BBC Cymru Wales Management Review

BBC Cymru Wales Management Review

BBC Cymru Wales Management Review 2013/14 Management Review 2013/14 – Wales The BBC belongs to the public. They own it, they love it, and they expe...

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BBC Cymru Wales Management Review 2013/14

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

The BBC belongs to the public. They own it, they love it, and they expect only the best from it. Every day we have to show we are worthy of that commitment. If you wish to find out more about the BBC’s year – including full financial statements and performance against other public commitments – then please visit

Contents 01 Director’s introduction 02 Two minute summary 04 Service performance 11 Looking ahead 13 Key priorities for next year 14 Contacts 15 Wales management

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Front cover Hinterland/Y Gwyll – broadcast on BBC One Wales, BBC Four and S4C Sourced from: Fiction Factory/S4C/ All3Media/Tinopolis Page 10 Sourced from: Chris Christodoulou

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Director’s introduction ‘‘This review shares both our successes and our challenges – and very often they are the two sides of the same coin.’’

Choosing a personal highlight from the last year is a pretty tall order. Is it the warmth and wit of The Call Centre, the global scale and success of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, the brooding beauty of Hinterland or that thrilling denouement to Sherlock? There have been many landmark moments to celebrate over the past 12 months, of which we are immensely proud, but there are also quieter successes that have given just as much pleasure. Take BBC Radio Wales’s editorial transformation over recent years – and its continued strong performance. Or the reinvention of our Welsh language news programme, Newyddion 9, with its sharper and bolder agenda. In both cases the ambition and commitment of the teams have been infectious and inspiring. This review shares both our successes and our challenges – and very often they are the two sides of the same coin. „„Our audiences on BBC One Wales and BBC Two Wales are the highest for a decade – but the challenge of maintaining a broad range of output is becoming far harder as savings bite „„Our interactive services on mobile and tablet devices are growing quickly – but we will need to move faster online to keep up with our audiences’ expectations „„Our contribution to the BBC’s UK networks has never been greater or broader – but we know it must do more to portray Wales. I believe that if we are candid and determined, we will meet all these challenges head-on. It will take imagination and no little ingenuity, of course, but I see no shortage of either.

Rhodri Talfan Davies Director, BBC Wales

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Two minute summary Facts and figures about the performance and output of BBC Wales

Worldwide The number of countries to simultaneously show the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who.

BBC Wales online Unique browsers to BBC Wales’s online content each week.


3.7m Audience Average BBC One UK audience for Sherlock.

Audience appreciation Audience appreciation score for Max on St David’s Day.



Approval of the BBC in Wales (mean score out of 10) Source: ART/Kantar




Television weekly reach (based on 15-minute consecutive reach) (000s) Source: BARB








174 155




General impression of the BBC Management Review 2013/14 – Wales



Value for money of the licence fee





BBC Wales English language television




BBC Wales on S4C


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Two minute summary BBC Wales English language television Top Ten Series and Top Five Individual Programmes 2013/14

BBC Wales on S4C Top Ten Series and Top Five Individual Programmes 2013/14

English language series

Series on S4C

Wales Today at 6.30pm


Pobol y Cwm




Y Clwb Rygbi (Pro12)


