Swansea University awards degree to founding member of S4C

Ian Jones

Swansea University has presented an honorary degree to Mr Ian Jones, one of the team responsible for launching the S4C television network.

Mr Jones was presented with the DLitt award today (9 January) during the degree ceremony for the School of Management.

Ian Jones is originally from Morriston, Swansea.  S4C was launched in 1982, and was the first television channel to be aimed specifically at a Welsh-speaking audience and is (after BBC1, ITV, and BBC2) the fourth-oldest television channel in the UK. 

After working on Network Entertainment programming at ITV and as an Independent producer, Ian Jones rejoined S4C as Director of Business, S4C International and Co-productions between 1992 and 1997.

Since then he has worked in senior positions for Scottish Television, United News and Media, (ITEL), Granada International and he served an unprecedented two years as Chair of the British Television Distribution Industry Association (BTDA). He was President of National Geographic Television International from 2004 to 2007 commuting regularly between Washington and London, before becoming Group Managing Director of Target Entertainment Group.

Until recently he was chief executive of S4C, a position he held since 2011. His most recent post was as Managing Director, Content Distribution and Commercial Development, International for A+E Television Networks in New York.

As well as being one of the television industry's most experienced senior managers, he is involved with a number of charitable causes and affiliations: he is Trustee, Wales of UK charity, Victim Support; Director of CDN, the Creative Diversity Network; a member of the Wales Tourist Advisory Board, a former Chairman of Bafta Cymru/Wales and an Honorary Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Swansea University, Professor Iwan Davies, presented the award.  He said: “Ian Jones is a hugely significant figure in the field of television broadcasting. It is to his immense credit that he has done so much to raise the profile of Welsh-speaking in Wales and throughout the UK, through his leadership with the Welsh broadcasting network, S4C, and it is testament to his talent in the industry that he has been sought for positions around the world.” 

On receiving his award, Mr Jones said: “I was born and bred in Swansea and my early life and academic experience in the area  provided an invaluable foundation for a career in the TV industry, which has led me to work all over the world in places as far afield as New York  and Washington, Beijing and Sydney. I am honoured to receive this award from the University.”