Profile: Head of News for Channel Islands Giulia Heath

As Head of News for Tindle’s radio stations in the Channel Islands, Giulia Heath has a busy role co-ordinating the bulletins to go out to audiences in Jersey and Guernsey. Having worked for the company since 2008, she talks about her role, the importance of reliable local news and the “buzz” she continues to get from listeners tuning in to their local stations.

What are the main responsibilities in your role?

As Head of News I am responsible for all our news output across Channel 103 in Jersey, Island FM in Guernsey and Soleil Radio, which broadcasts on DAB across the Channel Islands. We produce bulletins across the three radio stations weekdays from 6am until 6pm and on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We also publish stories to the websites, and and we keep all our social media channels up to date. I lead a team of four journalists, with two based in Jersey and two in Guernsey.

What does a typical day in your role involve?

It begins with a 5am alarm and heading in to Channel 103 to prepare and present the breakfast news bulletins. Mornings are always very busy, checking through all the stories that have been prepared by the team before they go to air, writing and reading the news and headlines, and putting stories online. Then we have newsdesk meetings for both islands to talk through ideas, interviews we are chasing and what is happening for the rest of day and the following day. That said, we have to react to breaking news and the unexpected. No two days are ever the same, and news never stops! 

Which colleagues do you interact with the most in your working day?

My team of four journalists mostly, but also the programming managers and presenters in Jersey and Guernsey. They are a committed and talented bunch who are passionate about serving our audience and making what comes out of the speakers sound the best that it possibly can. 

How does your work fit into the wider business?

People listen to our stations because they want great music, a friendly and familiar voice, and to be kept informed. Reliable, accurate local news is a key driver of audiences, both on-air and online. That is particularly true in these islands, which are not a part of the UK and which have their own governments and legal systems. Local news is a major reason for the stations’ huge listening figures which are the best in the British Isles per head of population. 

What do you enjoy about working for Tindle?

I have been at Tindle Radio for 14 years and seen a lot of changes within the business in that time. I’ve always been proud of the stations, how well they perform and what they achieve. It always gives me a buzz when I am out and about and I hear people listening in their car or at the shops. 

Who is the most memorable person you have interviewed?

I enjoyed interviewing the TV chef Gino D’Acampo. He came to Jersey a few years ago to support the Italian community with a cultural event and do some cookery demonstrations. I have Italian heritage and a soft-spot for him. I came up with some “either-or” quick-fire questions on an Italian theme. He was a great sport and I think he appreciated it was a bit different to the other interviews he had done that day. Oh, and he signed my copy of one of his cookbooks! 

When did you join Tindle?

I moved back to Jersey from UK in May 2008 to take up the job of news editor at Channel 103. In August 2020 I became Head of News for the Channel Islands, taking on the news editorship of Island FM, then for Soleil Radio which launched the following August.

What jobs did you have before you joined Tindle?

My first full time job in radio after graduating from Sheffield University with a Journalism degree was at BBC Jersey. I moved back up north to work for BBC Derby and then BBC Sheffield where I was a district reporter and then produced the station’s breakfast show. 

What are your interests outside of work?

I have two young sons and a beagle and they keep me busy. As a family we love hiking, especially in the Lake District. This year I have got into sea-swimming. Oh, and I enjoy cooking – mainly Italian food!

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