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UTV Ireland appoints Mary Regan as Political Editor

13 November 2014

Mary Regan

UTV Ireland is delighted to announce the appointment of Mary Regan as Political Editor. She joins UTV Ireland from the Irish Examiner, where she spent eight years reporting on the front line of Irish and international politics.

Mary Curtis, Head of Channel at UTV Ireland, said:

"Mary is an award winning journalist with a reputation for robust, independent reporting and incisive analysis. From the outset, our goal for UTV Ireland has been to create a strong and competitive news service and we have recruited some of the best journalists and reporters in the Irish broadcasting industry. With just under two months until launch, all the pieces are coming together. We have just taken ownership of our state-of-the-art headquarters and studios and our full news team is preparing for launch. Mary will be a great addition to the team and I am delighted to welcome her to UTV Ireland."

Born in Galway, Mary began her professional career as a reporter for RTÉ – moving into politics as a weekly columnist for Village Magazine. She joined the Irish Examiner in 2006, where she reported on a number of historic events, including the bank guarantee, the IMF bailout, the collapse of the Cowen Government and the 2011 Presidential Election. Mary has also covered events at the European Parliament and European Council meetings, as well as writing about human rights and other political issues from Cuba, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Marcus Lehnen, UTV Ireland’s Head of News, said:

"Mary is a renowned and respected political journalist and commentator. Her expertise and understanding of the Irish and international political landscape will be a huge asset to UTV Ireland’s news offering. With the vast majority of our news team now in place, we are undergoing training and simulation exercises, with extremely positive results. We have been working behind the scenes to create a unique offering for our news programmes, and the wide-ranging experience that each of our journalists brings, will enable us to do that. I am delighted to welcome Mary to the team."

In the past year, Mary has been credited for her reporting on the withdrawal of discretionary medical cards from people with serious illnesses, and whistleblower allegations surrounding Garda misconduct. She was awarded Young Journalist of the Year, at the GSK Media Awards, for her investigation into the extent and availability of ‘legal highs’ – a story which ultimately culminated in the introduction of new European laws. In 2012, Mary was also invited to Washington DC, by the US State Department, to take part in the highly prestigious International Visitor Leadership Programme, for emerging young leaders.

UTV Ireland will broadcast an early-evening news programme, Ireland Live, which will deliver breaking news from across the country. Ireland Live at 10, broadcasting weekdays from 10pm to 11pm, will provide the latest in breaking news and current affairs – as well as expert commentary and topical debate on domestic and international issues.


UTV Ireland Appoints News Editor

27 October 2014

Mick McCaffrey

UTV Ireland is delighted to announce the appointment of Mick McCaffrey as News Editor.

Mick joins UTV Ireland from the Sunday World, where he was senior investigative journalist, since joining the paper in March 2011.

Mary Curtis, Head of Channel at UTV Ireland, said:

"Mick is an exceptionally talented journalist who has covered some of the most challenging and sensitive stories, both home and abroad. We are continuing to recruit some of the best journalists and broadcasters for our news team and Mick’s appointment reflects that. In addition to our recruitment drive, we will be moving into our headquarters and studios in a matter of weeks and we have begun our training process with reporters and video-journalists. We also recently announced the appointment of Chris Donoghue as news anchor – another hugely talented broadcaster who will begin his television career with UTV Ireland.

Marcus Lehnen, UTV Ireland’s Head of News, said:

"This is an important time for the development of our news team and Mick’s experience will be invaluable as we prepare to launch UTV Ireland in the New Year. Mick and I will work closely together to develop the look and feel for UTV Ireland’s news and current affairs offering and I am delighted to welcome him to the team."

In 2013, Mick was presented with the ‘Security Journalist of the Year’ award, by the National Newspapers of Ireland, for his work in tracking down and interviewing John Traynor over the death of Veronica Guerin. Mick was also responsible for breaking the infamous ‘blonde Roma girl’ story, after she was taken by Gardaí in November 2013, over fears she may have been kidnapped. The story made headlines across the world. Prior to joining the Sunday World, Mick was news editor with the Sunday Tribune. He also held the position of security editor with the paper, where he reported from Gaza on the kidnapping of BBC journalist, Alan Johnson. He also reported from Virginia following the Virginia Tech massacre and covered the Madeleine McCann kidnapping, from Portugal.

Mick began his career as a reporter with the Evening Herald, later becoming deputy news editor. He is also the author of three books, two of which reached number one in sales charts – The Irish Scissor Sisters and Cocaine Wars. Cocaine Wars was later produced as a four-part documentary. His third book, The Viper, was released in 2012. Mick has also lectured at Griffith College’s school of journalism.

UTV Ireland will broadcast an early-evening news programme, Ireland Live, which will deliver breaking news from across the country. Ireland Live at 10, broadcasting weekdays from 10pm to 11pm, will provide the latest in breaking news and current affairs – as well as expert commentary and topical debate on domestic and international issues.


UTV Ireland Announces Chris Donoghue as News Anchor

21 October 2014

Paul Colgan

Journalist and broadcaster, Chris Donoghue, will be the new anchor of UTV Ireland’s news and current affairs programmes.

