MG Alba kick­starts new year with new chair­man at helm

The Oban Times - - LEISURE -

The new chair­man of MG ALBA, Al­lan Mac­Don­ald, has started his role with the body re­spon­si­ble for Gaelic pro­gram­ming in Scot­land.

Ap­pointed for a four-year term from Jan­uary 1 by Of­com, Mr Mac­Don­ald suc­ceeds Mag­gie Cunningham, who served as chair­man of MG ALBA from July 2012.

A na­tive Gaelic speaker, Mr Mac­Don­ald has played a ma­jor part in Gaelic ra­dio and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion and broad­cast­ing span­ning 40 years.

His ca­reer in­cludes 12 years with the BBC, dur­ing which time he was in­stru­men­tal in es­tab­lish­ing a ra­dio sta­tion in Stornoway, two years as head of Gaelic with Grampian TV and 25 years in the in­de­pen­dent tele­vi­sion sec­tor as chief ex­ec­u­tive of sport and en­ter­tain­ment com­pany mneTV, and a di­rec­tor of dig­i­tal and tele­vi­sion pro­ducer, pur­pleTV.

Mr Mac­Don­ald has ex­pe­ri­ence in news and cur­rent af­fairs in ra­dio, tele­vi­sion and the press, as well as be­ing an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and di­rec­tor of a wide va­ri­ety of gen­eral pro­grammes, in­clud­ing re­li­gion, com­edy, mu­sic and award-win­ning doc­u­men­taries, most re­cently RTS award win­ners about Jock Stein and Jim Bax­ter.

He was most re­cently the chair­man of Bòrd na Gàidhlig (the prin­ci­pal pub­lic body in Scot­land re­spon­si­ble for pro­mot­ing Gaelic de­vel­op­ment), and is a for­mer mem­ber of the board of Lewis Cas­tle Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion in Stornoway and of the Board of Skillset in Scot­land.

For six years he was elected chair­man of the in­de­pen­dent tele­vi­sion sec­tor in Scot­land (PACT) and served as a di­rec­tor of PACT (UK) in London.

Mr Mac­Don­ald said: 'I am very proud to be join­ing MG ALBA as the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s new chair.

'Our shared aim is to build on the suc­cess de­liv­ered by BBC ALBA over the past 10 years and I look for­ward to work­ing closely with my fel­low board mem­bers and staff, our cre­ative part­ners who make our con­tent, and with the BBC, who are our broad­cast part­ners in BBC ALBA.

'I also look for­ward to en­gag­ing closely with the com­mu­nity and other part­ners and to de­vel­op­ing our re­la­tion­ship with gov­ern­ment, which funds MG ALBA to en­able it to ful­fil its mis­sion.'

Well, the fes­tiv­i­ties are over (the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions came down on Sun­day) and ev­ery­one is back to 'auld claes and por­ridge' this week, as they say. Ex­cept, of course, for Glas­gow, which will still be par­ty­ing all through Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary with a whole host of ex­cit­ing events.

Al­lan Mac­Don­ald started his new post on Jan­uary 1.

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