- Grampian Television
Infobox ITV franchisee
name = STV North (2006-)
Grampian Television (1961-2006)
STV Group plc
airdate = 30 September 1961
Grampian Television logo, late 1990s
closeddate = lost on-air identity on 30 May 2006
STValong with Scottish Television)
website = [http://www.stv.tv stv.tv]
Grampian Television (now legally known as STV North Ltd and referred to on-air as
STV) is the ITVfranchisee for the North of Scotland, based in Aberdeen. Its coverage area includes the Scottish Highlands(except Fort William and Lochaber which have always received STV), Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundeeand parts of north Fife. It has been in operation since 30 September 1961.
STV North is now owned and operated by
STV Group plc(formerly SMG plc), which also owns another Scottish ITV franchise, Scottish Television(now known as STV (Central) on-air), based in Glasgowand serving Central Scotland.
STV North's regional news programme for the North of Scotland is called "
North Tonight" and is supplemented by short news bulletins seven days a week. Alongside regional news, STV North produces Scottish Gaelic-language programming, in association with independent production company "Kenyon Communications". Recent English-language regional programming has been produced by SMG Productionsin Glasgow and other independent production companies or co-produced with STV Central for broadcast in both regions. The station also produces a regular online video blog entitled "Northern Exposure" and regional television commercials.
Some of the most recent regional programmes produced by the station include the popular "Beyond Explanation", presented by Dundonian actor
Brian Cox, which looked at mysterious sightings across Scotland over the last few centuries. Another production was "", which covered past unsolved criminal cases in Scotland. The series drew high viewing figures and there was an increase the number of calls made to the police by witnesses of various events who had seen the programme. Less popular productions include "Where's Your Head At?", a low-budget production which interviewed a selection of people about seemingly irrelevant issues, but did not gain high ratings.
Both STV North and STV Central, together with their counterpart
UTVin Northern Ireland, have resisted adopting the generic ITV1branding that is now commonplace throughout regions in England, Wales and Southern Scotland that are owned by ITV plc.
In 2008, the United Kingdom plans to begin its 5-year programme to cease analogue television broadcasts as part of the switchover to digital television, with the STV North region switching over from May till October 2010.
Applications for the new north and north-east of Scotland contract area were sought by the
Independent Television Authorityin the spring of 1960. From the original seven applicants, three serious contenders emerged and the contract was awarded in August 1960 to "North of Scotland Television Limited" on the provisio that board positions were offered to the other two final applicants, "Caledonian Television" and "North Caledonian Television". The company's first managing director was G E Ward Thomas who went on to establish the new Yorkshire Televisionin 1967/1968.
The name 'North of Scotland TV' was thought to be too cumbersome and to reflect the input of the other applicants, a new name was chosen on 11 January 1961 - "Grampian Television".
tramdepot at Queen's Cross, Aberdeenwas purchased at the end of 1960 and was scheduled to be converted to studios by the planned launch date of September 1961. Premises would also be opened in Dundeearound the same time. However, four months prior to launch the Post Officeannounced that the links which would have connected Grampian to the network would not be ready until February 1962. This would have left the new station only able to broadcast output from its' neighbour Scottish Television(STV). Pressure at the highest level of Government ensured that the links were in place in time for the station's planned launch.
Early years on-air
Grampian Television went on air on Saturday 30 September 1961 at 2:45pm with an authority announcement and a brief welcome from the chairman of the Independent Television Authority, Sir Ivonne Kirkpatrick, before handing over to
Tyne Tees Television's networked coverage of "Racing from Catterick Bridge". Later in the opening day at 7pm, Grampian's first chairman, Sir Alexander B. King, introduced an half-hour introductory programme about the station.
In its first year, Grampian produced nine regular regional programmes - namely "News and Views" (a thrice-weekly magazine programme), "Country Focus", "Women's World", "Serenade", "Scotland for Me", "Points North" (a long-running current affairs programme), "Grampian Golf", local news bulletins and monthly church services.
In the early days Grampian struggled as viewers in a key part of its' transmission area, the city of
Dundeewere still tuning into coverage from STV. This led to a successful reduction in transmitter rental for Grampian but by 1962 the station had succeeded in increasing audience in the city and the area as a whole. By the late sixties, the potential audience of the region reached a million viewers and Grampian was employing just over 200 staff at their studios in Aberdeen and Edinburgh (the Edinburgh studios were closed in 1969 after only a few years in operation).