Chris will anchor alongside Alison Comyn when the channel’s news programmes, Ireland Live and Ireland Live at 10, launch on Monday, January 5th 2015. He will also continue to co-present Newstalk’s breakfast show.

Mary Curtis, Head of Channel at UTV Ireland, said:

"Chris is one of the most exciting and talented broadcasters in Ireland today. He has had an exceptional career in quite a short time frame and is now one of the most respected broadcasters in the country. I have always admired his broadcasting style and I am delighted to welcome him to the team.

"We are in the process of building a strong and competitive quality news service for UTV Ireland. With Alison Comyn and Chris Donoghue as co-anchors, UTV Ireland will offer viewers a fresh approach to national news and current affairs, fronted by two highly experienced journalists."

Born and living in Dublin, Chris began his broadcasting career as a reporter with INN. In 2004, he moved to Newstalk, where he became heavily involved in the station’s political output. In August 2010, Chris became the youngest prime-time presenter on Irish radio, when he began presenting the station’s breakfast show.

Chris Donoghue said:

"I love my job with Newstalk and I have always wanted to develop a role in television. This is a great opportunity for me to continue what I love and progress my career. UTV Ireland has displayed huge ambition to be a leading force in Irish television. The team that they have recruited to deliver that ambition is innovative and talented. I am very proud to be part of that team and I am counting down the days until the channel launches, in the New Year."

Michael Wilson, Managing Director of UTV Ireland, said:

"We have been working behind the scenes to build a fresh new channel with the best in family entertainment and a strong news and current affairs offering. With just over two months until we launch the channel on January 1st 2015, all the pieces are coming together nicely.

"We are weeks away from moving into our state-of-the-art headquarters and studios in Dublin City Centre, we have acquired top-quality programming, and we are in the process of recruiting the best broadcasters and journalists in the industry. Chris is an excellent addition to the team and I am delighted that he will be making his television presenting debut with UTV Ireland."

Chris has been a leading voice on radio, providing coverage and analysis on some of the most memorable domestic and international events. In 2008, he travelled across the US, covering the historical election of President Barack Obama. He has reported extensively from the developing world – producing documentaries from Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and India. He has covered Irish General and Presidential elections, numerous Budgets, EU developments from Brussels, and the 2011 Rugby World Cup from New Zealand. He has also written for the Irish Examiner and Irish Independent.

UTV Ireland will broadcast an early-evening news programme, Ireland Live, which will deliver breaking news from across the country. Ireland Live at 10, broadcasting weekdays from 10pm to 11pm, will provide the latest in breaking news and current affairs – as well as expert commentary and topical debate on domestic and international issues.


UTV Ireland Appoints Paul Colgan as Economics Editor

17 October 2014

Paul Colgan

UTV Ireland is delighted to announce the appointment of Paul Colgan as Economics Editor.

Paul joins UTV Ireland from RTÉ, where he spent eight years reporting extensively across the channel’s main news programmes and platforms – including the Six One and Nine News, Primetime, Morning Ireland and News at One.

Mary Curtis, Head of Channel at UTV Ireland, said:

"Our focus for UTV Ireland has always been firmly fixed on building a strong and competitive news offering. Paul is a great addition to the team – he is a highly experienced economics and business journalist with excellent credentials. His experience will be invaluable as our news team prepares to launch Ireland Live and Ireland Live at 10, which will begin broadcasting from our Dublin City Centre studios and headquarters on January 5th 2015.

"We will be opening our regional news bureaux very soon and recruitment for regional news correspondents and reporters, across Ireland, is well underway. We look forward to making further announcements on our progress, in the coming weeks."

Marcus Lehnen, UTV Ireland’s Head of News, said:

"Paul is a journalist of the highest calibre. He has been on the front-line reporting on some of the most important national and international economic developments, and his professionalism and industry experience will be hugely beneficial to UTV Ireland’s news offering.

"We are in the process of building a highly-experienced and highly-skilled news team – in front of the camera, behind the scenes and for our online news services – and I am delighted to welcome Paul to UTV Ireland."

During his time at RTÉ, Paul reported on major economic and business news stories – including the Irish banking collapse, the Troika bailout and the Euro-Zone crisis. He has also reported from crisis Euro-summits in Brussels and emergency votes at the House of Commons in London. Most recently, he reported on Scotland’s Independence Referendum, from Edinburgh. Prior to joining RTÉ, Paul provided political and business coverage and analysis for The Sunday Business Post.

UTV Ireland will broadcast an early-evening news programme, Ireland Live, which will deliver breaking news from across the country. Ireland Live at 10, broadcasting weekdays from 10pm to 11pm, will provide the latest in breaking news and current affairs – as well as expert commentary and topical debate on domestic and international issues.


ONE HUNDRED DAYS TO LAUNCH

23 September 2014

By Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television

There are five words that can focus the mind quickly, they are… ONE HUNDRED DAYS TO LAUNCH!

And wow, minds are well and truly focused amongst the team at UTV Ireland.

Since we announced plans for the channel at Dublin’s Merrion Hotel, in November of last year, so much has happened.

