The men who made it possible


The chairman of CTV on the pioneers of the station

John Riley, Chairman of Channel Television

John Riley
John Riley

TWENTY-SIX years ago a consortium was formed to apply for a licence to establish an Independent Television company to serve the Channel Islands. The principals, Senators George Troy and Wilfred Krichefski were men of vision and determination and for the original shareholders it was an act of faith in an enterprise which many experts forecast could not succeed with a potential viewing population of some 100,000 people.

Ken Killip, then with ABC Television was seconded to plan, build and operate the station with Brian Turner, who sadly died in 1983, as his deputy.

Ken Killip’s retirement coincides with this 25th anniversary and it is a fitting moment to pay tribute to a man who was justly awarded an OBE for his services, not only to Channel Television but to the industry as a whole.

His careful husbandry, sound judgment and leadership brought Channel through its difficult formative years to the successful company it is today.

My predecessors in office, George Troy and Wilfred Krichefski, who are no longer with us, and Edward Collas, have each in turn left their individual stamp on the management and character of our company, and I am fortunate in taking over responsibility for a business in which everyone, from Board Member to newest recruit, recognises their responsibilities to each other, to the shareholders and to the public which they serve.

The present Board comprises men and women from Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney and the United Kingdom. All would pay particular tribute to Harold Fielding, who sadly retires this year, and whose experience and wisdom will be greatly missed.

John Henwood, one of only three original employees still serving and until recently Programme Controller, took over as Managing Director and Chief Executive on 1 August 1987. His experience in journalism, programme making, administration, and his life-long involvement with the affairs of both Bailiwicks bodes well for the future. And what of the future?

Independent Television is not the cosy monopoly that its critics sometimes claim. The advent of satellite broadcasting with an ever-increasing choice of channels, competition for audience ratings and consequently advertising revenue, and large multinational companies seeking further expansion, will inevitably mean that only the most efficient will survive.

Our priorities remain the same as they were 25 years ago: public service broadcasting throughout the Channel Islands; local programmes to the greatest quality and quantity the company can afford; and programme production for the UK and International networks.

Our subsidiary companies, Channel Rentals, Rentaset and Channel Promotions, are an important diversification and substantial contributors to group income.

It is with these factors in mind that we have bought the freehold of extensive premises at La Pouquelaye where these various activities can be brought under one roof, providing tighter administrative control and greater flexibility of operation.

Apart from taking advantage of all new technology, successful and responsible regional broadcasting depends on two main principles: the dedication of the staff to their various responsibilities; and the support (be it critical or complimentary) of the audience. In the four years that I have been Chairman I have been most grateful for both.


The Lee Barnard Collection in the Transdiffusion Archives

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