Former UTV boss Wilson to head up media group in Isle of Man

Former UTV managing director Michael Wilson has taken up a new senior media role on the Isle of Man
Gary McDonald Business Editor

MEDIA veteran Michael Wilson, who stood down as managing director of UTV in March after more than a decade at Havelock House, has been appointed as the new chief executive of Isle of Media Ltd, the public-private partnership which will market the Isle of Man's media cluster and guide media ventures locating on the Irish Sea island.

Mr Wilson has more than two decades in commercial broadcasting, first with Sky News and from 2005 at UTV, where he presided over an increase in the station's new audience share, the launch and performance of its website, app and player, the renewal of UTV's Ofcom licence, but where he also fronted the launch of the much-maligned UTV Ireland, later acquired TV3's owner Virgin Media.

“Michael is a very senior figurehead in industry, and his appointment will further strengthen our offering, benefiting media entrepreneurs and investors,” Isle of Media's chairman Dr Richard K Arning said.

“With his experience in commercial broadcasting, ranging from programming, news gathering, government and regulatory relations, to launching various channels and digital platforms like apps and players, we are excited to take Isle of Media to the next level with him as the driving force behind our digital and creative strategy.”

Mr Wilson said: “Isle of Media is at a hugely exciting time in its development with global ambitions.

"I look forward to developing industry links and encouraging those with entrepreneurial ideas and businesses across the whole supply change of content creation, distribution and commissioning to news, channel operation and digital platforms to look at the Isle of Man as an ideal location to grow.

"It's the right time to move with Isle of Media into new ventures, I look forward to leveraging my experience in content creation and digital industries for the Isle of Man, which is uniquely positioned as Europe's only offshore digital media cluster as it is blessed not only as a picturesque filming location and its own culture, but with substantial advantages of a wide creative and tech talent base in film, video and IT, an extraordinary telecommunication infrastructure, financial incentive schemes and a digital media sector inclined government.”

Isle of Media acts as the national development agency for the thriving Isle of Man video, television and film sector.

Meanwhile Belfast contractors McLaughlin & Harvey have completed the fit-out phase of the new UTV studio and offices at City Quays 2.

Several companies have been involved in the project and all got together recently to mark this important milestone, handing the premises over to UTV in advance of the next phase, which involves the technical fit out of the studio, production galleries, edit suites and supporting technical infrastructure.

UTV will begin transmission from the new studio at the end of June.

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