Much has been chronicled in this blog in recent months and, for commercial reasons, there are some plans we cannot reveal just yet. However, the last 10-months have brought us on quite a journey.

UTV Ireland represents a multi-million euro investment in the Irish economy, to bring a new mainstream family channel to Irish viewers.

With new transmission, lines and links, newsroom, edit suites, studios and regional news bureaux across the country, this is undoubtedly one of the biggest media roll outs to happen here. The timeline is tight – we’ve gone from announcement to technical trials in less than a year... I must acknowledge the fantastic work being done by the whole team in getting us to this stage, in such a short timeframe.

I am proud to say recruitment of the 120 new jobs is well under way. We’ve received over 1,000 CVs and more continue to arrive as we advertise new roles. More than half of the roles are now filled and we’ve got a skill base, hired across many organisations, to ensure we have a new culture of working practice and ideas generation.

Our sales team is busy meeting agencies and setting up the sales and scheduling systems. They are also working hard to develop the best commercial strategy for the channel – whilst Sponsorship, Ad Funded Programming and Product Placement opportunities will all be available in the near future.

Our digital team has designed our brand new website for www.utv.ie which we will reveal very soon. They have also been busy developing our app, player and VoD service, which will be available after UTV Ireland launches on January 1st 2015.

We have already announced Pat Kenny’s new peaktime series and Alison Comyn as news anchor but, more talent and programming will be announced in the coming months. Just last week, the BAI announced funding for one of our new programmes and a film which we’re backing for first television transmission.

Our graphics pack is currently being designed, camera kits will arrive in Dublin soon, crew cars are being bought and training plans are being rolled out.

Every member of the management team is powering ahead with planning, building, interviewing, designing workflows, acquiring programmes, negotiating contracts, installing technology, developing communications and marketing plans and scheduling output. So, with all that happening… what’s still to be done?

Well, I am delighted to say that everything is on track and going to plan.

The Twitter account followers are growing, and we’re ready to ramp up on Facebook.

We’re interviewing still for senior editorial roles. Finalising carriage deals with platform providers and planning programming from our own stable and from Irish independent producers.

At least I get a little warmth at the middle of next month when myself and our Acquisitions Head fly off to MIPCOM in Cannes to finalise some programme acquisitions.

We will be moving into our new state-of-the-art Broadcast Centre, just beside the newly-branded 3 Arena in Dublin’s Docklands, in mid-October. That’s when we will take delivery of our new news set and begin rehearsals for our news and current affairs programmes, Ireland Live and Ireland Live at 10. Negotiations with platform providers continue and we are making good progress – watch this space for exciting announcements soon.

For now though, it’s time to sign off and get back to the job at hand, as we head towards 99 days, 98 days, 97…


UTV Ireland Announces Marcus Lehnen as Head of News

11 September 2014

Marcus Lehnen

UTV Ireland is delighted to announce the appointment of Marcus Lehnen as Head of News.

Marcus has more than 25 years’ experience in journalism – most recently as Editor of RTÉ’s Six One and Nine News. Marcus has worked in newspapers, radio and television and before joining RTÉ, he spent 15 years with the BBC in London, where he held senior production and editorial roles in news and current affairs programming at BBC World Television News.

Mary Curtis, UTV Ireland’s Head of Channel, said:

"Marcus is an excellent addition to the UTV Ireland team. His exemplary journalism career includes coverage of major national and international events and the management of news programmes and news teams.

"UTV Ireland will place a strong focus on quality news delivery. With regional news bureaux in Cork, Galway and Limerick – in addition to existing UTV news facilities in Belfast and Derry – our news and current affairs programmes, Ireland Live and Ireland Live at 10, will deliver the latest breaking news, in-depth analysis and expert debate, from across the country. Marcus will play a leading role in shaping the delivery of our news programming and developing an expert news team. I am delighted to welcome Marcus to UTV Ireland and I look forward to working with him."

Marcus Lehnen said:

"This is a very exciting time for the broadcast industry in Ireland. UTV is an excellent media group and the news and current affairs plans for UTV Ireland are fresh and ambitious. I am delighted to be joining the channel and I look forward to working with the UTV Ireland team."

Michael Wilson, Managing Director of UTV Ireland, said:

"There is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to bring UTV Ireland to life. The development of our Dublin-based broadcast centre is on schedule, our discussions with service providers are going to plan and we are recruiting some of the most talented people in the Irish broadcasting industry. Marcus is a great appointment for UTV Ireland. His news and current affairs credentials are exceptional and we are delighted he is joining the team."

UTV Ireland’s news and current affairs programming, Ireland Live and Ireland Live at 10, will begin broadcasting live from the channel’s Dublin studios on Monday, 5th January 2015. Further details of UTV Ireland’s schedule will be announced in the coming months.


Pat Kenny Joins UTV Ireland to present new series in 2015

19 August 2014

Pat Kenny

UTV Ireland today revealed that renowned broadcaster Pat Kenny will present a new peak-time series on Ireland’s newest TV channel, in early 2015. The station also unveiled a strong line-up of drama, entertainment and original Irish programming to show viewers just some of the shows they can expect from the channel next year.

