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Elan Closs Stephens appointed to S4C Authority

12/07/2012

JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE S4C AUTHORITY AND THE BBC TRUST

The BBC Trust and S4C today welcomed the appointment of Elan Closs Stephens to the S4C Authority.

BBC National Trustee for Wales, Emeritus Professor Stephens, who has been appointed by the Department for Culture Media and Sport, takes up the post with immediate effect and will attend her first meeting of the authority today (Thursday).

The appointment of the BBC Trustee for Wales to the Authority stems from an agreement between the S4C Authority, the BBC Trust and the DCMS on the future funding, governance and accountability of S4C until 2017.

Professor Stephens’ role will be to be a channel of communication between the BBC Trust and S4C Authority to ensure that S4C’s editorial and managerial independence is protected, and to safeguard appropriate accountability to the BBC Trust for licence fee funding spent by the channel.

Professor Stephens said: “I am delighted to return to the S4C Authority. My number one priority is to help to make sure that S4C is providing the best possible television service for Welsh speakers, and to safeguard the editorial independence of S4C, while ensuring licence fee money is spent wisely. I am determined that a closer working relationship between BBC Wales and S4C will lead to savings being reinvested into high quality programmes for the benefit of audiences.

“I hope this partnership also leads to enthusing and supporting the creativity of the media sector in Wales.”

Huw Jones, Chair of the S4C Authority said: “I welcome Elan Closs Stephens’ appointment as a member of the S4C Authority. I very much look forward to the vital contribution Elan will make to the process of creating an effective new partnership between S4C and the BBC.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

1. On 20 October 2010, the BBC agreed with the Government a new licence fee settlement for the remainder of the Charter period to 2016/17: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/our_work/strategy/licence_fee/2010_settlement.html?lang=cy

This included a new partnership and funding model for S4C that will see the following licence fee contributions from the BBC to S4C - £76.3m (2013/14), £76m (2014/15), £75.25m (2015/16) and £74.5m (2016/17).

2. A career academic, since 1976 Elan Closs Stephens has developed the University of Aberystwyth’s reputation as a centre of excellence for communications and the creative industries. Alongside her academic career, Dr Closs Stephens has enormous experience in policy and regulation through her roles on the Welsh Broadcasting Council and as a former Chair of S4C. A native Welsh speaker who grew up in north Wales, Elan has a deep understanding of the concerns of licence fee payers, alongside her many years of experience in Welsh broadcasting. Her full biography can be read here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/who_we_are/trustees/elan_closs_stephens.html

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