued to grow its affluent ABC1 audience, with an eight per cent growth in the ABC1 audience category over the last 12 months.

“Continuing the trend, The Times Scotland has grown its readership by 54 per cent, year-on-year, on the back of seven successive months of Scottish circulation increases, and is reaching 60,000 adults every day. The figures also show that nine out of ten readers of The Times Scotland fall in the affluent ABC1 social category.

“The Sunday Times in Scotland has grown readership by ten per cent, year-on-year, and now reaches 129,000 adults each Sunday. It is the leader in the quality Sunday newspaper market.

“The gap between The Sunday Times and its rivals is expected to grow even further, with the appointment of Mark Palmer in an expanded sports department and Michael Glackin to cover Scottish business news. This will be of interest to the 86,000 directors, senior managers and professionals who read the paper each week.”

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SAYS STV, in an announcement issued today: “STV Productions and GroupM Entertainment have joined forces to create a strategic development partnership that will see the two companies co-invest, co-develop and co-produce ideas across a broad range of genres.

“The innovative deal involves substantial development investment from both companies and has been shaped to capitalise on the strengths of each business.

“The focus will be on the creation of new entertainment, factual and drama projects which will be targeted at major broadcasters in the UK and internationally.

“The companies will work together internationally, as well as with third party distributors, to exploit ideas developed under this deal.”

Read more, here.

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