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said: "We took the market by surprise last November when we announced our plans for UTV Ireland and I am delighted to do the same today as I reveal that one of Ireland’s most distinguished broadcasters, Pat Kenny, will be making his return to television in early 2015, on UTV Ireland.

"Pat is one of the most respected and experienced presenters in Ireland. His style of interviewing is unique, insightful and often challenging. These are all qualities that fit with the style of broadcasting that UTV Ireland aims to bring to the market and we are delighted that Pat will be part of the channel from the beginning."

Pat Kenny says: "I’m very excited to be joining the team at UTV Ireland and really looking forward to broadcasting on TV, early in 2015. Passion is very much at the centre of my rationale for teaming up with the team at UTV Ireland – the passion and energy which they’re demonstrating very much matches my own desire to get out there with something innovative, exciting and creative.

"It is early days in terms of the details of the output but I’m energised by the team at UTV Ireland and the prospect of working with talented young people, allied to some very experienced and wise colleagues.

"The plan is to be on air in the early part of 2015 and we’ve had a few good exchanges about how we can produce an entertaining, enticing proposition that is compelling for viewers. During the next few months we’ll take what is effectively a blank canvas with some initial strands and shape it to create the best television possible.

"For me, this is new territory – interesting, challenging and fresh. Another leap, so to speak. I also know the output will reflect the passion, talent, creativity and the energy of the team at UTV Ireland and I’m delighted to be part of that team."

Mary Curtis, Head of Channel, UTV Ireland, said: “From the outset there was one presenter in Ireland we wanted to work with to present a high profile series for the channel. Pat Kenny’s credentials are synonymous with quality and integrity and he is one of Ireland’s most popular interviewers. All the team at UTV Ireland are looking forward to working with him over the coming months to develop a fresh and exciting new series for Irish viewers."

UTV Ireland’s agreement with ITV Studios Global Entertainment gives the channel access, from the start of 2015, to programming made by ITV Studios for broadcast on the ITV main channel in the UK, which includes drama, entertainment, soaps, comedy and documentaries, as well as access to ITV Studios’ back catalogue of productions. UTV Ireland has also signed programme deals with All3 Media, DRG and HatTrick International.

Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television said: “So what is UTV Ireland about… well, we will have the best of entertainment, accessible and relevant news and current affairs and domestic programming that will reflect a modern Ireland. What we are revealing today are just a few of the highlights. It’s a clear commitment to our viewers to deliver a high quality television channel for Ireland.

"I believe UTV Ireland will have one of the strongest line-ups of programmes for a channel ever to launch in the Irish market. From the cobbles of Coronation Street, to comedy, drama and good old family entertainment, Irish viewers can look forward to seeing it all on UTV Ireland next year.

"We’ve got entertainment shows with Ant and Dec – I'm a Celebrity and Saturday Night Takeaway, high quality drama with Jeremy Piven in Mr Selfridge and classics like Prime Suspect and Cracker – as well as daytime shows, This Morning, Loose Women and The Chase. Graham Norton will be a very welcome face to UTV Ireland, bringing his unique brand of entertainment and humour and Jonathan Ross will also bring big name guests to the channel."

Mary Curtis, Head of Channel, UTV Ireland said: “News and current affairs programming is a major part of UTV Ireland and something that UTV has always excelled in. We are putting significant investment behind UTV Ireland’s news programming and we are delighted to be announcing an additional early evening news programme today.

"Ireland Live will be a 30-minute round-up of all the day’s news from both home and abroad with a specific sports focus on Fridays, looking ahead to all the weekend action. Ireland Live at 10 will be a 60-minute news and current affairs programme, which will also facilitate debate and expert reaction on topical issues. We will also commission and produce home-grown content which will complement this programming with a view to serving and entertaining our audiences further."

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said: "A huge amount of work has been going on behind the scenes – not only in Dublin but, all across the country. UTV Ireland will be a very strong platform for advertisers and our aim is to deliver a winning programme line-up for our audience."


Programmes Unveiled Today by UTV Ireland

19 August 2014

Domestic Irish Content

  • Ireland Live – early evening half hour news every weekday
  • Ireland Live at Ten – One hour of news and current affairs every weekday night
  • Rare Breed - 22 Irish farming families currently being filmed across the country telling us about life as it really is over a year in their lives
  • Paul and Nick - A Scotsman and an Irishman, best friends and chefs cooking up a storm on the high seas, state side.
  • Lesser Spotted Journeys - Joe Mahon on his own unique journey to give us a fresh view of those special places we know and love in Ireland.

