Statement to staff by S4C Authority Chair, John Walter Jones

“I’d like to thank you for your loyalty and patience at a very difficult time here at S4C.

“I would like to apologise to you. Apologise because a situatiion I regarded as one that was purely personal to me and my wife has become the subject of such public debate and consequently dealt S4C another blow.

“I will be 65 at the end of March 2011, and my intention is to retire as Chair of S4C at that time. The Secretary of State and I discussed this and he understood my decision. We did not decide on a date to make this public. I did not want my decision to become the subject of debate, nor in any way influence the process that was on-going regarding the appointment of a CEO. Therefore, the date I had in mind was last Friday, to coincide with the closing date for applications. But I was denied the opportunity. The contents of a personal letter I received from Jeremy Hunt were misinterpreted, and S4C was hit by a Tsunami.

“I have made it clear to DCMS, and I will reiterate this when I next speak to the Minister, that I am more than willing to stand aside now if he is of the view that in so doing it would make easier any decision by him regarding the future of S4C.

“My only concern is the future of Welsh language broadcasting. In that respect I as an individual am of no importance, but our combined contribution is of immense importance. Believe me, I am very aware of the effect that all of these events are having on you and your dedication to the work of S4C and of the anguish it creates.

“Therefore, apologies, because the personal has, in some quarters had greater attention than far more relevant issues that concern us all.”