Your Noon Briefing: Review of public service broadcasting, Peter Ranscombe, etc

BEGINS an announcement from the broadcasting regulators, Ofcom: “Ofcom has today published a consultation on its third review of public service broadcasting.

“Today’s review examines how the BBC, ITV, STV, UTV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C have fulfilled the purposes of public service broadcasting (PSB) since Ofcom’s 2008 review.

“Ofcom’s initial view is that public service broadcasting is performing well despite falls in both programme spend and viewing.

“In research published today, audiences told Ofcom that PSB is meeting their needs with 77 per cent of viewers satisfied with the PSB channels, up from 69 per cent in 2008.

“Viewers value the PSB purposes highly and are increasingly taking advantage of high definition and on-demand programmes and watching TV across a range of devices.

“Viewing to the main PSB channels accounted for over half (51.1 per cent) of all TV viewing in the UK in 2013, although falling from 60.8 per cent in 2008. If the PSB’s ‘+1’ channels are taken into account, the combined viewing share of the PSBs was 58.7 per cent in 2013.

“Overall investment in original, first-run programmes from the PSB channels fell by 17.3 per cent between 2008 and 2013, to £2.41bn. However, the impact on range and quality of programmes is unclear as overall audience satisfaction remains high and the volume of new shows during peak time viewing increased by 1.1 per cent over the five years.”

Read more, here.

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BEGINS a media release posted on “A former Scotsman and Scottish Field journalist has swapped fact for fiction as he prepares to launch his debut novel on Wednesday night.

“Peter Ranscombe took the story of Burke and Hare – Scotland’s most notorious murderers – and asked what happened to Hare after Burke was hanged for their crimes.”

Read more, here.

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BEGINS an obituary in today’s Scotsman, about Kirkcaldy-born Arthur Johnson, who has died, aged 74: “Arthur Johnson was a much-
respected producer of many renowned Radio 3 programmes and became particularly associated with David Munrow’s defining show called Pied Piper.”

Read more, here.

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DIARIES published by Alan Cochrane, the Scotland editor of The Daily Telegraph, continue to come under scrutiny, including in yesterday’s Sunday Herald, by regular ‘diarist’, Alan Taylor.

Taylor wonders (here): “It’s as if he has been recruited by pointy-heided Union tubes, strapped into a suicide vest and ordered to blow up himself and everyone else at First Meenister’s Questions.”

On Friday, the diaries were robustly reviewed in the Edinburgh Evening News by former Scotsman editor, John McLellan – as noted, here.

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THE PPA Scotland awards on Thursday evening – including the naming of Shout as Scottish Magazine of the Year, as noted here – was the final engagement in the capacity of PPA Scotland chair for Alan Ramsay.

Ramsay – MD of corporate publishing company, Connect Communications – has been succeeded by the previous vice-chair, Neil Braidwood, head of fellow magazines outfit, Edinburgh-based CMYK.

The new vice-chair is Paul McNamee, editor of The Big Issue magazine.

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