A message from our Founder and Chair, Caroline Diehl MBE
I am sad but excited to announce that I will be stepping down as Chair and Trustee at Together TV this September, and that we are now starting recruitment for our new Chair, to take the Channel’s growth and social impact to the next stage.
This feels like the perfect time to be stepping down: Together TV is thriving under the entrepreneurial and impact-driven leadership of our Chief Executive, Alexander Kann, and his team, alongside the strategic oversight of our dynamic and diverse board of trustees, including representatives from ITV, Channel 4, Sky, BBC and Arqiva, the UK charity sector, and elected members from our community shareholders.
I am very pleased to have recruited Alex Graham to our board in October 2021 as Senior Independent Director, to lead the appointment of our new Chair, and to ensure ongoing high-level connections with our media, digital and creative industry partners, most of whom have been supporting us since launch. Alex is the founder of Wall to Wall Media and former Chair of the Scott Trust, PACT and Sheffield DocFest.
Together TV started life as The Community Channel and last September we celebrated our 21st anniversary. Since I launched the Channel on Sky back in 2000, then as part of the Media Trust, and now as an independent charitable Community Benefit Society, we have significantly grown our viewers, audience engagement and social impact. Now on Freeview, Sky, Virgin and Freesat, we have a TV audience of five million a month, plus an ever-growing digital and social media presence.
At a time when our media ecology, and public service broadcasting, are under pressure locally, nationally and globally, I am proud to have founded and led the world’s first community-owned charitable national broadcaster.
We are ambitious to scale further, so it’s a wonderful time for a new Chair to join our board and help drive further growth and social impact. Our board, team and partners all passionately believe in our purpose to inspire positive social change in people’s lives and communities. We reach into almost all UK homes via free-to-air services and will be extending our reach very soon – watch this space for an exciting development!
I am still passionate about media for social change - from my days running social action broadcasting projects around the UK with CSV to founding the Media Trust in 1994 where I was CEO until 2017, to founding and leading The Community Channel, reborn as Together TV in 2018.
Following my recent Churchill Fellowship, I have launched a new initiative to connect and strengthen social impact media platforms around our world, from grassroots to global - media platforms that have social impact at their heart, including podcast, print, photography, radio, video, tv, social media and digital. I have been so inspired by the media social entrepreneurs, creatives, journalists and campaigners I have met across the world, founding and sustaining social impact media platforms, and I am looking forward to being able to spend more time growing this new network and movement.
I strongly believe that we need to build on this third layer of media - media that has social impact at its heart, that creates positive social change, that reflects the diversity of our communities and shares unheard voices, stories and solutions. I call it Impact Media.
But most of all, as we start the exciting recruitment of Together TV’s new Chair, I want to thank you all for your support, over so many years, in launching, growing and sustaining The Community Channel, now Together TV. Most of all, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our first Chairman, Michael Green - who at the time was running ITV and was Chairman of the Media Trust - The Community Channel would never have launched without his belief and personal championship for the Channel across the TV industry.
And finally, to the countless individuals and organisations who have believed in the Channel, partnered with us, donated, watched our content, and engaged with our campaigns – and helped me personally with your support and encouragement – please do stay close to the channel moving forward, lend your support to the new Chair, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you always, so very much.
Please do check out the Chair’s job description, and share it widely. Applications close on Wednesday 18 May 2022 at 12pm so don’t delay if this is something you or someone you know would be suitable for.
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Learn more about Impact Media and my Churchill Fellowship research at www.impactmedia.global
And of course, we look forward to announcing Together TV’s new Chair soon!
Many thanks always,