Ofcom appoints new Chairman of MG ALBA

13 November 2018

Ofcom has today announced the appointment of Allan MacDonald as the new Chairman of MG ALBA, the body responsible for ensuring that high quality television programmes in Gaelic are made available to people in Scotland.

Ofcom’s recommendation for the appointment has been agreed by Scotland’s Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Mr John Swinney MSP. This follows an independent selection process undertaken by Ofcom in Scotland.  Allan will take up the role from 1 January 2019.

Allan MacDonaldportrait

Allan MacDonald is a native Gaelic speaker. He has had a career in production and management within Gaelic broadcasting spanning 40 years across radio and television. This has included being the Chief Executive of sport and entertainment company mneTV, and a director of digital and television producer, purpleTV.

His work includes 12 years with the BBC, two years with Grampian TV and 25 years in the independent television sector with experience in news and current affairs in radio, television and the press, as well as being an executive producer, producer and director of a wide variety of general programmes including documentary, religion, comedy and music.

He was most recently the Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig (the principal public body in Scotland responsible for promoting Gaelic development), is a former member of the Board of Lews Castle College of Education in Stornoway, and of the Board of Skillset in Scotland. For six years he was elected Chairman of the independent television sector in Scotland (PACT) and served as a director of PACT (UK) in London.

Glenn Preston, Ofcom’s Scotland Director, said: “We are delighted to have appointed Allan as the new Chair of MG ALBA at a critical time for broadcasters and the production sector in Scotland.

“Allan’s industry, commercial and non-executive experience will be invaluable in helping MG ALBA to continue to deliver high quality television programmes in Gaelic to people across Scotland.”

John Swinney MSP, Scottish Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, said: “I welcome the appointment of Allan MacDonald as Chair of MG ALBA. This is an important appointment at a challenging time for BBC ALBA.

“Allan has an impressive background in broadcasting and a wide range of relevant skills and will be of great benefit to MG ALBA as it continues to operate in partnership with the BBC to provide high quality and innovative content for audiences in Scotland.”



  1. Allan joined Bòrd na Gàidhlig in April 2014, subsequently serving as Vice Chair and Interim Chair before being appointed Chair in 2015. He will be stepping down from Bòrd na Gàidhlig on 31 December 2018 and will become Chair of MG ALBA (for a period of 4 years) on 1 January 2019.
  2. The remit of MG ALBA (the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig or Gaelic Media Service) under the Communications Act 2003 is to ensure that a wide and diverse range of high-quality television programmes in Gaelic are made available to people in Scotland.
  3. The appointment is a result of an open recruitment process that included an independent assessor. Following the passage of the Scotland Act 2016, the power to approve OFCOM appointments to the board of the MG ALBA now rests solely with Scottish Ministers. Further information about appointments to the Board of MG ALBA can be found in the .