Prior to the 1968 contract round, smaller regional stations sought an
affiliationwith one of the four major ITV companies, who would provide the bulk of their programming. Grampian linked up with ABC Weekend Television. [ [http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/itw/Grampian/history.html Grampian ] ]
Grampian was slower than most other ITV stations to begin colour broadcasting, which after the company invested £180,000 in new equipment, promptly started in September 1971. Despite this, the station did come up with a number of technical firsts. Most notable of these came in 1978 when Grampian became the first British television station to adopt ENG video cameras for news coverage - a move which finally allowed its regional news programme "Grampian Today" to extend from three to five nights a week. Other technological advances came with the opening of remote-controlled studios at Albany House in
Dundee(1980) & Huntly Street in Inverness(1983) along with £4 million worth of investment into Grampian's headquarters at Queen's Cross in Aberdeen during the early 80s. Grampian also developed its own outside broadcast unit, initially using studio equipment.
Grampian remained independent until 10 June 1997 when Scottish Media Group (SMG) bought the station for £105 million. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19970611/ai_n14102564/print Scottish Media buys Grampian for 105m pounds] , Cathy Newman, The Independent, 11 June 1997] . In June 2003, the company moved to new premises at Craigshaw Business Park in West Tullos,
Aberdeenand the original headquarters at Queen's Cross were subsequently demolished, becoming home to a development of luxury flats.
From Grampian to STV North
In March 2006, the owners of Grampian Television, then known as SMG plc (now "STV Group plc") announced that the Grampian TV brand would be scrapped and renamed, along with Scottish TV, as simply '
STV', with a new logo comprising a large, stylised letter 'S'. It was also announced that no jobs would be lost as a result of the rebranding. The two regional news programmes, " North Tonight" (Grampian TV) and " Scotland Today" (Scottish TV) are still broadcast in their respective regions after the "stv" rebranding, which occurred at 9:25am on Tuesday 30 May 2006.
The decision to rebrand Grampian was met with much criticism from across the former Grampian region - the move was viewed by many as similar to the
ITV plc-owned licences in England, Wales and Southern Scotland where all of the regions are branded as ITV1. The objections are largely due to the fact that the largely rural Scottish culture in the North is very different from the more commercial and industrialised Central Scotland area.
The news service and advertising remains regionalised as before with the Tayside and North East Fife area receiving its own opt-out service, featuring a dedicated news bulletin within "North Tonight" on weekdays and separate local advertising. The station is reportedly considering the introduction of a third news and advertising sub-region for the Highlands and Islands area.
As of 3 December 2007, the former Grampian name was partially resurrected at the launch of
GMTV Grampiana local news segment for North Scotland shown as part of GMTVand is provided by Macmillan Mediaa separate company with no connection to STV. It took over the contract when GMTV did not renew SMG's contract to supply early morning " Scotland Today" and "North Today" bulletins. SMG had supplied GMTV with its news since the breakfast channel took over from TV-am in 1993. From its Glasgow studios, Macmillan Media began its service for the Grampian region on 3 December 2007.