ITV Studios GE

  • The Graham Norton Show - Graham Norton presents a show with the best guests, the best comedy and the best fun.
  • Vera - International award winning actress Brenda Blethyn reprises her leading role as the brilliantly perceptive D.C.I. Vera Stanhope for a new series of the popular crime drama.
  • Mr Selfridge - Based upon the life of flamboyant American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge, who founded the world-renowned store on London’s Oxford Street in 1909, Mr Selfridge tells the story of 'Mile a Minute Harry', a man with a mission to make shopping as thrilling as sex.
  • And & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway - The only show on TV that says "Don't just watch the ads - win them!" explodes on to our screens with a host of huge scale stunts, hilarious sketches and appearances from some of the biggest global stars.
  • I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! - Leaving their loved ones and luxuries far behind, a group of celebrity faces will spend up to three weeks taking on the terrors of the Australian jungle, plus a whole load of brand new nasty surprises dreamt up especially for them.
  • Surprise Surprise - Presented by Holly Willoughby, Surprise Surprise will be giving well deserving members of the public the biggest surprise of their lives.
  • The Jonathan Ross Show - Employing his infectious wit and sense of fun, Jonathan chats to celebrity guests and asks the questions to which everyone wants to know the answers.
  • Coronation Street - Coronation Street is the story of the everyday lives of ordinary folk living in a northern town called Weatherfield. The show’s unique blend of heart-warming comedy and powerful drama always remaining at the forefront of its programming since 1960.
  • Emmerdale - Emmerdale is the small village with big drama. Set against the stunningly beautiful backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales Emmerdale has been successfully running for 41 years.
  • Jeremy Kyle - More drama, more family feuds, more confrontations and those all-important DNA tests and lie detector results on The Jeremy Kyle Show.
  • Lorraine - Lorraine Kelly presents a topical mix of entertainment, discussion and showbiz glamour as well as the latest fashion, food and celebrity gossip.
  • This Morning - Celebrity guests, entertainment, advice, competitions and features....and much more on this award winning magazine show.
  • Loose Women - Join the Loose Women panel for daily chat, gossip and celebrity interviews.
  • The Chase – quiz show presented by Bradley Walsh.
  • Prime Suspect – The tense, uncompromising drama starring the Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren and from the distinguished dramatist and novelist Lynda La Plante, has been critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic and has won a total of 14 international awards including BAFTAs for 'Drama Serial' and 'TV Actress'.
  • Cracker - Set in Manchester, Cracker is a British crime drama series centred on a criminal psychologist Dr Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald, played by Robbie Coltrane.

All3 Media

  • Midsomer Murders - Inspector Barnaby investigates murder mysteries in Middle England.
  • Foyle’s War - Writer Anthony Horowitz blends real-life war stories with tales of treachery and suspense in this crime drama series.
  • Undeniable - Two-part thriller about a woman who believes she recognises her mother's killer 23 years after the murder took place, though her family and the police have their doubts.
  • Love Your Garden - Alan Titchmarsh travels around the country seeking out some of the loveliest domestic gardens.
  • The Cube - Contestants battle to win a top prize of £250,000. Presented by Philip Scholfield.

DRG

  • Doc Martin - Medical comedy drama series starring Martin Clunes in the title role.

UTV Ireland announces Alison Comyn as news anchor

17 August 2014

Alison Comyn

UTV Ireland is delighted to announce Alison Comyn as one of the new faces of UTV Ireland’s news and current affairs programme, Ireland Live at 10.

Born in Louth and living in Drogheda, Alison is a highly experienced broadcaster who presented numerous current affairs and entertainment programmes in the UK and Ireland, across RTÉ, BBC, Sky News and Channel 4. Most recently, Alison worked as a reporter with Independent Newspapers, covering regional, political, crime and current affairs issues. Alison also presented the BBC’s national ‘Holiday’ programme, where she worked alongside Jill Dando, Carol Smiley and Craig Doyle for four years.

Beginning on January 5th 2015, Ireland Live at 10 will broadcast from 10pm to 11pm, Monday to Friday – covering breaking news and facilitating topical debate on domestic and international issues.

Michael Wilson, Managing Director of UTV Ireland, said:

"With a media career spanning 20 years, Alison brings a wealth of experience to UTV Ireland and our news team. Her passion and professionalism are a great fit for the channel. UTV is widely recognised for investing in and producing high quality news and current affairs programming and the same core values will be applied to UTV Ireland. Our nightly news programme, Ireland Live at 10, will deliver the latest breaking stories along with in-depth analysis and debate."

Mary Curtis, UTV Ireland’s Head of Channel, said:

"We are investing significantly in UTV Ireland’s news and current affairs operations. Ireland Live at 10 will broadcast live from our Dublin-based headquarters and, in addition to UTV’s existing news facilities in Belfast and Derry, we are in the process of securing news bureaux in Cork, Galway and Limerick, to ensure the best all-island coverage. We are delighted to welcome Alison to UTV Ireland and we will be announcing Alison’s co-anchor in due course, as we are currently building a strong team of experienced journalists and reporters."

Speaking today, Alison Comyn said:

"I have worked across a range of media throughout my career but, television news reporting has always been my true passion. When broadcasting into homes and providing information that will ultimately shape opinions and entice debate, you have a responsibility which I feel privileged to uphold. I have always admired UTV’s news and current affairs programming and I am delighted to be joining the UTV Ireland team."

UTV Ireland, Ireland’s newest television channel, will launch on January 1st 2015. Further details of UTV Ireland’s full schedule will be announced in the coming months.


UTV appoints Matt Williams as Group Director of Trading (Ireland)

11 August 2014

UTV Ireland Headquarters

Pictured with Matt (right) is Daragh Byrne, UTV Ireland Commercial Director.

