Attempting to draw a line under the management crisis at Welsh-language broadcaster S4C, the UKgovernment has selected Huw Jones as its preferred candidate for appointment to the role of Chairman.
In a move designed to indicate the department’s recognition of the importance of the role, theUK’s Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt has invited theUKgovernment’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and the Welsh Affairs Select Committee to hold a pre-appointment scrutiny hearing with the former S4C chief executive on 24 May.
The Welsh language channel has been in a state of turmoil for several months following the resignation of former chief John Walter Jones over a series of issues most notably the recentUKbroadcasting comprehensive spending review whereby S4C’s funding was effectively handed to the BBC.
As reported in RapidTV News, John Walter Jones described the cuts and the move to the BBC showing contempt for the Welsh nation and an affront to democracy. For good measure, Jones warned that the proposed cutbacks to S4C’s former £102 million of UK-government funding would endanger its ability to meet its fundamental broadcasting requirements.
Understandably, The UK government is keen is seek a rapprochement with the channel in the form of the chief executive who, in addition to having been CEO from 1994 to 2005, also chaired its commercial subsidiary and was a Director of SDN, the digital terrestrial television licence holder. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and an Honorary Fellow of theUniversity ofWales, Aberystwyth.