MANX Radio should be given a level of government subsidy sufficient to allow it to deliver public service broadcasting over the next three years,
That’s the call being made by Speaker Steve Rodan in a motion to this week’s Tynwald.
A Treasury report into the public broadcasting subvention which will be presented to the October Tynwald concludes that cuts in government subvention would start to impact upon the quality of Manx Radio’s output.
The government subsidy to the station was reduced in this year’s Budget from £927,000 to £850,000 – made up of a Treasury subvention of about £710,000 plus £140,000 from the refund of BBC licence fee money.
Manx Radio bosses say the cuts leaves the station around £300,000 short of where it would be, had government adhered to the funding formula approved by Tynwald in 2006.
Presenters have been placed on freelance contracts and the number of news staff will have been cut from nine to seven this year.
In a motion to this week’s Tynwald, the Speaker calls on the court to reaffirms its commitment to public service broadcasting in the island and to endorse Manx Radio as the island’s national broadcaster.
He will argue that the station should receive a level of government support necessary to allow it to continue to deliver public service broadcasting over the next three years and that independent advice is obtained to allow Tynwald to decide the service it requires from its public broadcasting service and to assess the cost of the options available.
The report, which was jointly commissioned by the Treasury and Manx Radio, says it is ‘clear that Manx Radio is operating at its lowest possible cost to maintain its current level of output’.
‘In summary this review has found no evidence that would go against the view that Manx Radio is operating efficiently and at a low cost given its output.
‘It is apparent that further reductions in government subvention would start to impact upon the quality of Manx Radio’s output and its ability to deliver against its promise of performance.’
The Treasury report says Manx Radio’s subvention works out at £11 per head of population, compared to £111 per head for public transport and £48 per head for Manx National Heritage.
It finds that while Manx Radio has done much to cut costs, it is becoming increasingly reliant upon commercial income and is needing to introduce new streams of activity to balance its budget.
• Is it fair that taxpayer-backed Manx Radio competes with private sector media? Email opinions(at)newsiom.co.im or sign in to add your comment below.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Isle of Man
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 38 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North