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Speaker Biographies
Date: 31/03/2004 Location: Hilton Strathclyde, Bellshill
Chairman: Mr  Alastair Balfour
Speaker: Mr  Ewen Hunter  Mr  Bill  McFarlan          

Bill McFarlan, Managing Director, The Broadcasting Business covers a wide spectrum of communication (www.broadcastingbusiness.co.uk).  Bill is a journalist, broadcaster and author, Managing Director of a media consultancy and Chairman of a radio station. Bill began his professional life as a local newspaper journalist in the Glasgow area 28 years ago before graduating to radio in Clyde’s newsroom.  Since then, he’s been at the forefront of British broadcasting, while, in tandem running his own successful media consultancy. Currently, he is chairman of Smooth FM, a bid backed by the Guardian Media Group and Real Radio to create a new Glasgow based radio station, aimed primarily at the 45+ age group. Among his broadcasting credits, Bill has presented Scottish Television’s Scotland Today news magazine programme in the mid 80s and his own STV golf series The Golf Club in the late 90s. In between, he had 10 years with the BBC, presenting from Glasgow, Reporting Scotland, Grandstand from Scotland, Sportscene and the Saturday Evening News and Sport and from London, Breakfast News and World’s Strongest Man. He’s also worked for three satellite channels, presenting Scottish Football for Sky Sports, Rangers TV and this season is again anchoring Scottish football for a Setanta audience worldwide. Alongside his broadcasting achievements, Bill is Managing Director of The Broadcasting Business Ltd, a consultancy he co-founded 14 years ago.  It’s now one of the UK’s most successful agencies, training senior British and Continental management in media interview technique and presentation skills in preparation for announcements of new business, takeovers and job losses. In August 2003, the Broadcasting Business moved to Lochinch House in Pollok Estate, Glasgow establishing Scotland’s first dedicated media-training centre. Bill regularly chairs large conferences for banks and other plcs, combining his skills as a professional communicator, listener and chairman with an enthusiastic spark and quick sense of humour. This year he became a published author with his business communications book “Drop the Pink Elephant”, now in its third reprint.  Since publication in March, it has constantly enjoyed a top-five best-sellers slot with publishers Wiley-Capstone and has been translated into Simplified Chinese.


Ewan Hunter is a long-term member and supporter of the Entrepreneurial Exchange and is part of the founding team, alongside David Sibbald, of new technology start-up, Sumerian Networks. Since resigning from the Board of a multi-national Plc four years ago he founded corporate marketing consultancy, The Value Innovators (TVI) and ‘sweat equity’ business, TVI Ventures, and works for some of Scotland’s best known entrepreneurs and businesses. Ewan commits significant energy in ‘giving something back’ and is on the Board of Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) and a contributor to the Schools Enterprise Programme. He contributes regularly through columns and opinion pieces in the Scottish Media to the enterprise debate and is a columnist in Up Magazine.


The evening will be Chaired by Alastair Balfour, Chairman, The Company Creators (www.companycreators.co.uk).  Alastair (56) is an experienced entrepreneur, private investor and writer.  He began as a business journalist (The Scotsman, Daily Record, Sunday Standard) and went on to co-found Scottish Business Insider in 1984 after being made redundant with the Standard’s closure.  He was editor between 1986-1990, then Insider Group’s editorial director, managing director (93-98) and finally deputy chairman. With Insider Group’s £3m sale to Trinity Mirror Plc in September 1999, Alastair left the company to pursue other interests including private investment and start-ups. He is now chairman of The Company Creators, a business formed in partnership with Stuart Genet, Elie Chilton and Bob McKinven, to get start-up teams to investor-ready status and help them raise funds.  Alastair has made several investments on an arm’s length basis in Scottish private companies.  He also acts as adviser to the owner-managers of several other businesses.  Alastair is also a Director and Founder of The Entrepreneurial Exchange, Member of Strathclyde Business School Coungi and Director, Scottish Community Foundation. He has co-written a book on Working From Home, published in June 2001 by Dorling Kindersley and sold in over 50 countries including the US and Australia. Alastair has written a weekly column on Scottish business matters for 15 years, firstly with the Herald, then The Scotsman and recently Business AM.


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