The Indian Doctor


Yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol: Mwy o’r Maes


Police 24/7


Y Clwb Rygbi Rhyngwladol


Weatherman Walking


Yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol: Seremonïau


Coming Home


Yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol: Y Babell Lên


Swansea: Back on the Streets


Newyddion 9


Family Life Swap


Pawb a’i Farn


Swansea Market


Taro Naw




Yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol: Prynhawniau


English language programmes

Programmes on S4C

Max Boyce’s Big Birthday


Pobol y Cwm: Nadolig


Jonathan Davies: Trimsaran Boy


Argyfwng Ffermydd Mynydd


Scrum V: Six Nations Preview


Stori’r Storm


Family Life Swap at Christmas


Pawb a’i Farn: Is-Etholiad Môn


Jamie Owen: Fat and Forty Something


Rhyfel D.T. Davies: Heb Ryddid Heb Ddim


Source: BARB Figures include any repeats in the same week

BBC Wales website: Weekly unique browsers (million) Source: BBC


Radio weekly reach (adults) (000s) Source: RAJAR/RSMB/Ipsos-MORI







144 128

2.68 2.38 0.021




English language sites Management Review 2013/14 – Wales



Welsh language sites




BBC Radio Wales





BBC Radio Cymru 03

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Service performance

English Language Programming – BBC One Wales/BBC Two Wales Our over-riding priority this year has been to offer a more contemporary picture of modern Wales in all its extraordinary diversity – and that ambition has been rewarded with our highest audiences in a decade across news and general programming. In January, we broke new ground on BBC One Wales with the bilingual drama series Hinterland (also broadcast on S4C as Y Gwyll). Its gritty storylines and outstanding performances delivered record audiences, and its UK-wide success on BBC Four in May 2014 augur well for the second series. On TV, radio and online, the special Live Longer Wales season inspired us all to lead healthier lifestyles at home and at work. This timely and much talked about season – including The Welsh Weight Clinic, Family Life Swap and Is My Job Killing Me? – was seen by almost 40% of adults in Wales. Throughout the year, our programming looked to get under the skin of modern Wales – from The Scarlets’ insight into life at one of our rugby regions to the emotional trials and tribulations of The Country Midwives. A second series of Police 24/7 also revealed some of the sobering realities of policing south Wales.

In news and sport, BBC Wales Today attracted an average audience of 305,000 at 6.30pm (and more than 1.3 million each week across all its bulletins) – its highest level for nearly ten years. And The Wales Report with Huw Edwards continues to attract a large and diverse audience for its weekly examination of politics and power. Sports programming also attracted major audiences, with comprehensive coverage of the Pro 12 and the Six Nations. Scrum V is now established as the BBC’s most trusted rugby service, and it has been at the heart of our coverage of the dispute between the rugby regions and the WRU. Powerful documentary output included a revealing portrait of the former rugby international Jonathan Davies, and the compelling The Girl with Two Hearts. Former Labour Minister and union activist Dr Kim Howells also provided a moving personal memoir of the miner’s strike to mark the 30th anniversary of the dispute. Finally, we never forget that Wales can be wonderfully entertaining and Max Boyce’s Big Birthday attracted the highest audience of the year while Rhod Gilbert once again took the plunge for his Work Experience. We also dived into the archive to celebrate BBC Wales’s 50th birthday and gave the audience the chance to laugh with us (and at us) with a light-hearted stroll down memory lane.

A strong journalistic thread ran through much of our programming: X-Ray’s investigation into a Swansea call centre selling bogus satellite warranties resulted in jail sentences for a number of staff, and Week In Week Out ran a series of investigations through the year assessing the impact of the winter storms and the performance of the Welsh education system.

Is My Job Killing Me? A part of the Live Longer Wales season

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

PC Debbie Johnson appeared in Police 24/7


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Service performance

BBC Wales on the networks The year was a significant milestone in the development of network production in Wales. First and foremost 2013 saw the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who which was celebrated right across the world. The anniversary programme was simulcast in 98 countries and shown at the same time in 1,500 cinemas across six continents. An Adventure in Space and Time – a drama by Mark Gatiss and produced by BBC Wales – recounted the story of the first ever episode of Doctor Who. The return of Sherlock in 2014 (produced by Hartswood) also created international headlines. An average audience of almost 12 million viewers tuned into the third series – making it the most watched BBC drama series in over a decade.

As well as producing the coverage of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 30th Anniversary competition – which was broadcast on BBC Four, BBC Two Wales and, for the first time, on S4C – our music television team delivered some striking documentaries on contemporary music for BBC Four. These included a profile of Nile Rogers, writer of some of the most famous songs in pop music history. The Diary of Samuel Pepys, adapted by Hattie Naylor and produced by the BBC Wales radio drama team, continued to delight BBC Radio 4 listeners. Our dramas for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 3 featured established Welsh writers, including Meic Povey and Malcolm Pryce, as well as introducing writers new to radio, such as Katy Wix and Paul Jenkins.