Matt Williams has been appointed as UTV’s Group Director of Trading (Ireland), based in Dublin. Matt will be responsible for the development, implementation and optimisation of trading strategies across television, as well as the further development of UTV Group multi-platform trading in Ireland.

Matt has a more than 20 years of commercial trading experience – most recently as Head of Trading with TV3, where he was responsible for strategy and commercial revenue negotiations. He started his career with STV in London, spent 16 years with ITV and moved to Dublin in 2003 to set up commercial operations for Viacom across its suite of channels, including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

Matt Williams said:

"UTV is an excellent business that has grown considerably in recent years. The introduction of UTV Ireland is an extremely positive development for the broadcasting industry in Ireland and I am delighted to be a part of the expanding team at UTV’s Dublin headquarters."

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said:

"I am delighted to welcome Matt to UTV at this very exciting time for the Group with the launch of UTV Ireland this January. Matt has significant commercial experience in broadcasting bringing a wealth of knowledge to this new role as Group Director of Trading (Ireland).

"Matt will oversee the implementation of a new trading policy to serve the Group’s interests in Ireland. He will work closely with Daragh Byrne, UTV Ireland’s new Commercial Director and Brian McCarthy, National Sales Director, UTV Radio Solutions to put in place highly competitive campaigns for clients across all our media assets in Ireland."


UTV Ireland announces Dublin Headquarters

3 July 2014

UTV Ireland Headquarters

UTV Ireland today signed a contract with Brehon Capital Partners to secure the entire ground floor of Macken House, Dublin 1, which will be transformed into the new channel’s broadcast centre.

UTV Media plc has a strong existing presence at Macken House, with FM104 located on the first floor and Q102, UTV Radio Solutions and UTV Sales based on the second floor of the building.

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said:

"Macken House has been a great success for UTV since we first moved into the building five years ago. I am delighted that we have secured the ground floor for UTV Ireland, which enables us to keep all of UTV’s Dublin-based broadcasting teams under one roof.

"We have seen how beneficial this location is, in terms of surrounding amenities and transport links. The building will now be our Group Irish headquarters, with more than 200 staff located at the premises.

"Whilst UTV Ireland will be headquartered in Dublin, we are currently looking at regional news bureaux in Cork, Galway and Limerick, to facilitate our country-wide news team – ensuring that UTV Ireland will be close to breaking news, as it happens, throughout Ireland."

UTV Ireland’s broadcast centre will consist of two studios, edit suites, corporate offices and news, administration, finance and sales areas. More than 80 UTV Ireland personnel, working across programming, news, sales, operations and corporate functions, will be based at the new UTV Ireland ground-floor facility.

Also commenting on today’s announcement, Michael Wilson, UTV Ireland Managing Director, said:

"This is a significant milestone in the birth of UTV Ireland and we are delighted to be expanding our existing operations at Macken House. The expansion represents a multi-million euro investment in the technical build and we expect to be fully operational, in our new facility, in the coming months. In the meantime, we have secured a temporary working space in an adjacent building, which will house UTV Ireland’s growing team, until the fit-out is complete."

The ground floor space at Macken House is being let by Brehon Capital Partners, who acquired the building in a joint venture with PIMCO as part of the Ulysses portfolio in December 2013.

Pauline Brady, Asset Manager for Brehon Capital Partners said:

"We are delighted that UTV has decided to use Macken House as the location for its new broadcast centre and headquarters. We have now leased close to 50% of the space that was vacant in the Ulysses portfolio when we acquired it in December 2013, which is an indication of the continued demand for high quality commercial space in Dublin’s city centre and Docklands."


UTV Ireland reveals its new brand identity at industry briefing for producers

19 June 2014

UTV Ireland hosted a briefing session today (Thursday, 19 June) for independent production companies, where the new UTV Ireland brand identity was revealed by Managing Director, Michael Wilson and Head of Channel, Mary Curtis.

Unveiling UTV Ireland’s logo to an audience of more than 300 industry representatives, Michael Wilson said:

UTV Ireland
New brand identity © UTV Ireland

"We are delighted to launch UTV Ireland’s new logo today and it is only fitting that we should do so to an audience we will be working closely with next year.

"UTV Ireland is a new Irish station set up to give further choice to the Irish public. But it was important for us to establish a distinct brand for UTV Ireland – one which is fresh and contemporary but which also recognises UTV’s heritage and strong association with Irish audiences over the past 50 years."

The briefing, which took place in Croke Park, was held to outline the commissioning process and programme requirements for Ireland’s newest television channel, launching on January 1st 2015.

UTV Ireland’s Head of Channel, Mary Curtis, said:

"Ireland’s independent production companies are among the best in the world. The competition for content creation in this market has resulted in industry-leading programme delivery for the viewer.

"The majority of our commissioned content will be reserved for transmission between 7pm and 10pm, peak time in our schedule. We want contemporary relevant and entertaining programmes that reflect Ireland and our audiences – and we have a particular interest in lifestyle, factual entertainment and format programming. We will also be working with our commercial team to review proposals for fully sponsored or advertiser-funded programming – subject to approval from our commissioning department."