Programming produced by Grampian Television (STV North) over the past 47 years include:
*"Grampian Headlines" (1988 - 2003)
*"Grampian News" (2002 - 2006)
*"Grampian Today" (mid 1970s - 1980)
*"News and Views" (1961 - mid 1970s)
*"News Review" (early 1990s - present)
*"North News" (lunchtime bulletin, 1980-1988)
*"North Headlines" (late night bulletin, 1980-1987)
*"North Today" (2006 - present)
North Tonight" (1980 - present)
*"The Buck Stops Here"
*"Craig Millar Reports" (latterly "The Craig Millar Files", 2003 - 2004)
*"Crossfire" (1984 - 2004)
*"North Tonight Special"
*"One Life to Live"
*"Points North" (1961 - 1984)
Politics Now" (co-produced with STV Central, 2004 - present)
*"We The Jury"
*"The A9 Mystery" (1978)
*"About Britain" (contributions for the ITV network)
*"Alternative Energy" (for Channel Four, 1990)
*"The Big Beat"
*"The Blood is Strong" (for Channel Four, late 1980s)
*"A Day in the Life"
*"Export Scotch" (1982)
*"A Glen for All Seasons" (1997)
*"Highlands" (produced by
SMG Productions, 2008)
*"Hot Property" (for the ITV network)
*"Medics of the Glen" (also broadcast on the ITV network)
*"Network First" (contributions for the ITV network, mid - late 1990s)
*"Nick Hancock's Fishing School" (produced by
SMG Productions, 2007)
*"Oil" (co-produced with
NRKfor Channel Four, 1986)
*"A Prince Among Islands" (for the ITV network, 1992)
*"Scotland the Grave" (for Channel Four, 1991)
*"Scotland's Larder" (early - late 1990s)
*"Selina Scott Meets"
*"This Scotland" (co-produced with
*"Walking Back to Happiness"
*"The Woman Who Ate Scotland" (2006-7)
*"A Year in Spain: Selina Scott with the Spanish Royal Family" (for the ITV network, 1993)
*"Desert Island Chefs"
*"The Electric Theatre Show"
The Five Thirty Show" (co-produced with STV Central, 2008 - present)
*"Grampian Midweek" (2000 - 2003)
*"The Great Outdoors"
*"Grow for It"
*"Northern Exposure" (for
stv.tv, 2007 - present)
stv.tv, 2007 - present)
*"Off The Wall" (2004)
*"Out and About" (late 1980s)
*"Pennywise" (for the ITV network, 1980s)
*"The People Show"
*"Put It in Writing"
*"Rich, Gifted and Scots" (co-produced with
*"Spend, Spend, Spend"
*"Summer at Six"
*"Under The Hammer" (1997 - 1999, co-produced with
*"The Way It Was"
*"The Art Sutter Show"
*"At Home with Kenneth McKellar"
*"Cairngorm Ski Night"
*"Country and Irish"
Club Cupid" (co-produced with STV Central, 2006)
Conquer the Castle" (produced by SMG Productions, 2008)
ITV Telethon" (local and networked contributions, 1988, 1990, 1992)
*"The Jim Macleod"
*"Magic of the Musical"
*"The National Television Awards" (for the ITV network, 1996-8)
*"Pick of the North"
*"The Royal Clansmen"
*"Runrig on the Rock"
*"Scotland The What"
*"A Touch of Music"
Top Club" (1971 - 1998)
*"The Video Show" (1985)
*"Video Jukebox" (1987)
*"Welcome to the Ceildh"
*"You'd Better Believe It!" (1990)
*"The Birthday Spot"
*"Furry Tales" (2001)
Get Fresh" (contributions for the ITV network, 1986 - 1988)
*"Ghost Train" (contributions for the ITV network, 1989 - 1992)
James the Cat" (for the ITV network) (1984 - 1986)
*"Junior Try for Ten" (1967 - 1969)
*"Pick A Number" (1987 - 1996)
*"Ron & Friends" (mid - late 1970s)
*"Scene on Saturday" (mid 1970s - early 1980s)
*"Wize Up" (1996 - 1997)
*"Zoom!" (early - mid 1970s)
*"The Back Page"
*"Grampian Sheepdog Trials" (also broadcast on the ITV network and
Channel 4, early 1980s - mid 1990s)
*"The Scottish Golf Show" (2005)
Outside broadcast coverage of various sports including league football, cross country, lawn bowls, shinty, professional wrestling (for the ITV network's "World of Sport"), marathons, cycling, exhibition tennis, international amateur boxing, curling, triathlon and mountain bike racing.
*"Living and Growing" (late 1960s - 1995)
*"Highway" (contributions for the ITV network)
*"In Good Faith"
*"Morning Worship" (contributions for the ITV network)
*"Ceol na Fidhle" (Traditional music)
*"Comhla Rinn" (Chat show)
*"Crann Tara" (Current affairs/features)
*"Cuir Car" (Children's)
*"Fionnan Feior" (Documentaries)
*"Le Durach" (Gaelic version of "The Birthday Spot")
*"Sechd Laithean, A Iomadh Du'Thaich" (Children's)
Telefios" (Regional news, 1993 - 2000)
*"Telefios na Seachduinn" (News review, 1993 - 2000)
* [http://www.stv.tv stv.tv]
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