As part of the 70th anniversary of BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week, around 4,500 people contacted the team with suggestions The first series of Atlantis, a fantasy drama, was launched in of composers who have never been featured on the programme. autumn 2013 on BBC One with an average audience of 5.8 million. The virtually unknown 19th century French composer, Louise Made by independent Urban Myth Films and written by Howard Farrenc, was the first of these to feature with many more to follow. Overman, a second series is already in production in south Wales and north Africa. We also continued to expand our work on Radio 4. In partnership with BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Scotland, we produced Young A second series of the CBBC drama Wizards vs Aliens was made Devolutionaries, where teenagers drawn from all three nations by BBC Wales at our Roath Lock studios, as well as Casualty, which investigated the impact of devolution on their lives. A two-part has attracted very strong audiences across the year and won an documentary, presented by Cerys Matthews, explored the award for its outstanding storyline on female genital mutilation. cultural and linguistic landscape of Wales through the prism of The Call Centre, a documentary series for BBC Three, attracted a journey down the Welsh M1, aka the A470. critical acclaim and some of the best factual audience numbers ever for the channel. Crimewatch made headlines with its special programme on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and led to significant developments in the investigation.

The Day of the Doctor – a worldwide success

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Service performance

BBC Wales on S4C We saw a year of real editorial progress in 2013/14 for our output on S4C – and Newyddion 9, Pobol y Cwm and Y Clwb Rygbi continued to play a leading role in the channel’s schedule. However, overall audience levels were disappointing again this year, with further falls in weekly reach. We are working closely with the team at S4C to address the audience challenges.

Although our current affairs strand, Taro Naw, came to an end in autumn 2013 our commitment to long-form journalism continued under the brand of Newyddion Arbennig. In January Stori’r Storm looked at the impact of storms on coastal communities in Wales, while Cysgod Cynheidre looked at the deep scars which still exist within the old coal mining communities 30 years after the start of the miner’s strike.

Pobol y Cwm’s storylines reflected the lighter shades of daily life as well as dealing with more serious issues such as paedophilia and steroid abuse. Plans are also well under way for the 40th anniversary of the series in October 2014.

Opportunities for public debate were extended with an extra edition of our debate programme Pawb a’i Farn, before the Anglesey by-election. A special discussion programme, Ein Barn Ni, was also produced to coincide with a week of broadcasts on S4C, by and for, young people.

Y Clwb Rygbi provided comprehensive coverage of Welsh rugby broadcasting the Pro 12, the national team’s tour to Japan, and full coverage of the highs and lows of the Autumn Internationals and Six Nations Championship. Our main news programme Newyddion 9 was re-launched at the end of April 2013 in a new 9pm slot following a comprehensive review. With Bethan Rhys Roberts as the main anchor, the programme provides more in-depth and distinctive coverage of Welsh stories – as well as the main British and world news of the day. Additional news programmes have also been produced in response to the big news stories of the year including the conviction of Mark Bridger for the murder of April Jones, and the deaths of Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher. Alongside this we re-launched our political coverage with Newyddion 9: Y Sgwrs enjoying a wider remit, offering an alternative view of the political headlines in Cardiff and Westminster as they impact communities across Wales.

Newyddion 9 has showed a sharper, bolder agenda

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

On Remembrance Sunday, Rhyfel DT Davies: Heb Ryddid Heb Ddim, presented the moving story of a former prisoner of war from Dryslwyn, Carmarthenshire, following his pilgrimage to Austria for the first time since his escape from the country 70 years ago. Later in November, as part of a week of programming about addiction, we broadcast Gadael y Gwter: Stori John Stevenson where the former BBC Wales parliamentary correspondent talked about his ‘lost decade’ due to alcoholism and took us back to the streets where he lived rough. Along with S4C, we worked in closer partnership with the National Eisteddfod of Wales at their annual festival in Denbigh which brought a richer cultural offering to our daily programmes from the event.