Michael Wilson said: "We will commission programmes which reflect the people and culture of the Irish audience UTV Ireland aims to serve. We are looking for programmes that will be high in public service value – focusing on areas such as lifestyle, the environment, culture, history and people. We want content of and from Ireland that will entertain and inform, and engage with the audience."

UTV Ireland will have a rolling commissioning process which will begin from January 2015. All programme proposals should be addressed to UTV Ireland’s Commissioning Department and sent via email to commissioning@utv.ie.


UTV Ireland invites independent production companies to briefing session in Dublin

30 May 2014

UTV Ireland will host a briefing session for independent production companies on Thursday 19 June, 2014 in Dublin to discuss the commissioning process for the new channel which goes on air on January 1, 2015.

Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television and Mary Curtis, Head of Channel, UTV Ireland will outline UTV Ireland’s programme requirements, commissioning process and Code of Practice.

Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television said:

"For more than 50 years UTV has commissioned innovative and popular programming for our audience in Northern Ireland and in the last five years alone we have worked with more than 20 independent production companies on regional productions. UTV Ireland now wishes to develop strong relationships with the independent sector in Ireland and bring further choice to the Irish market by commissioning high quality domestic programming across all genres.

"We have been delighted with the interest from the Irish independent production sector wanting to know what type of programmes will be shown on UTV Ireland and how they can work with UTV on new commissions. This briefing will answer those questions and many more as we embark on a new relationship with the Irish production community."

Mary Curtis, Head of Channel, UTV Ireland said:

"UTV Ireland will reflect the interests of our audience. This briefing gives us the opportunity to talk about programming and commissioning to ensure we get the best ideas for the channel and engage with the Irish audience through relevant public service Irish content.

"We will be looking for independent commissions which will reflect the people and culture of the Irish audience UTV Ireland aims to serve. We are also seeking programming that will entertain and inform."

Representatives from independent production companies must register their interest to attend the UTV Ireland briefing session by Tuesday, June 10 2014 by emailing commissioning@utv.ie. Attendance is limited to two representatives per company and UTV will confirm the venue and time directly to attendees. This event is to explain the commissioning process of UTV Ireland and to answer questions, it is not intended as an event to pitch ideas.


Julian’s Search for a Star

20 May 2014

UTV Ireland search for new faces to introduce soaps, drama and entertainment

Well, what about ya ... Fancy being the ‘Julian Simmons’ for UTV Ireland.

A household name throughout Ireland Julian Simmons is famed for his unique presenting style and witty intros to Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Julian is now searching for a new face to front the soaps on the all new UTV Ireland, due to air on January 1 2015.

Julian’s keen to point out that his UTV Ireland counterpart will have big shoes to fill!

"If you think you have what it takes to do my job, like introducing the latest goings on in the Rovers Return and keeping Ireland viewers up to date with all the shenanigans in Emmerdale, well show us what you’ve got then!", challenged Julian in Dublin to launch the search.

"I’ll be searching high and low around the country for a new star to front our soaps, drama and entertainment shows on the all new UTV Ireland from January ...

"Let me tell you, it’s not as easy as I make it look, but if you fancy giving it a go register below now and you could be the one!"

Submissions have now closed.


UTV Ireland signs 3 year Agreement with All3 Media International

14 May 2014

UTV Ireland has signed a three year agreement with ALL3 Media International for the exclusive broadcast rights in Ireland for new series of Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War, Undeniable and Love Your Garden as well as all future series of The Cube from 2015.

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said:

"These programmes are well known and loved by the Irish audience and we look forward to giving them a new home next year on UTV Ireland. We are investing significantly in programming through agreements like this with All3 Media International, as we aim to replicate the huge popularity of UTV in Northern Ireland here in Ireland with our new Irish channel."

Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television said:

"All3 Media International is one of the world’s leading distributors of content with an impeccable track record. By acquiring these high quality drama and entertainment series which already have a strong following in Ireland, we are delivering on our promise of bringing the Irish audience the programmes they want to see on UTV Ireland.

"Our plans are also well advanced for quality domestic programmes and we look forward to announcing more about our Irish content in the coming weeks and months."

Peter Grant – SVP International Sales, All3 Media International said:

"We are delighted to be working on this new venture with UTV – and that they have chosen shows such as Midsomer Murders, The Cube and Foyle’s War to spearhead their expansion. We are sure that we will continue to grow our relationship as they extend their business in Ireland."


UTV Ireland appoints Mary Curtis as Head of Channel

29 April 2014

Mary Curtis is the new Head of Channel at UTV Ireland with responsibility for overseeing all programming content and leading the Irish team in the development of the new channel across all platforms.

Mary has well-established television credentials and senior management experience most recently as Director of Digital Switchover with additional responsibility for RTE Television's digital strategy. She was previously Deputy Director for Television Programmes, RTE with responsibility for commissioning and programming. As a member of the board of directors of RTE Television, Mary directed the strategic review of RTE’s full portfolio of services in 2013. John McCann, Group Chief Executive of UTV Media plc said: "Mary brings a wealth of Irish television experience to UTV which will be invaluable as we finalise our plans for UTV Ireland. Working closely with Managing Director Michael Wilson, Mary will be responsible for planning the strategic direction of UTV Ireland."

