The future of ad-funded shows

12 Mar 2015
Advertisers are showing new interest in financing content, reports Steve Clarke

Sue Unerman, Jon Lewis, Sally Quick, John Nolan and Claire Beale
From left: Sue Unerman, Jon Lewis, Sally Quick, John Nolan and Claire Beale
Advertiser-funded TV shows are as old as the medium itself. It’s easy to forget that the term soap opera was originally coined to describe radio serials sponsored in the US by Procter & Gamble. In the 1950s and 1960s, many of the first televised soaps were paid for and produced by the company, too.

TV comedy stronger than ever?

12 Mar 2015
Pippa Shawley looks at what is making the comedy commissioners chuckle

Miranda (BBC Two)
Miranda (BBC Two)
The thing about comedy is that everybody is a comedy expert,” says Phil Clarke, Head of Comedy at Channel 4. “Everyone knows what makes them laugh.”

With comedies to be found everywhere, from the big broadcasters to YouTube and pay-television, the British consumer has never had it so good.

The BBC: don't take it for granted

12 Mar 2015
Lord Dobbs argues that, in an uncertain world, we need the BBC more than ever

Lord Dobbs, creator of the House of Cards series of novels, has mounted a passionate defence of the BBC as a global public service operator that is "arguably, the most important form of foreign aid we provide".

Delivering this year's RTS Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture, Lord Dobbs said that, in an era of VoD and social media, "public service broadcasting is challenged on all sides".

"New technologies and new platforms, the changing ownership of channels and production houses – and, of course, an endless battle with its budget" – were all threatening PSB.

Engineering a future for kids at the BBC

12 Mar 2015
Alice Webb has never made a kids’ show – yet her job is to preserve the BBC’s children’s services.

How did a trained civil engineer come to be appointed Director of BBC Children's? That is the question many people asked when BBC England Chief Operating Officer Alice Webb was named in January as the successor to Joe Godwin.

The role involves "being responsible for the overall direction and management of all the BBC's services for children". This includes CBBC and its stable mate for viewers under six, CBeebies, plus their websites and apps.

BBC Children's spends around £94m a year, about £80m of which goes on original content.

BT TV’s power team

12 Mar 2015
Kate Bulkley profiles the top trio at BT who are tweaking Sky’s tail and leading the telco’s TV strategy

Gavin Patterson
Gavin Patterson
When the auction for Premier League football rights reached its climax last month a tremor passed through the UK television business, not to mention the City.

Barbara Govan, Our Friend in the North

12 Mar 2015
Advances in sexual equality in broadcasting are superficial, suggests Barbara Govan

Barbara GovanWhat are the prospects in 2015 for a young person entering the world of broadcast journalism? The possibility of promotion, prizes, pensions even, look pretty encouraging.

That is, if you are a man. But, for women – and they now form the majority of people joining the industry – there has been an embarrassing lack of progress towards equality. Men still dominate, especially at the top.

Rona Fairhead on making the BBC fit for purpose

12 Mar 2015
Rona Fairhead lays out the BBC Trust’s role in making the BBC fit for purpose

Rona Fairhead speaking to the Royal Television SocietyLike almost everyone in this room, I grew up with the BBC. As a child, it was a weekly treat to have supper watching Doctor Who and stay up late for Match of the Day on a Saturday evening.

John Ryley on Sky News: the Next Generation

12 Mar 2015
Last month, Sky News was again named RTS News Channel of the Year. Andrew Billen unlocks why station chief John Ryley outpaces his rivals

John Ryley
John Ryley
At 2:15pm on 9 January, two days after the Charlie Hebdo murders, news was breaking that a terrorist was holding hostages in a Jewish supermarket in Paris. In France, Sky News – named News Channel of the Year once again by the RTS last month – was at its best: making sense of a developing story with an experienced team of reporters led by its star presenters, Kay Burley and Jeremy Thompson.

Fiona Stourton's TV Diary

12 Mar 2015
In a week when Fiona Stourton feels mixed emotions at the RTS Television Journalism Awards, one thing keeps stressing her out – moving office

The three most stressful events in life are supposed to be divorce, bereavement and moving house. I'd like to add a fourth – moving offices, my challenge of the moment.

The property agents' mantra, "The price is only so high because of the Chinese", has convinced me they are all working for UKIP.

In the meantime, I'm unashamedly using this publication to appeal for 750m2 (cheap) for our three lovely production companies, Blakeway, Brook Lapping and Films of Record.

March 2015

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