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Broadcasting Group

John Taylor, Broadcasting Group Chair

John Taylor, Broadcasting Group Chair.

The Broadcasting Group represents all Society members and associates working in radio and TV broadcast within the UK and, where possible, abroad. We are pleased to administer the Imison Radio Award. We also co-administer the Tinniswood Radio Award with the Writers' Guild.
 

About the Group

The main purpose of the Broadcasting Group is to support members and associates by: providing professional advice;  negotiating minimum terms agreements with organisations such as the BBC;  promoting legislation for the benefit of members; and by holding seminars and meetings on matters of concern to broadcasting writers.

To be eligible for membership of the Group you need to have written and had broadcast at least two scripts for radio or television of at least twenty minutes’ duration. Please email Jo McCrum  with details of your production(s) if you would like to join. As with all the Society’s subsidiary groups there is no additional joining fee.

 

The Committee

A committee of ten elected members runs the Group (John Taylor (Chair), Ruth Brandon, Christopher William Hill, Marcy Kahan, Annette Kobak, Michelle Lipton, Jane Thynne, Stephen Wakelam, Mike Walker and Elizabeth-Anne Wheal). Their term of office lasts for three years.

Any Broadcasting Group member can apply for a position on the committee provided that they have the support of two members. The Chair is elected by the members of the committee.

The Broadcasting Group Secretary is Jo McCrum.
 

Broadcasting Group Noticeboard

Broadcasting Survey

We would like to offer a resource for members on rates offered to writers by TV, film and radio producers. If you’ve been interviewed on a specialist subject, had a work licensed for use, acted as a consultant or contributed in any medium we’d like to hear about your experiences – good and bad. Please complete this survey. All responses will be strictly confidential.

 

BBC TV Rates

The PMA/Writers’ Guild have negotiated an increase of 2% on all minimum fees for BBC TV to be applied from 1 November. The headline rate for teleplays, shorter scripts and children’s drama and comedy is now £188 per minute - £11,280 for a 60 minute slot. Attendance fees are £100 per day.  


BBC radio comedy and 4 Extra

Caroline Raphael (Commissioning Editor Comedy and Fiction, BBC Radio 4 and Commissioning Editor, BBC Radio 4 Extra)  will leave the BBC next spring. The Commissioning Editor for Comedy and Fiction will now be advertised as a part-time post. It is currently unclear how 4 Extra will continue to be managed – we will report after a scheduled meeting at the BBC on 21 November. 


BBC contributor payments

The BBC has informed us that, following planned upgrades to their SAP business and payments system, they will be unable to process any contributor payments (or pay any invoices) between 2 - 12 January 2015. Contracts raised between 2 and 12 January 2015 will be brought forward to be paid immediately before the systems upgrade. Email Mark.Chapman-Rights@bbc.co.uk if you have any queries.

BBC’s archive of radio and television programmes – one touch clearances

The BBC would like to make their archive of radio and television programmes more widely available. As it is not economical to clear every contribution from each writer whose work features in the archive individually, the BBC is requesting a general permission from each writer to make the entire catalogue of their work available on similar (paid) terms to those that apply to contemporary programme commissions. Consents from (and payments to) the owners of underlying rights will continue to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Members often complain that their past work has become inaccessible, so we highly recommend that you sign up to this deal. Letters are currently being sent to authors, 500 a week, containing the following information: 

 

TELEVISION

Since 2002 the BBC has commissioned scripts under agreements reached in the TV Forum with the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) and writers’ agents through their trade association the Personal Managers’ Association (PMA).  The TV Forum negotiates minimum fees, conditions and payment systems for both existing and new uses.

The signatories to this letter wish to give an expanded mandate to the TV Forum to set rates of payment for uses of TV scripts commissioned before 2002 (‘TV archive material’).

Where TV archive material is transmitted on BBC television channels the relevant repeat payment will be based on the original fee the writer received (adjusted for inflation) and will be paid to the writer by the BBC in accordance with the script agreements relevant at the time (as opposed to whatever agreement the writer might have had originally).

Where television exploitation (other than on the main BBC channels) is non-commercial e.g. BBC iPlayer, the TV Forum would negotiate an annual payment to cover the clearance of all writers’ material. The WGGB and PMA have set up Writers' Digital Payments Limited which will arrange for distribution of the annual payment to writers whose work is made available in this way.