Mary Curtis, Head of Channel, UTV Ireland said: "I’m delighted to be part of this new chapter in Irish television. I look forward to working with the senior management team to deliver a compelling new viewing experience for the audience with UTV Ireland."

Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television said: "Mary’s proven expertise across programming, public affairs, broadcasting and digital matters will be vitally important in ensuring UTV Ireland is successfully launched to meet the needs of the Irish audience."

Mary left RTE in September 2013 to set up a consultancy advising state bodies and businesses on public affairs and public information.


UTV Ireland signs content contract with BAI

27 February 2014

UTV Ireland Limited (UTV) a subsidiary of UTV Media plc has signed a ten year television content provision contract with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), under section 71 of the Irish Broadcasting Act.

UTV Ireland plans to commence broadcasting in the Republic of Ireland in January 2015.

UTV has an agreement with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which will give UTV the exclusive broadcasting rights for ITV Studios programmes for the Republic of Ireland audience, including popular soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale from early 2015.

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said:

"We are delighted to sign today’s contract with the BAI and look forward to bringing Irish viewers a fantastic new TV channel in January 2015. UTV Ireland will follow UTV’s existing winning formula of combining high quality news, current affairs, entertainment and drama. Today’s announcement represents a strong vote of confidence by UTV in Irish broadcasting and our investment in the Irish economy."

Bob Collins, Chairperson, BAI said:

"Today’s contract signing with UTV Ireland Limited is to be welcomed particularly for the additional choice and increased diversity of content that it will offer to Irish viewers. The company is well known to the BAI as a contractor for several radio services operating in the State. The Authority wishes the company every success with its television venture in this jurisdiction."

Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television said:

"Our plans for UTV Ireland are now well under way and we look forward to announcing more exciting programming in the coming months. UTV Ireland will create more than 100 new jobs with its offices based in Dublin backed up by additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick."

The announcement by the BAI is available here


Broadcasting Authority Of Ireland to enter into content contract with UTV Ireland

6 February 2014

UTV Media plc welcomes today’s announcement by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to enter into negotiations with its subsidiary UTV Ireland Ltd for a television content provision contract, under section 71 of the Irish Broadcasting Act.

UTV Ireland plans to commence broadcasting in the Republic of Ireland in January 2015.

UTV submitted its application to the BAI in November 2013 following the signing of an agreement with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which will give UTV the exclusive broadcasting rights for ITV Studios programmes for the Republic of Ireland audience, including popular soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale from early 2015, once appropriate statutory broadcasting licences are in place.

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said:

"We are delighted by the BAI’s announcement today to enter into negotiations on the terms of our television contract for UTV Ireland.

"The audience in Ireland has known the UTV brand for more than 50 years through our station for Northern Ireland and our market leading Irish radio stations. We look forward to building on that success with the launch of UTV Ireland in January 2015."

Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television said:

"As we enter these negotiations, we look forward to bringing Irish viewers a wonderful new viewing experience in January 2015, utilising the existing UTV winning formula of combining high quality news, current affairs, entertainment and drama."

The new channel will be based in Dublin with additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick.

The contract to be negotiated between the BAI and UTV Ireland Limited is provided for under section 71 of the Irish Broadcasting Act 2009.

The announcement by the BAI is available here


UTV announces new television channel in Ireland, creating more than 100 new jobs

6 November 2013

UTV Media plc is delighted to announce that its subsidiary UTV Ireland Limited (UTV) plans to launch a new Irish TV channel which will create more than 100 new jobs.

An application to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) for a Content Provision Contract was submitted today (6 November).

This announcement follows the signing of an agreement with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which will give UTV the exclusive broadcasting rights for ITV Studios programmes for the Republic of Ireland audience, including popular soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale from early 2015, once appropriate statutory broadcasting licences are in place.

The new channel will be based in Dublin with additional newsgathering and reporting presence in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick. UTV plans to have this new channel on air in early 2015.

John McCann, Group Chief Executive, UTV Media plc said:

"The audience in Ireland has known the UTV brand for more than 50 years through our station for Northern Ireland and we're delighted to announce our plans for a new dedicated channel for viewers in the Republic of Ireland.

"UTV Media already has a very strong presence in the Republic of Ireland employing more than 300 people in our various businesses including our market leading Irish radio stations. We look forward to building on that success with the launch of a new Irish TV channel.

"After incurring start-up costs in 2014 we expect the new channel to breakeven in its first full year of operation and then move into profit from 2016.

"Today's announcement represents a strong vote of confidence in Irish broadcasting and our investment in the Irish economy."

Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television said:

"UTV was the first commercial TV channel in Ireland when it launched as part of the ITV Network back in 1959 and for many years the only place where you could watch Coronation Street and the hugely popular ITV network programming.

"We intend to introduce UTV Ireland in early 2015 utilising the existing UTV winning formula of combining high quality news, current affairs, entertainment and drama.

"We plan to make this new channel available on as many platforms as possible, subject to contract approval, with a catch up service also available online."

For further information, please email info@u.tv