STV Group plc


STV Group plc

Infobox Company
name = STV Group plc
company_
company_type = Public - LSE
foundation = 1957
(as Scottish Television plc)
location = Glasgow, Scotland
key_people = Rob Woodward (CEO);
Richard Findlay (Chairman) [cite news
title = Changes to the board of directors of SMG plc
publisher = London Stock Exchange
date = 28 February, 2007
url = http://www.londonstockexchange.com/LSECWS/IFSPages/MarketNewsPopup.aspx?id=1424489&source=RNS
accessdate = 2007-03-07
]
num_employees = 700
industry = Media
products = Television, Internet,
Advertising
revenue = £210M GBP
homepage = [http://www.stvplc.tv www.stvplc.tv] |

STV Group plc is a Scottish media company. Originally formed as Scottish Television plc, it changed its name to Scottish Media Group in 1996 when it acquired Caledonian Publishing, owners of Glasgow-based newspapers "The Herald" and "Evening Times" (both of which have since been sold). It then went on to acquire the ITV license holder for Northern Scotland, Grampian Television in 1997. In 1999 it launched a new Sunday broadsheet newspaper, the "Sunday Herald". The company renamed itself again as "SMG plc" in 2000 by which time it had expanded further through the acquisitions of Primesight (outdoor advertising), Pearl & Dean (cinema advertising) and Ginger Media Group, which included Ginger Television and the UK radio station, Virgin Radio. In recent years the group has contracted again, having sold the outdoor advertising and radio businesses in order to reduce debt and concentrate on television. [cite news
title = Virgin Radio sold to Indian group
publisher = BBC News
date = 31 May, 2008
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7429193.stm
accessdate = 2008-05-31
]

On June 24 2008, shortly after the sale of Virgin Radio, SMG plc announced another name change - this time to "STV Group plc". The company says the name change is to highlight its renewed focus on television, encompassing the STV Central and STV North franchises and the company's production business. [cite news
title = SMG reborn as stv Group
publisher = guardian.co.uk
date = 24 June, 2008
url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/jun/24/mediabusiness.television?gusrc=rss&feed=media
accessdate = 2008-06-24
] The new "STV Group" branding was introduced on 1 October 2008. [cite news
title = Goodbye SMG... Hello STV Group
publisher = BroadcastNow
date = 1 October, 2008
url = http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/2008/10/goodbye_smg_hello_stv_group.html
accessdate = 2008-10-02
]

ITV plc held a 16.9% stake in the business, which was reduced to around 5.5% following a Rights Issue.

Television

TV

:main|STVSTV Group plc owns two Scottish ITV licences, Scottish Television, which covers Central Scotland, and Grampian Television, covering Northern Scotland.

On 2 March 2006, it was announced that Scottish Television would revert to using its former brand name of "STV", which it previously used from the start of colour broadcasting in 1969 until 30 August 1985, and which the station is still informally known as in parts of Scotland. Scottish Television became known as "STV Central". At the same time, Grampian Television would also become known as "STV North", with the one main identity of "STV" serving the two SMG licences. The name change took place on 30 May 2006. The stations are the most popular peak-time stations in Scotland and broadcast a mix of network shows such as "Coronation Street" and "The X Factor" alongside local programming such as "Scotland Today" and "North Tonight" and one of the world's longest-running sports programmes, "Scotsport", which ended its regular football highlights show in May 2008.

Other channels

The former SMG plc ran its own digital channel, S2, throughout the Scottish and Grampian ITV regions. S2, which aired on the Digital Terrestrial platform, was launched April 30, 1999 and replaced with ITV2 just over two years later - as part of a deal with ITV Digital - on 27 July 2001. [cite news
title = S2 dropped for ITV2
publisher = Digital Spy
date = 27 July, 2001
url = http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/digitaltv/a3459/s2-dropped-for-itv2.html
accessdate = 2007-08-31
]

Sky Scottish was a satellite television channel operating on the analogue Sky TV service between 1 November 1996 and 31 May 1998. The service was a joint venture between British Sky Broadcasting and the Scottish Media Group. It initially broadcast between 6.00pm and 8.00pm in Scotland. The channel was closed due to poor ratings.

