“I think the future looks bright.” William Mager tells us about upcoming changes to See Hear

Posted on May 1, 2015

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There are a range of changes happening at BBC See Hear, including changing to being shown on a monthly basis, so we interviewed Series Producer William Mager to find out more. Read on below.

See Hear’s changing slot, and becoming a monthly programme. Why is this, and what will change?

We’re moving from making a block of weekly programmes that go out part of the year to becoming a topical programme that airs all year round.

To achieve this, we’re moving from a weekly slot to a once-monthly slot. So on the first Wednesday of every month we will be broadcasting a topical magazine programme.

We’re also moving our timeslot from 10.30am to 8.15am on BBC TWO, which will hopefully make it easier for people to watch us before heading out to work. As well as the monthly topical programmes we have a number of specials airing on different dates.

William Mager, See Hear's Series Producer

William Mager, See Hear’s Series Producer

Will the team be working on the programme all year round?

We have a team working all year round – smaller than before but focusing on one programme a month.

We have one Series Producer – me; one director – Seb Cunliffe; and one researcher – Erika Jones.

Seb and Erika also double up as our new studio presenters. In the past we would have a break during the summer months from June to September – this break will no longer happen.

What kind of subjects will you be focusing on?

In the past we would decide on subjects that were quite broad, and do something based around a chosen topic.

Now, we’re trying to keep an eye on news trends via the deaf community, social media, and online sites such as The Limping Chicken, and make sure that we cover stories which are current, and topical.

In each monthly programme we aim to do one big topical story, one personal story focusing on an individual or a more light hearted topic, and then we have our news studio where Seb and Erika present shorter stories about late breaking news, events coming up, even the results of major sporting events. I think it’s a good mix of location reporting and studio reporting.

Our specials focus on big issues – we have one coming up on the 27th of May about the portrayal of deaf characters in films which will be quite interesting and hopefully provoke a strong response.

You’ve been Series Producer for two years now (I think!) how have you found it?

It’ll be two years in July. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind – at first I was commuting to Bristol every week from London which was hard – being away from my wife and young son.

The most rewarding part of the job is being able to change things for the better – although change happens slowly and you have to be patient.

Most of all, I really look forward to seeing the team every day – there’s a fantastic team spirit on See Hear and we all help one another out, make coffee, have lunch out together… it genuinely makes my walk to work go by a bit quicker every morning!

I’ve also grown to love Bristol to the extent that I’ve relocated my family here.

What are you most excited about?

I’m most excited about the future for See Hear. We have a two year commitment from the BBC taking us through to March 2017, a new morning timeslot and a new way of making the programme so that we’re able to get out there and report on the big stories that affect the deaf community.

We have a new look website with more content being added on a weekly basis, a fantastic new studio for our director Seb and our researcher Erika to present our monthly news round up, as well as a great stable of presenters in Clive, Radha, Memnos, Heidi and Ahmed.

We’re also recruiting for a junior researcher via the BBC EXTEND scheme to join us later this year. I think the future looks bright.

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