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Major names in broadcasting to headline conference

Dec 21, 2009

The only major national event to focus on television outside London, Salford's Nations and Regions Media Conference, will bring together some of the media industry's biggest names on 18 and 19 January 2010.

The 17th annual conference is organised by the University's International Media Centre and will focus on what commissioners want, new ways of funding content, the resurgence of radio, the future of local news and what a change in government could mean for regional media. The event will be held at the Lowry in Salford Quays.

The head of BBC North, Peter Salmon, will return to the conference a year after his high profile appointment and will be in conversation with Peter Bazalgette, the former chairman of Endemol who is credited with helping to create the independent TV production sector in the UK.

Radio 2 DJ Mark Radcliffe will also be returning to Salford after quizzing Peter Salmon on the BBC's move to MediaCityUK at last year's conference. He will be hosting a session that will take an in-depth look at the revival of radio and how it is adapting to markets across the UK.

Jeremy Hunt MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will provide a political context by hosting a session on potential changes for the media in light of the 2010 general election.

Other names include Erik Hugger, director of future media and technology at the BBC who will explore the future of TV across the UK, and Stuart Cosgrove, Channel 4's director of nations and regions who is responsible for Channel 4's strategy and corporate development outside London.

Renowned writer and broadcaster Steve Hewlett will open and close the conference. Steve is a regular Guardian columnist, former Panorama editor and visiting professor in journalism and broadcasting at the University.

With MediaCityUK at Salford Quays due to open in 2011, the area is set to be at the forefront of regional broadcasting. The University's centre at the development will include a broadcast zone, digital media zone, virtual laboratory, digital performance space and creative spaces for teaching and learning.

Professor Ron Cook, director of the University's International Media Centre, said: "The opening of MediaCityUK is drawing ever closer and it's an exciting time to be involved in broadcasting for the nations and regions.

"The conference is an excellent way of bringing people together to explore the future of the industry and this year the general election will add an interesting dimension to our discussions."

For more information and to register please go to: www.nationsandregionsmedia.org