What Was the Year That Was: Paul Hughes, director of channels, STV Glasgow and Edinburgh

GOOD year, bad year? With 2014 drawing to a close, we ask Paul Hughes, director of channels, STV Glasgow and Edinburgh: ‘How has it been for you?’.

Briefly, what is it that you do?

I’m responsible for creative and editorial for Scotland’s local TV channels, STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh. We’re a small team, so my day-to-day work tends to be a mix of strategy and operations – i.e. you don’t just come up with the ideas, you get involved in every aspect of production as well.

Choose three words that sum up 2014 (so far), from a professional point of view.

Brave new world.

In 2013, what was your biggest ambition for 2014, and to what extent did you achieve it?

The goal was a successful launch for STV Glasgow. It was smooth and it’s been very well received by viewers and the industry, alike.

There have been heart-stopping moments on and off-screen but, overall, I’m incredibly proud of the way the team working on STV Glasgow has managed a project on the scale of launching a whole new TV channel.

How has 2014 (so far) been for you, personally?

It’s been pretty fast-paced as I’ve only been with STV just over 12 months; but it’s hard to remember a single year when I’ve achieved more, professionally. Personally, it has had an impact on time with my family but my wife (newsreader, Rachel McTavish) is well aware of the demands of the industry and very understanding.

The kids think it’s cooler than my last job, running the digital switchover for Scotland, so I appear to have a period of grace.

There are few opportunities to launch new TV channels, especially in Scotland, and the sacrifice feels worth it.

Any changes this year in technology, legislation, the economy, etc that have had a relatively significant impact on the business?

STV’s local channels are a new model for TV production in Scotland so everything seems to have a pioneering edge to it, from business models to production techniques. Many technologies that the industry has tinkered with for years are standard for our local channels.

Universal multi-skilling, DSLR cameras, mobile technologies like Dejero, and aiming for a truly multi-screen product in conjunction with our digital publishing team for the STV Glasgow app, is all a reality.

What are you looking forward to, in 2015 – personally and professionally?

Professionally, I’m launching STV Edinburgh next month. It’s the second local channel from STV and we’re currently in the bidding process for three more (Aberdeen, Ayr and Dundee).

Personally, I’m looking forward to a proper holiday and seeing an increase in the January sales report for my band’s Country ‘n’ Western album of Christmas carols, ‘Public House Orchestra – A Country Folk Christmas’ – available at all good online retailers now, folks!