09 May 2014
We've been taking our business leadership series Glasgow Talks out on the road over the last two months - with thoroughly stalwart support from Clydesdale Bank. Special thanks to Robert Gibson and Stuart Cruickshank for that.
In this, fourth year of Glasgow Talks, we've decided to play around a bit with the format.
So on Thursday morning this week we set up shop in the STV studios at Pacific Quay to produce Glasgow Talks with STV CEO Rob Woodward, with a particular emphasis on the forthcoming launch of STV Glasgow - the new local channel for all things special about our city.
STV plc is a success story and just recently picked up the Best Large PLC of the Yeartrophy at the Scottish Corporate Awards. Its audience share is growing, its profitability increasing and it made the announcement that dividends were once again being paid to shareholders at its AGM in April.
Best of all, it's a PLC headquartered in Glasgow, and we could do with a few more of those.
We all know that television has been changing. We watch it differently with the prevalence of smart devices. We engage with it more, we want to be more actively involved in its content, and there are seemingly countless content options to choose from. Because of that range and variety we are actually consuming more content not less.
The different routes into content, from smart TVs through to tablets and mobile phones, are growing our interest further in that content, not over-saturating it as you might have thought.
It's a major achievement for STV to have grown its audience share in the face of all these changes, and Rob was especially keen that we should know that 20 times more people tune in to STV's content than Sky One.
STV Productions makes its own contribution to that content, and Rob made clear just how much the production company stands on its own feet as a B2B company. Surprisingly its biggest customer turns out to be the BBC, with programmes like Antiques Road Trip.
To add to our choice next month we will get STV Glasgow. The new channel will be launched on June 2 to a potential audience of two million in the Greater Glasgow area - with access via Freeview and on Sky, Virgin and BT TV platforms. There are several reasons why the Chamber is excited by the prospect.
To begin with we are relentlessly focused on telling the good, positive stories about Glasgow and its business community.
Regular readers of this blog - and I hope there are one or two - will know we want to shout long and hard about the strengths of our city's economy, whether it's the whisky industry sending 40 bottles a second to overseas markets or the life sciences sector making breakthroughs in stratified medicine.
STV Glasgow gives business a brand new outlet for telling those stories and we will be working hard to make sure our members know how to exploit that chance.
Secondly there will be lots of businesses from restaurants to designers to new starts who will be featured in the content just simply because they are the creative heart of our city.
And thirdly Rob was keen to highlight the rates at which business can advertise on the channel -allowing many smaller businesses may to look at TV advertising for the first time as a realistic option.
We already have one excellent champion of the Glasgow story in the shape of the Evening Times and we are big fans of the consistent voice that newspaper has been in the life of our city. Indeed we have just launched the 2014 Glasgow Business Awards process with the Times team. There isn't a paper in the market that captures Glasgow in the way the Evening Times does.
But we think there is a gap in the TV market for telling the positive story of Glasgow. There's much more to the planned programming than I had expected, with scope for in-depth local news and some old traditional favourites mixing with some surprises including, for example, an outlet for new foreign language drama - in Polish as it happens.
Our Glasgow Talks guests got a preview of the channel's new studio, but I'm bound by a strict promise to say no more about that. Look out for the launch in June. Good luck to Rob, Glasgow TV's channel editor Paul Hughes and the rest of the team with the next stage of STV's evolution.