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Gaelic Media Service Appoints Head of Content

Gaelic Media Service (GMS) has appointed respected broadcaster Alan Esslemont as its new Head of Content.
Esslemont (49) joins GMS from the Irish language station TG4, where he is Director of Television. He has experience of creating a new channel and is recognised for his extensive expertise in developing innovative and imaginative programme strands.
Over the years, he has earned a reputation as an extremely able and competent operator in the broadcasting industry.
As Head of Content, Esslemont will have responsibility for developing GMS’s programme strategy along with new programme themes. His role will also involve managing the shape, look and feel of the new Gaelic Digital Service.
GMS is working in partnership with the BBC to establish the new service, which will launch in the spring of 2008, and Alan will work closely with the BBC and with the independent companies that will produce much of the programme content for the new service.
Welcoming the appointment, Donald Campbell, GMS Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely happy that Alan has accepted this important role. He has experience of setting up a new television channel and has expertise in producing programmes and in developing programme genres that attract a wide audience, Gaelic speakers and non-Gaelic speakers alike. Alan’s skills will be invaluable to us in creating the kind of innovative channel we know viewers in Scotland want.”
Esslemont commented: “TG4 has had a dramatic impact on the image of Irish Gaelic and on the language’s vitality. This is a very exciting time for broadcasting in Scotland. There is already a strong tradition of Gaelic programme making and I’m confident that we can work together to create a successful channel that will benefit Gaelic speaking viewers and Scotland as a whole.”
Born in Braemar, he grew up near Brechin, but has lived in Ireland since 1984, when he went to teach Scottish Gaelic at University College Galway.
From 1989 he has been involved with Telegael, the west of Ireland’s first independent audio-visual production company. He produced numerous programmes for broadcasters such as RTE before moving to TnaG – TG4’s original name – in 1995.
Gaelic Media Service (GMS) is a Scottish Government funded body established by statute and regulated by Ofcom.
The body’s key aim is to create a sustainable Gaelic Digital Service, comprising a television channel and other media, and it has secured a broadcast licence from Ofcom for this purpose.
GMS has reached agreement with the BBC that both parties will work in partnership to create a new service that is vibrant, comprehensive, cost-effective and contemporary.
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