Clive Jones CBE, delivered an interesting and entertaining after-dinner speech for guests at the NCTJ Journalism Skills Conference in Cardiff Castle on 2 December.
Clive started his career at the Doncaster Evening Post, where he completed his NCTJ training. He spent eight years working as a newspaper journalist before moving into television.
Reminiscing about those days, he joked about the ‘pitiful’ salary he earned and spoke about his experiences of the regional press in the 1970s. Some of the amusing anecdotes included the story of an apology regarding a misprint about a ‘defective’ sergeant that was itself, the unfortunate location of an additional misprint, and another about a local dignitary’s funeral, where the deceased’s dog sadly passed away half way through the ceremony and had to be buried alongside him. This, according to reports “put rather a downer on proceedings”.
Until 2010 Clive was the chairman of GMTV and until he stepped down in 2007, he was also the chief executive of ITV News and Regions, and the longest serving senior executive in ITV. During his career Clive has been managing director of the ITV Network, CEO of Carlton Television, managing director of Central Television and managing director of London News Network. He also chairs Skillset, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Creative Media, and works as an honorary visiting professor in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture Studies at Cardiff University.
Clive was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Television Society in 1995 and its Gold Medal in 2007. He was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2007 for his services to broadcasting.
Speaking about his time in television, he recounted the time a shark had a heart-attack moments before a live show was due to air, and how one of his shows was reported in the Yorkshire Post as ‘Yorkshire Television kills Magnus Pyke’. The second incident followed an attempt to recreate a small nuclear explosion that knocked out the cameras. Following this, the team cut back to the studio and Richard Whiteley saying, “Oh, something’s gone wrong. We may have killed Magnus Pyke!” A sentence that was to stay with those concerned for some time.
Clive also remembered his unique experiences with Roland Rat, and discovering the other side of his character’s life in Camden, thanks to a report in the News of the World.
Paying tribute to journalism training in the conclusion of his speech, Clive said “Everything I learned about running companies I learned from being a journalist.” He also added that he hadn’t attended a single business course in all his years of work.
Clive is now chairman of Netplay, the interactive television company, Sticky Moon, the new media technology and design company, Energetic Communications, the New York marketing and events company and the Wales IP Fund. He is also the sole non-executive director of S4C.