Existing DVD arrangements will continue to operate, but other commercial exploitation will be paid for by a royalty to be negotiated in the TV Forum.

RADIO

Since 2005 the BBC has commissioned scripts under agreements reached in the Radio Forum with the WGGB, the PMA and the Society of Authors (SoA).  The Radio Forum negotiates minimum fees, conditions and payment systems for both existing and new uses.

The signatories to this letter wish to give an expanded mandate to the Radio Forum to set rates of payment for uses of radio scripts commissioned before 2005 (‘Radio archive material’).

Where Radio archive material is transmitted on BBC core radio networks the relevant repeat payment will be based on the original fee the writer received (adjusted for inflation) and will be paid to the writer by the BBC in accordance with the script agreements relevant at the time (as opposed to whatever agreement the writer might have had originally).

In addition to payment for exploitation on BBC core radio networks, writers also receive an up-front payment for other non-commercial use e.g. Radio iPlayer and this will continue, as will the existing payment structure for Radio 4Extra.

Existing CD arrangements will continue to operate, but other commercial exploitation will be paid for by a royalty to be negotiated in the Radio Forum.

What you need to do

Please sign general licence so that your archive works can be treated as if they had been commissioned under current TV and Radio Forum negotiated agreements. If you do not sign your original contracts will continue to apply, but your work cannot be made available for any new uses approved by the relevant Forums.

You can indicate your acceptance for your entire catalogue. However, you may wish to withhold consent to the use of individual works or withdraw works (or re-include those previously withdrawn) at any time upon reasonable notice.

The www.bbc.co.uk/writerslicence website has FAQs and a copy of the licence that you can download and return. Please contact Jmccrum@societyofauthors.org if you have any specific queries. Please let other authors or their Estates know of this permissions exercise as the BBC may not have the right contact/address on record.


Imison and Tinniswood Award Winners

The third annual BBC Audio Drama Awards were presented on Sunday 26 January.

The winners were announced at a ceremony in the Radio Theatre at BBC Broadcasting House by the comedian and actor, Lenny Henry. Follow the hashtag #audioawards to read a selection of tweets from the evening.

In conjunction with the Society of Authors and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, the Imison and Tinniswood Awards were also announced and presented by the distinguished playwright and screenwriter of Spooks fame, Howard Brenton.

The Imison Award for Best Radio Drama Script by a new writer

Winner: The Loving Ballad of Captain Bateman by Joseph Wilde with the composer Tim Van Eyken.

Society of Author’s Broadcasting Committee: John Taylor (Chair), Ruth Brandon, Lucy Caldwell, Christopher William Hill, Alison Joseph, Annette Kobak, Michelle Lipton, Jane Thynne, Stephen Wakelam and Elizabeth-Anne Wheal.

The Tinniswood Award for Best Radio Drama Script

 

Winner: Marathon Tales by Colin Teevan and Hannah Silva.

Judges: Louise Doughty, Marcy Kahan and David Pownall.

 

Read more about the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2014

We are currently judging this year's entries. Judging the Imison is the SoA broadcasting committee, whereas Sue Teddern, Kate Chapman and Amanda Whittington are judging the Tinniswood. Results will be announced at the BBC ADA’s on 1 February.

The Children's Media Foundation

We support The Children's Media Foundation who are dedicated to ensuring the UK children have the best possible choice, range and quality of media available to them. It's role is to bring together the children's media industry, the research community, parents and policy makers in a deeper understanding of the issues around children and their media activity. It supports research projects, and media literacy initiatives, runs an All Party Group to inform Parliamentarians about the latest research, and lobbies for greater support for children's media made in the UK.

Factual Radio Programmes

Have you got a great idea for a radio feature, but don’t know where to begin? This archive from our 2013 conference From Page to Programme details wider trends of commissioning as well as the nitty-gritty of getting books, contributions, views and programmes on air. Contributors included the boradcaster Patrick Humphries, Jane Ellison, Commissioning Editor BBC Radio 4,  David Prest of Whistledown Productions and Susan Marling of Just Radio.

 

Membership

An annual subscription (£95 or £68 if you're under 35) entitles you to unlimited advice on all aspects of the writing profession.

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