Y Clwb Rygbi offers comprehensive coverage of the Pro 12 and Welsh Internationals


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Service performance

BBC Radio Wales BBC Radio Wales produced another strong performance with an average of 468,000 people listening every week. It has also enjoyed encouraging audience growth in north Wales as a result of additional investment in programming and output right across Wales. The year also saw the station continue its process of renewal with Eleri Sion and Wynne Evans joining the weekday line-up in October. Eleri Sion focused on entertainment and culture every Monday to Thursday afternoons while, on Fridays, Wynne Evans’s Big Welsh Weekend discussed events across the nation. With two football sides in the Premier League and Welsh international rugby on the crest of a wave, August 2013 saw a re-launch of sports programmes on the station. We introduced a new week-night edition of Radio Wales Sport to provide more quality journalism on the country’s most popular and minority sports, and a new Saturday football phone-in, Call Rob Phillips. The new programmes have helped audiences make sense of a number of major stories – from the sackings of both the managers of Cardiff City and Swansea City to the acrimonious dispute in Welsh rugby. They’ve also enabled us to provide in-depth coverage of preparations for the Commonwealth Games, as well as live commentary of the national women’s football team for the first time.

The Radio Academy award winning Here Be Dragons

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

We continued to build on the station’s growing reputation for nurturing new Welsh comedy talent. Three new series were commissioned for Friday nights: a new comedy format show Come the Revolution, a return of cult comedy character Siadwel, and Here Be Dragons, a sketch show from Matt Lucas’s stable (winning a Radio Academy Award.) Radio Wales provided extensive support of contemporary music made in Wales through weekend specialist programmes, regular daytime exposure through our ‘Artist of the Week’ feature, and coverage of major music events (including Green Man, Festival No.6 and the WOMEX world music festival). We also unveiled further support for new musicians in Wales through the ‘Horizons/ Gorwelion’ partnership with BBC Radio Cymru and the Arts Council of Wales. In drama, we recorded a new version of Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales, read by actor Matthew Rhys, and Monty Python’s Terry Jones was joined by a host of stars to read his Christmas Fairy Tales. In the countdown to the Scottish independence referendum, we delivered an insightful season on Wales’s relationship with the other countries in the UK. Good Morning Wales, Morning Call and Jason Mohammad challenged misconceptions about the Welsh view on the English, and also provided opportunities for people to explore the implications of a yes or no vote in Scotland. Our news programmes also shone a light on drug abuse in Wales and the state of the nation’s education system.

The new presenting line-up on Radio Wales


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Service performance

BBC Radio Cymru Last year saw the re-launch of BBC Radio Cymru’s weekday schedule in response to ‘Sgwrs’ – a major public consultation with the audience. The new station sound is energetic, accessible and engaging. Following a period of decline in reach and share – coupled with the music crisis that hit the station last year – the last 12 months have seen the station recovering lost ground (with weekly reach up 13% year-on-year), and building its impact online (up 20% year-on-year). Dylan Jones took over the morning programme, before handing over to Shan Cothi who offered chat, culture and a wide range of music. A new strand of provocative debate programmes has also been introduced at midday, followed by half-hour features and the Taro’r Post phone in with Garry Owen. Garry and his team plan to be on the road regularly and took a week-long tour of Wales during the very first week of the new schedule. The sound changes markedly in the afternoons with DJ Andrew ‘Tommo’ Thomas bringing his unique and loud sound to Radio Cymru from Monday to Thursday. Tudur Owen and his team continued to take to the airwaves on Friday afternoons, working in parallel with Tommo who hit the road to persuade those who might have switched off from Radio Cymru that the station has something to offer.

Tommo brings his unique and loud sound to Radio Cymru

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

We broadcast daily programmes from Swansea, Cardiff, Bangor and Carmarthen and have worked hard to ensure the voice of north east is also heard. It’s vital that our station commitment to be ‘Llais Cymru/the Voice of Wales’ is real and deserved. ‘Cais am Lais’ – our campaign to find a fresh, new voice to add to the C2 team – unearthed 21-year-old Guto Rhun. He’s been broadcasting twice a week and has demonstrated the value of the talent-spotting undertaken by the station’s schools’ outreach team. We have a reputation for putting Welsh arts and culture at the heart of everything we do. And we’ll continue to build on that – playing host every month to a poet-in-residence who’ll listen and respond when they’re inspired, or perhaps riled, by what they hear. There were some strong plays and docu-dramas broadcast this year, including Matthew Rhys narrating a poignant play marking the centenary of the Senghenydd mining disaster. We continued to reflect what’s happening in the Welsh music scene in our daily and specialist music programmes. The WOMEX world music festival’s visit to Cardiff was a highlight, with our international sessions from the BBC Grace Williams Studio breaking new ground. The ‘Brwydr y Bandiau’ competition for young bands continued to create an impact and we unveiled plans to further support new musicians in Wales through the ‘Gorwelion/Horizons’ partnership with BBC Radio Wales and the Arts Council of Wales. For us the sporting highlight of the year was the Lions tour to Australia. The hard work by the team down under and in Wales, paid off with tremendous interest in our coverage both on the radio and on our website.