MG Productions

SMG Productions is the network television production arm of STV Group plc. With bases in Glasgow and London, its output includes drama, factual/factual entertainment, entertainment and children’s programming. With a client list that includes all the UK terrestrial networks as well as the major satellite and cable channels, the company is one of the key programme suppliers to the UK television market.

Ginger Productions

Ginger Productions, alongside SMG Productions, is part of the network production arm of STV Group plc. Based in Waterhouse Square in London, its output focuses on Entertainment and Factual Entertainment.

Ginger was acquired as part of SMG's acquisition of the Ginger Media Group in 1999.

Radio

Up until May 2008, the company owned Virgin Radio, a British commercial music radio station based in London.

Virgin Radio was launched as 'Virgin 1215' nationally on 1215 kHz (although some regional transmitters used other frequencies) at 12.15pm on 30 April 1993 by Richard Branson as part of his Virgin brand. It has since been sold to Ginger Media (which was subsequently bought by SMG plc) but has kept the "Virgin" name.

On 12 April, 2007, it was announced that SMG planned to sell Virgin Radio, to enable the company to focus on its television station, STV. [cite news
title = SMG strategy was 'flawed'
publisher = MediaGuardian
date = 12 April, 2001
url = http://media.guardian.co.uk/city/story/0,,2055432,00.html
accessdate = 2007-08-31
] . Virgin Radio was finally sold to a group led by The Times of India for £53million on the 30 May 2008. [cite news
title = Virgin Radio sold to Indian group
publisher = BBC News
date = 31 May, 2008
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7429193.stm
accessdate = 2008-05-31
]

Advertising

STV Group plc formerly owned outdoor billboard advertiser Primesight and cinema advertiser Pearl & Dean, whose rival Carlton Screen Advertising was owned by ITV plc.

In 2006, SMG plc announced it plans to sell off Pearl & Dean and Primesight. [cite news
title = SMG Announces Sale of Cinema and Outdoor Businesses
publisher = London Stock Exchange
date = 13 September, 2006
url = http://www.londonstockexchange.com/LSECWS/IFSPages/MarketNewsPopup.aspx?id=1297276&source=RNS
accessdate = 2007-03-07
]

In August 2007, SMG finally sold Primesight for up to £62m to a private equity firm. [cite news
title = Primesight set to be sold
publisher = AOL Money
date = 27 June, 2007
url = http://money.aol.co.uk/primesight-set-to-be-sold/article/20070627031109990001
accessdate = 2007-11-27
] [cite news
title = SMG to spin off Virgin Radio as earnings fall
publisher = Edinburgh Evening News
date = 12 April, 2007
url = http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/business.cfm?id=562302007
accessdate = 2007-11-27
] SMG said in a statement that the price GMT Communications Partners is paying represents a "clear uplift" on offers previously received for Primesight. [cite news
title = Proposed disposal of Primesight
publisher = London Stock Exchange
date = 31 August, 2007
url = http://www.londonstockexchange.com/LSECWS/IFSPages/MarketNewsPopup.aspx?id=1567047&source=RNS
accessdate = 2007-08-31
] Primesight have been prosecuted a number of times for the display of advertisements without consent which is an offence under UK Planning Acts. [cite news
title = Company fined for illegal advertising
publisher = Wandsworth
date = 30 May, 2007
url = http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/Home/MyWandsworth/Pressreleases/searchreleasedetail.htm?id=5061
accessdate = 2007-11-27
] [cite news
title = It all ads up to a £6k fine
publisher = This is Local London
date = 7 June, 2007
url = http://www.thisislocallondon.com/whereilive/localheadlines/display.var.1454962.0.it_all_ads_up_to_a_6k_fine.php
accessdate = 2007-11-27
] The lack of consent for many of Primsights displays is said to have reduced the selling price by up to £30 million. [cite news
title = Hindsight on SMG's sale of Primesight
publisher = Sunday Herald
date = 2007
url = http://www.sundayherald.com/business/businessnews/display.var.1460464.0.hindsight_on_smgs_sale_of_primesight.php
accessdate = 2007-11-27
]

Internet

peopleschampion.com

peopleschampion.com is a consumer advice page with targeted on a wide array of subjects from choosing energy suppliers to getting mortgages.

martycars.com

STV Group's car website.

tv.tv

The URL stv.tv is the address of the main website of STV. The website currently offers News, Sport, Weather, Entertainment, Competitions, Bingo, Romance, and STV programme information, and TV listings. The STV news teams also produce three exclusive video blogs for the website - "The Real MacKay", "Northern Exposure" and "Weather Blether".

cotlandontv.tv

STV Group operates a broadband television service "Scotlandontv.tv". The service was launched in the autumn of 2006 and includes a mix of specially-produced videos and archive programming.

