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Chief executive of S4C sacked after investigation into claims of ‘toxic culture’ at Welsh-language public broadcaster | UK News

The chief executive of Welsh-language public broadcaster S4C has been sacked following an investigation into claims of bullying within the organisation.

The S4C Authority said it had dismissed Sian Doyle following an external “fact-finding” exercise into the “working environment” at the broadcaster.

Ms Doyle criticised the decision in a statement confirming her sacking and accused the authority of an “unprecedented lack of governance for a public body”.

The investigation, carried out by law firm Capital Law, was launched in May following claims put forward by the BECTU union of “bullying and toxic culture” at the broadcaster.

The S4C Authority said the views of 96 current or former staff, or employees of its partners, were collected during the investigation.

It said it was “clear” from evidence received that action needed to be taken to “secure change” within the broadcaster.

“The S4C Authority is committed to ensuring that S4C is a place where our staff are happy and safe – a place where they feel able to perform at their best and thrive,” the public body said in a statement.

“We recognise that we need to restore confidence and trust in the organisation – not only amongst our staff but with our partners in the creative sector, audiences in Wales and beyond.

“Having received detailed legal advice, members of the S4C Authority made the difficult but unanimous decision to terminate the employment of the chief executive.

“We will work towards appointing a new leader who can help restore an ambitious S4C with a renewed focus on collaboration and the well-being of our colleagues.”

The authority said it would publish a report detailing the nature of the evidence received during the investigation.

Ms Doyle criticised her sacking in her own statement, in which she claimed she was dismissed “without seeing a copy” of the report.

“I was dismissed by letter, without notice, without a meeting, without seeing a copy of the Capital Law report or any evidence, without a right of appeal, and without proper grounds,” she said.

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Ms Doyle, a former chief executive of telecoms firm TalkTalk, also claimed she had been the victim of “unfair treatment”.

“I joined S4C because members of the board persuaded me to come out of retirement after a 30-year international career to create positive change,” she said in a statement.

“My mandate was to take S4C’s extraordinary programming and the Welsh language to the world, to prepare S4C for a digital future, and to transform the organisation.

“I am very proud of what S4C has achieved under my leadership.

“I was so passionate about continuing this journey and delivering the mandate set by the board, and I am enormously sad that this opportunity has today been taken away from me.”

S4C was launched in November 1982 and at the time was the first TV channel aimed specifically at a Welsh-speaking audience.

It broadcasts a variety of programmes such as sport, drama, music, factual, news, entertainment and events.

The vast majority of its funding comes from the licence fee and its operations are overseen by a board, appointed by the UK’s culture secretary.

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