By Sally-Ann Wilson

Following a year of upheaval and political wrangling, PMA member Manx Radio, has finally secured a package from government that will enable it to plan and build for the future.

The station has a new Managing Director with some innovative plans to increase public engagement and help build digital media literacy, all fundamental steps for public media in the digital era.

On 16 October, Tynwald – the Isle of Man parliament – finally voted for the proposals set out by Manx Radio in a review commissioned by government. As a result, the public broadcaster will receive an additional £95,000 to its subvention for 2020, alongside confirmation that it will remain in its current building.  Most significantly, Manx Radio will now work with the Isle of Man’s Attorney General to set up a new Trust. This will ensure that there is the necessary separation between the public broadcaster and government.

It’s a scenario that many of our members will find familiar. The future of the broadcaster has been under review since October last year when Tynwald- the world’s longest established parliament- debated the future of Manx Radio before pushing further discussion and a decision to January 2019. The January debate concluded with a request for Manx Radio to prepare a ‘sustainable operational funding plan’ for presentation to Tynwald in October 2019.

The new Managing Director, Chris Sully, took up post in April, determined to evolve the station and devise more opportunities for the public to become more involved in its output. One of the biggest challenges for Chris in recent months has been convincing the politicians of what a public media organisation is and what it can bring to society. At times it looked as if Chris and his team would be thwarted by a lack of political understanding, something PMA is beginning to address with its Global Call Out for public media.

Following the vote in Tynwald Chris sent us his comments, which you can hear below. Listen to his take on the outcome of a tough few months for Manx Radio.


As with the challenges that faced Manx Radio, the Public Media Alliance is on hand to offer assistance to its public media members and staff. To contact PMA email:

Header Image: Manx Radio studio. Credit: Manx Radio, 2018.