Producer Masterclass in partnership with BBC Radio Ulster.

Course Brief

Learning Waves Skillnet is delighted to announce that it will host a 'Producer Masterclass' in partnership with BBC Radio Ulster on Thursday 20th September 2018 in Belfast.  The event has been organised by Teresa Hanratty from Learning Waves Skillnet and Jackie Neill from BBC Radio Ulster.  The event is a continuation of partnership developed between the two organisations in 2014.  Both organisations are delighted to announce that Helen Thomas, Head of Content Commissioning for Radio 2 and Garrett Harte, Media and Communications Consultant will take to the stage in the Green Room of the Black Box Theatre to share their stories, their ideas and their advice to programme producers working in the radio industry today.  The event will also allow programme producers from Learning Waves Skillnet stations and BBC Radio Ulster to share their stories and to inspire each other over the course of the day. 

About the Speakers :

Helen Thomas grew up in Hull and went to University in Bristol where she studied Drama and then Medieval Studies for a Masters degree. She started her career in News, working at BBC 5 Live; The Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 and then Newsbeat at BBC Radio 1; before making the jump to music programming. At BBC World Service she made music documentaries on a wide range of subjects as well as producing weekly music shows, before moving back to BBC Radio 4 to produce Front Row. Then in 2003 she started at BBC Radio 2 as a producer for Johnnie Walker on Drivetime. Highlights of her time at the station include launching the Chris Evans Drivetime Show in 2006 and Breakfast Show in 2010; creating and developing 500 Words - the world’s largest short story writing competition for children; broadcasting live from the heart of the Olympic Park every single day during London 2012; and overseeing Radio 2’s first foray to Ibiza this Summer.   Helen is now Head of Content Commissioning for Radio 2, responsible for developing and implementing the strategic direction of the network, commissioning and the day to day running of the station.

Garrett Harte is a multi award-winning senior media executive with over two decades of experience in the broadcast industry. As former Editor-in-Chief of Newstalk, Garrett has led and shaped the national current affairs debate on critical political, social and cultural events for many years, and during this time has worked with a host of leading Irish broadcasters including Ivan Yates, Claire Byrne, George Hook and Pat Kenny. During this time he also coached and managed scores of producers, researchers and reporters, many of whom are key leaders in Ireland’s broadcast media today.
Garrett was a central figure in the start-up teams of both TV3 and Newstalk, and developed and produced formats including  ‘The Right Hook’, ‘Newstalk Breakfast’ and TV3’s ‘20/20’ current affairs series. He also played a key role in securing the national radio licence for Newstalk in 2007. During his 13 years with Newstalk, the station picked up the Station of the Year award on five occasions. He also picked up an IFTA Film & TV nomination.
Garrett has also held positions with the UTV Group and most recently in a consultancy role with Communicorp Media. He is a Senior Industry Advisor with the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) and is currently advising the management team Tunisia’s first independent talk radio station.
Garrett’s frank but personable approach has earned him an excellent reputation across the communications and media industry, and for many in sector, he is the go-to person for insight and thought leadership on areas such as editorial agenda setting, talent management, strategic communications, and producing cutting edge innovative shows that are modern and relevant.

For full details on the event and to make a booking go to  There are limited places available at the event so early booking is advised.