The Radio Cymru sessions at the BBC Grace Williams Studio during WOMEX


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Service performance

Interactive In 2013/14 we saw rapid growth in usage of both mobile devices and social media. On average, 3.7 million unique browsers accessed our interactive services each week across PCs, mobiles, tablets and smart TVs – up by a third on the previous year.

Users of our interactive Welsh language services have also increased to 40,000 unique browsers each week – and we are on track to reach our target of 50,000 by next year. Our new service, BBC Cymru Fyw, is also now available across all devices – and the BBC’s first Welsh language app will launch over the summer.

In addition, BBC Wales’s social media accounts now have more than 300,000 followers, providing a new opportunity for audiences to interact with programme makers and presenters. The growth has been driven by a major change in interactive consumption with mobile and tablet devices enjoying stellar growth while PC usage stagnates.

For younger audiences, Bitesize content was produced in both languages – ranging from 24 films for GCSE Geography through to GCSE Drama produced jointly with National Theatre Wales. And the power of digital services to bring together a range of broadcast output in one place was seen with the launch of a new digital hub for the BBC’s Dylan Thomas season.

News and sport services continue to drive most traffic with major stories ranging from the Lions’ triumph in Australia to difficult Premiership seasons for Cardiff City and Swansea City, through to the winter storms and the trial of Ian Watkins. In addition, the latest generation of BBC iPlayer provides an exciting new route for users to access BBC Wales output. Later in 2014, S4C will also join the on-demand service – bringing all Welsh language programming across radio and TV under one roof.

BBC Wales was also at the forefront of the development of an innovative new content format known as ‘iWonder guides’. Each guide posed a question or challenge, followed by video and text along with an interactive activity. Guides produced included a Welsh language learning challenge: “Could you learn to sing Calon Lân in 30 minutes?” through to the more editorially challenging story of how World War One led to the development of plastic surgery.

The power of social media was best demonstrated by the much anticipated third series of Sherlock and the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode. A live Twitter event after the series finale of Sherlock, which gave viewers the opportunity to quiz creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, trended globally with 377,000 tweets in an hour. The Doctor Who 50th episode broke all BBC iPlayer records and the announcement of Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor was a major international story with 542,000 tweets that night.

BBC Wales’s social media accounts now have more than 300,000 followers

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

The World War One iWonder guide on plastic surgery


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Service performance

BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales Under new Director, Michael Garvey, the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales continues to fulfil a special role as both a broadcast orchestra and the national symphony orchestra for Wales having performed live to tens of thousands of people across the country. Its work is supported by both the BBC and the Arts Council of Wales. The Orchestra continues to be acclaimed not only for the quality and breadth of its performances, but also for its important outreach work with communities across Wales. Led by Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård, the Orchestra represented Wales on six occasions at the 2013 BBC Proms. Particular acclaim came for the Doctor Who Prom as well as Søndergård’s debut performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No 11. We also continued to work alongside the BBC Proms in the Park team as the resident orchestra. Our Americana concert series – which featured works by 20th century American classical composers such as Copland, Bernstein and Gershwin – was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and broadcast on American Public Media’s Performance Today, which airs on more than 260 public radio stations in the US, reaching more than 1.3 million weekly listeners. The Orchestra’s performance of Mahler’s 9th Symphony in February 2014 was an artistic highlight of the year, receiving considerable praise and critical acclaim. And during our February tour of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Wrexham and Llandudno, we continued to work with exciting performers such as conductor Nicholas Collon and young British violinists Callum Smart and Chloë Hanslip who were well received by the audience.

