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Ben Cooper: Radio Academy 'confusion'

From a press release to news@media.info
Posted 19 December 2014, 8.29am est

BBC
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Ben Cooper, the Chairman of the Radio Academy, has written to members today saying:

Many thanks to you for attending the AGM, or following it on social media or reading one of the blogs. Your interest is greatly appreciated because like you, I care about the future of The Radio Academy. It is why over the last two years as Chair of the Academy I have given my time, effort and energy. Many of us work for the Academy for nothing, putting in the calls, writing mails and attending meetings alongside our day jobs – and we do it because we want to give something back to the industry we love.

I have a vision of what The Radio Academy should be going forward. I want to maintain a sense of community and an opportunity for learning for individuals in our industry, as well as celebrating creative excellence. I want to do this with, and for, the whole of the industry, not just parts of the industry. And therefore, when Trustees have questions about the Awards, the value Patrons receive and the very existence of the Academy itself, then we have to consider those concerns. At the AGM I might have appeared diplomatic and measured in my answers, but that was because this is difficult. It is complex. My belief though is as an organisation, and an industry, we are stronger together.

In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Trustees publicly for working as a team to create an atmosphere which allows us all to have the confidence to speak with honesty, but with consideration, and to take tough decisions.

I would also like to say thank you for my Fellowship. I took great pride in receiving my decanter this month. It is unbelievable how much a piece of glassware can mean. Because for all the bad moments, setbacks and hard work this last year, there is the potential of being part of a team that sees an idea turn into a successful reality.

What is clear to me now, is that there is confusion. The Academy has become a membership organisation which is actually funded by Patrons, and a charity for learning that puts on commercial events. I believe my job is to untangle the funding and organisational structure which has built up over time and provide clarity.

So, the Trustees will meet in January and then we will call an EGM at the end of February, start of March, when we can agree a way forward in order to have a Radio Academy that is economically sound and has a clear logical purpose.

For those of you taking a break over the holidays I hope it is a relaxing one, and for those of you who are broadcasting, I hope you get some time off in the new year. All the best for 2015.

More information

The Radio Academy
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