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Chair of MG ALBA

Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
Job Type
7 Sep 2022

Please note this role will close at 00.01 on the 30th of September so please put your application forward on or before the 29th of September.

Ofcom is seeking to appoint a new Chairperson of MG ALBA for a four-year term. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate a broad range of skills, knowledge and experience, including previous experience of chairing or equivalent corporate leadership, managing relationships with government ministers and collaboration within and between organisations.

The role requires sure footedness in a complex and fast-changing environment (including broadcasting policy and media regulation), the ability to get the best out of a non-executive group and the best out of executive and non-executive collaboration.

It also requires strong communication skills, personal integrity and no conflicts from any commercial or political interests.


Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig, the Gaelic Media Service, is a body corporate established by the Broadcasting Act 1990 and operating as MG ALBA (Meadhanan Gàidhlig Alba). The functions of MG ALBA are to ensure that a wide and diverse range of high quality programmes in Gaelic are broadcast or otherwise transmitted so as to be available to persons in Scotland and to others.

MG ALBA is funded by the Scottish Government and delivers its remit primarily through a partnership with the BBC which operates the BBC ALBA public service channel. MG ALBA recently launched its latest five year plan,which sets out the organisation's strategy and priorities to 2027.

MG ALBA is based in Stornoway, with additional presence at the BBC's offices in Glasgow and Inverness. The Stornoway facilities are part of the Creative Media and Industries Centre in Stornoway, a campus which is leased and managed by MG ALBA and which includes BBC Radio nan Gàidheal, BBC News, independent producers and technology businesses.

About Ofcom

Ofcom is the regulator for the communications services that we use and rely on each day. This includes TV, radio, telecoms, post and spectrum while we are also preparing to become the UK's online safety regulator.

Ofcom also has a range of duties that relate to Gaelic language broadcasting under the Broadcasting Act 1990, most notably appointing Board Members to the Gaelic Media Service (MG ALBA) and a Chairman with the approval of Scottish Ministers.

The role

As well as chairing and leading the board of MG ALBA, the role has a profile that requires extensive engagement with those with an interest in Gaelic language and broadcasting, including elected representatives and ministers in the Scottish and UK Governments.

The individual will bring commercial and political acuity, ideally with an interest in or understanding of broadcasting policy and media regulation. They will be at ease with fast moving, high technology environments and understand the audience and consumer interest in such spheres.

The candidate will be expected to meet the following criteria:

  • Understanding of issues affecting Gaelic language and broadcasting;
  • An awareness of the competition and consumer dynamics of a fast-changing sector;
  • Sound judgement and decision making to ensure successful delivery in a complex organisation;
  • A well-developed understanding of the accountability and scrutiny of publicly funded organisations;
  • Experience of chairing or equivalent corporate leadership and encouraging collaboration within and between organisations;
  • A team player with both non-executive and executive colleagues;
  • Personal integrity of a high order and ability to demonstrate no conflicts from any commercial or political interests.

The role is part-time, with the Chairperson entitled to an annual fee of £11,460 per annum plus reasonable expenses. This is based upon a time commitment of up to three days a month, with peaks and troughs at different points of the year based on formal Board meetings and external engagements.


In Ofcom's Memorandum of Understanding with the Scottish Government, UK Government and Scottish Parliament, there exists the following guidance relating to appointments to the MG ALBA Board:

  • it would not be appropriate to seek to appoint members likely to face sustained conflict of interest on matters to be considered by the Board;
  • there is a desirability of having members who are proficient in written and spoken Gaelic; and
  • it is desirable for Ofcom to consider candidates with a broad range of relevant skills to enable MG ALBA, to carry out its strategic and planning role.

While the guidance states that proficiency in the language should be seen as desirable, the Scottish Ministers are of the view that the working language of the Board should be in Gaelic.

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  • Job Reference: 706406449-2
  • Date Posted: 7 September 2022
  • Recruiter: Omni RMS
    Omni RMS
  • Location: Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
  • Salary: On Application
  • Sector: Community & Sport
  • Job Type: Permanent