Family Night concerts in both Cardiff and Haverfordwest were a first for the Orchestra and featured videos of BBC musicians introducing the performing repertoire. This year was particularly significant for the BBC National Chorus of Wales who celebrated their 30th anniversary – with performances including Fauré’s Requiem, Christmas Celebrations and the BBC Wales Carol Service, as well as the quintessential Welsh event that is our annual St. David’s Day concert. The festivities were enhanced with a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance for the recording of ‘Parry: Works for Chorus and Orchestra’, featuring a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales. Our Education and Community Outreach team continued to deliver outstanding work, and received a Signature Award nomination for its project work with deaf, deafened and hard of hearing groups. In collaboration with the National Deaf Children’s Society we conducted music workshops for deaf children and their families at Galeri, Caernarfon. Musicians from the Orchestra also returned to Corwen in north Wales for a series of music sessions at local primary schools and a care home. Our year of education and outreach activity culminated with Composition: Wales – a project which provides a platform for composers to write for a full symphony orchestra and have invaluable feedback about their work from the musicians. Our resident composers are part of our drive to continue to foster new Welsh talent. The Orchestra also strengthened its partnership with programme-makers in the BBC – and soundtracks were recorded for programmes such as Doctor Who, Hidden Kingdoms and The Crimson Field. Outside the BBC, advice and support comes from the Arts Council of Wales, the Association of British Orchestras and the Welsh Government.

Thomas Søndergård and the BBC National Orchestera of Wales at the BBC Proms

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Looking ahead Rhodri Talfan Davies The BBC enjoys an anniversary. And when you’ve been around for the best part of a century, they come thick and fast. Last year it was Doctor Who’s 50th and this year BBC Wales reached its own half-century.

That we continue to attract record audiences is a remarkable creative achievement. But budget constraints inevitably mean that there are some aspects of national life in Wales that are not being sufficiently captured by the BBC’s own television services.

At one level, the creation of BBC Wales simply answered a technical problem. Until that point, in 1964, broadcasts on what we now know as BBC One Wales were shared between Wales and the west of England.

In the short term, we are working to mitigate these effects through co-commissioning with BBC network colleagues and S4C (Hinterland, A Poet in New York and Indian Doctor are all fruits of this approach). We are also focusing on fewer, bigger seasons of programming for BBC One Wales (Live Longer Wales and the Dylan Thomas season have both shown the impact that can be generated by landmark moments).

But the cultural significance of that moment was profound. The launch of BBC Wales at last gave a nation the ability to see itself and to speak to itself on its own terms, about its own affairs and to do so in both its languages. Wales – for the first time – had its own embryonic public space, its own national stage on the most powerful medium of them all. In a very real sense, BBC Wales would help bring Wales together in a way that no amount of road improvement on the A470 could ever achieve. As we chart a course for the next 50 years, that sense of history and heritage is all around us. But it is, to be frank, the challenges that lie ahead that now matter most. Reflecting Wales These annual reviews have rightly celebrated BBC Wales’s enormous strides in network production over past years. But it is important to also acknowledge here the significant challenges that our local English language services for Wales have faced over the same period. Investment in English language programming from and for Wales has been in decline for almost a decade. The reduction in ITV Wales’s contribution has played a big part in this – but the BBC’s output has also been eroded.

Peter Capaldi becomes the twelfth Doctor

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

In the mid-term, the BBC’s Director General made clear in a recent speech in Cardiff that there are no easy solutions. The recent proposal to close BBC Three as a broadcast channel and move it online tells you something about the hard financial choices that we currently face. But looking ahead, Tony Hall was surely right to say that we will need to think hard about how we can strengthen our support for national and regional self-expression as we prepare our case for a new Royal Charter. A Diverse Wales BBC Wales’s 50th year promises a real kaleidoscope of sport, culture, drama, commemoration and political history-making. Just take your pick from a Commonwealth Games, the World War One and Dylan Thomas centenaries, the arrival of a new Doctor and, last but by no means least, the future of the UK being decided in a Scottish independence referendum. Each, of course, will test our programme-makers in different ways. But my hunch is that the biggest challenge of all facing BBC Wales in the months and years ahead is to keep pace with a Wales that is changing perceptibly all around us.

