Wales

S4C complains over critical University of Wales report

S4C HQ
Image caption S4C has expressed its 'disappointment'

S4C has made a legal complaint to the University of Wales about a critical report by one of its academics, BBC Wales has learnt.

The report by Richie Turner made several harsh criticisms of the channel's management.

Commissioned by the S4C Authority, it has not been officially published but its findings were leaked to a newspaper in July.

The university has suspended a staff member - not the report author.

It has also started an inquiry into the leak.

S4C have demanded that the fee for the report be repaid because of its unauthorised disclosure.

Mr Turner is the deputy director of the University of Wales' Global Academy.

'Positive steps'

His findings were reported as suggesting the broadcaster needed major changes to get rid of a "culture of fear and suspicion" at the channel.

Although S4C's lawyers expressed their client's "disappointment" in the report, the Welsh language channel has categorically denied that any pressure was put on Mr Turner to change or dilute his findings.

In a statement, they said: "S4C has, through its lawyers, expressed to the university disappointment that the final version of Richie Turner's report did not acknowledge the positive steps that the authority has already taken to address some of his findings and the significant improvements that have already resulted from these steps.

"However, no pressure has been brought to bear on Mr Turner by S4C to issue any kind of public statement or to in any way dilute the report, as that would be inappropriate."

Course of action

S4C is in the process of appointing a new chief executive, with an appointment expected as early as next week.

Senior figures from the broadcaster, including acting chief executive Arwel Ellis Owen met the University of Wales' vice chancellor Marc Clement at the National Eisteddfod in August.

They demanded an apology for the leak and that the fee paid for the work should be repaid, since the leak had come from within the university.

According to S4C's statement, Prof Clement suggested to them that the best course of action would be for Mr Turner to issue a personal statement.

However, no such statement has been made.

The University of Wales has told BBC Wales that it was not its policy to comment on matters between itself and its clients.

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