The Glasgow-based media company says the online channel makes use of a back catalogue stretching back 50 years.

tudios

STV Group's headquarters in Glasgow were located on Renfield Street in Cowcaddens, Glasgow since Scottish Television's launch in 1957, but moved to new studios in Pacific Quay, a development situated next to the River Clyde, in July 2006, alongside BBC Scotland's new studios and the Glasgow Science Centre. STV Group's Aberdeen studios moved to a new purpose-built site in the city's Tullos area in 2003, from their previous location (a converted tram shed), which they occupied since Grampian launched in 1961. [cite news
title = SMG begins move to brand new home at Pacific Quay
publisher = SMG Television
date = 7 July, 2006
url = http://stv.lumison.net/content/default.asp?page=s5_4_4&newsid=3492
accessdate = 2007-08-31
]

STV also has studios in Edinburgh, Dundee and Inverness providing regional news coverage in their particular area.

Relationship with ITV plc

STV Group plc has had a turbulent relationship with ITV plc and both Carlton and Granada, the predecessor companies that merged to create it. ITV plc owns the ITV franchises in England, Wales and the Scottish Borders and operates, or has operated, several operations using the ITV name, such as ITV Digital and the ITV Sport Channel. The company threatened to take legal action over the use of the name 'ITV' because it is the name of the Independent Television network, which Scottish and Grampian are both part of. One of the problems facing the group is that ITV is the senior partner when it comes to its two TV stations, since London-based ITV effectively controls most of the scheduling and is also responsible for selling stv's advertising airtime. Rumours persist of a possible takeover of STV Group plc by ITV plc (see below).

Merger proposals

In September 2006, the then-known SMG officially rejected a merger offer from Northern Irish ITV franchise holder UTV. The merger approach from would have given SMG shareholders a 52% stake in the combined company. The Scottish group said its board had examined a revised merger proposal from UTV, but did not believe it reflected the value of the company. [cite news
title = SMG turns down UTV merger bid
publisher = MediaGuardian (free subscription required)
date = 29 August, 2006
url = http://media.guardian.co.uk/city/story/0,,1860542,00.html
accessdate = 2007-03-07
]

ITV is considering making an offer for STV Group, according to the Mail on Sunday. The newspaper quoted an ITV source as saying John Cresswell, acting chief executive at the broadcaster, was most interested in the group's television franchises but that any deal would be for the whole group, including Virgin Radio, which SMG also owns. An ITV spokesman declined to comment on the report.
SMG said earlier in the month that its 2006 profit would be materially behind expectations, sending its shares down more than a quarter in value to a 15-year low. [cite news
title = ITV mulls bid for media firm SMG
publisher = The Scotsman
date = 29 October, 2006
url = http://business.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=1600952006
accessdate = 2007-03-07
]

On January 10, 2007, SMG and Belfast-domiciled UTV agreed the details of their merger, including a revised share split between the two. UTV, would own 54% of the group. SMG would take the remaining 46%. [cite news
title = UTV gains ground in SMG merger negotiations
publisher = The Business
date = 10 January, 2007
url = http://www.thebusinessonline.com/Document.aspx?id=F1FE66B5-A1D6-414C-B350-94E0A5342A2F
accessdate = 2007-03-07
]

This merger was finally rejected at the end of February, and a new board and management were introduced at SMG shortly afterwards. The company announced plans to concentrate on its core TV business, floating off Virgin Radio and selling Pearl & Dean and Primesight.

References

External links

* [http://www.stvplc.tv STV Group plc] (www.stvplc.tv)


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