Gabrielle Murphy performing on the BBC/Arts Council Wales Horizons Stage at the Dinefwr Literature Festival


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Looking ahead Socially, politically, culturally, and, of course, digitally, Wales has never been such a diverse place. So our job must be to reflect and explore contemporary Wales as it really is today – not just how it might once have been, or how others might want it to be. That, of course, requires bags of imagination, relentless curiosity, bravery and a preparedness to discard any rose-tinted spectacles. Over recent months, I believe BBC Wales has made major strides in capturing the realities of Wales. Hinterland, The Country Midwives and The Hill Farm all captured authentically a bilingual Wales that has too often in the past been missing from our screens. And The Call Centre on BBC Three provided an entertaining but important insight into young lives and concerns in contemporary Wales. A Digital Wales For more than a decade, there has been much excited talk about a digital revolution. But in the last couple of years, the speed of change has accelerated markedly and BBC Wales must respond with imagination and agility. As you will have seen in this review, we have seen rapid growth in the usage of our services on mobiles and tablets, and social media has become increasingly central both in news delivery and audience interaction. In anticipating this change, we have made great strides in increasing the impact of our Welsh language interactive services and we remain on course to hit our target of 50,000 unique browsers each week by 2015.

An Open BBC The BBC belongs to the public. They own it, they love it, and they expect only the best from it. Every day we have to show we are worthy of that commitment. Of course, that means delivering programmes and services of real quality and distinctiveness. But it means more than that too: it means being open and honest about the challenges we face and accountable for the decisions we take, and reaching out to work with other organisations across Wales that share our mission to inform, educate or to entertain. Last year, for example, BBC Radio Cymru was faced with myriad challenges. Audiences were declining and, through no fault of its own, it faced a music boycott that disrupted its schedule for weeks. Our response was to launch the biggest public consultation ever undertaken on the station’s future. ‘Sgwrs’ produced more than 1,000 responses and has helped the team develop a new and exciting vision for the station. It was the right thing to do and I believe it has helped reconnect the station to its audience. Over the past year, we have also worked hard at forging deeper partnerships with organisations that share our values and ambitions. The success of Hinterland was a big milestone in our relationship with S4C but there is much more to come, including S4C’s arrival on BBC iPlayer later this year.

Our Public Value Partnership with Arts Council Wales has also borne fruit with the new ‘Horizons’ scheme already helping new artists across Wales to develop their music careers. Over the But this is only part of the story. While our digital news and next year, we also look forward to a new broadcast partnership sport services are highly valued, we believe we need to up the with the Hay Festival and working with organisations right across ante and establish these services, over time, as the bedrock of our the creative sector to maximise the impact of our plans to news service for Wales. Over the next 12 months, we will assess develop a new BBC Wales broadcast centre in Cardiff. the best ways of achieving this – and how we can strike the necessary balance between our flagship radio and television news programming and the needs of mobile, social news consumers.

The Dylan Thomas season will seek to capture the essence of the poet during the centenary of his birth

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Key priorities for next year „„Work with network colleagues to improve the representation of Wales on the BBC’s UK television channels. „„Deliver an outstanding season of programming to mark the anniversary of Dylan Thomas’s birth. „„Provide in-depth coverage of the Scottish independence referendum and its potential impact on Wales and the UK. „„Move faster online – strengthening our delivery on mobile devices and provide a more personalised service for users. „„Progress plans to modernise BBC Wales’s technology and estate as part of the BBC’s wider property strategy.

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

Contacts If you have a question, comment or complaint about BBC Wales programmes or services, or any other aspect of the BBC’s work, please contact our Audience Services unit. All feedback is carefully registered and regularly distributed to editorial teams and management. Telephone: 03703 500 700 Lines open weekdays 9.30am–7.30pm (except bank holidays). Calls to the 0370 UK-wide rate are charged at no more than 01/02 geographic numbers. Calls may be recorded for training. Website: Write to: Audience Services BBC Cymru Wales Bangor LL57 2BY Complaints: for more information about the BBC’s complaints process and to submit a complaint online please visit

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales


Management Review 2013/14 – Wales

The management team

Rhodri Talfan Davies Director BBC Wales

Clare Hudson Head of Productions

Gareth Powell Chief Operating Officer

Adrian Davies Head of English Language Programmes and Services

Sian Gwynedd Head of Welsh Language Programmes and Services

Mark O’Callaghan Head of News and Current Affairs

Richard Thomas Head of Marketing, Communications & Audiences

Management Review 2013/14 – Wales


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