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Ofcom boss and Bourne director to speak at Salford media conference

Ofcom chief executive Sharon White is among a raft of high profile speakers at this year’s Nations and Regions Media Conference – just days before the regulator takes over responsibility for holding the BBC to account.

She will be joined by industry figures including Bourne Supremacy director Paul Greengrass, Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark, Line Of Duty producer Simon Heath and the makers of hit returning documentary series Educating… at the conference, hosted by the University of Salford and held at Greater Manchester’s Lowry Arts Centre on March 28-29.

White will provide a keynote address on the future of UK broadcast regulation when she addresses the conference on March 29th.

The Nations and Regions Media Conference, now in its 23rd year, is broadly themed Working Futures: Our Brilliant Careers and celebrates excellence in a climate of opportunity outside London.

It will bring together a host of major players from the world of broadcasting and production across the UK, to celebrate the talent of those working outside London and tackle some of the main issues facing the industry, from the impact of digital convergence to what the government’s proposed industrial strategy might mean for producers and broadcasters.

  • On the evening of Tue 28th March Hollywood director and former World In Action investigative journalist Paul Greengrass will be joined by Kirsty Wark and Channel 4’s Head of News and Current Affairs Dorothy Byrne, to launch a special award in memory of legendary former World In Action editor Ray Fitzwalter, who died last year. It will honour a journalist living outside London and working across any media who can demonstrate exceptional investigative skills.


  • A panel including Line of Duty executive producer Simon Heath, Dark Angel writer Gwyneth Hughes and Happy Valley producer Nicola Shindler will share their insights into the unprecedented success of TV drama across the UK and ask whether drama producers have ever had it so good.


  • Joining a discussion around what makes a big factual hit, production company TwoFour, makers of Channel 4 brand Educating…(previously shot in Yorkshire and Cardiff), will share some secrets of their success as they film a new series down the road from the conference at Harrop Fold High School in Salford.


  • Bob Shennan, the BBC’s newly appointed Director of Radio will share his thoughts on the future of radio with Radio 5 Live breakfast presenter Rachel Burden, conference host for the day’s events.


  • From April the newly created BBC Studios will be free to make programmes for other channels in a move that also opens up opportunities for independent companies to bid for programmes currently being made in-house. The conference will explore what this means for producers across the UK.


Ruth Pitt, chair of the Nations and Regions Conference Steering Committee, said: “Sharon White’s appearance at NARM could not be more timely.

“She is a fantastically inspiring industry leader and we’re delighted she has chosen to speak at our NARM conference in the week that BBC Studios officially launches and Ofcom prepares to take over regulating the BBC. We are incredibly fortunate to have her as a keynote speaker and she reflects the calibre of guests we’ll be welcoming to Salford this year.”

The University of Salford’s Beth Hewitt, Director of the Nations and Regions Media Conference, said: “These are extremely exciting times for those working in the broadcast and digital media industries and in particular for UK productions out of London. As we move closer towards Brexit, NARM 2017 offers all those working in the nations and regions some fantastic opportunities to take stock of where the media industry is currently positioned and to examine the future landscape.

“The University of Salford’s MediaCityUK campus is situated in the heart of the region’s media hub, alongside the BBC, ITV and a wealth of independent production companies. We are delighted that some of the industry’s leading industry figures will be joining us for the 23rd Nations and Regions Media Conference to debate the key media issues of 2017.”

The Nations and Regions Media Conference opening reception will include an address by Paul Greengrass along with networking opportunities, and will take place from 6pm on Tuesday March 28, followed by the full day conference on Wednesday March 29.

Tickets for the conference are now available to buy. Early bird tickets, available until Thursday 16 February, are £90 rising to £120 from Friday 17 February.

More guests will be announced over the coming weeks.

Visit for more information or follow @Salford_Media.  

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