Infrastructure for the 1993 Franchise Launch
#91

(10-02-2024, 04:11 PM)IronRoad Wrote:  This thread is really interesting… right up my street! This might be a teeny bit OT, but it’s relevant…. I’m aware TV-am was fed directly to the TX sites outside of the main ITV distribution network… however who made the decision for it to be transmitted that way? Was it a IBA requirement? Surely it would have been easier for TV-am just to be fed to the ITV companies and they could then handle regional advertising for them etc? And I believe GMTV had its own way of transmission as well, albeit linked to the local companies? Anyone able to shed some light?

It's worth remembering that until the IBA was disbanded ITV (the network) was theirs and the various franchised operators were merely "programme contractors"; the broadcaster was the IBA no matter which ITV region you lived in. As such, each programme contractor would provide the IBA with a compliant signal which the IBA would take care of emitting.

The IBA made the arrangements with regards to the breakfast TV contract, not the regional programme contractors (some of which tried quite hard to stop it from happening). Their transmission arrangement was entirely consistent with how they operated at the time - but it was also pragmatic given the context.

This differed from the arrangement post-93, where each regional franchise in effect became the broadcaster, with their own responsibility for getting their programming broadcast - and as such they could form whatever arrangements they wanted/needed to in order to get the programming to its audience in the manner committed to. They each held the contracts with their transmission contractors, in a total reversal of the situation with the IBA. They also had far more ability to choose which elements of their broadcast they handled themselves, which they contracted to eachother (such as overnight playout), which they formed joint ventures to handle (such as LNN) and which they contacted to third parties.

In the case of GMTV it was doubly convenient to let the regions handle the last mile to the transmitters since they were contracting out all the regional news back to the regional franchisees anyway. It was cheaper and simpler for all concerned.

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#92

(10-02-2024, 04:11 PM)IronRoad Wrote:  This thread is really interesting… right up my street! This might be a teeny bit OT, but it’s relevant…. I’m aware TV-am was fed directly to the TX sites outside of the main ITV distribution network… however who made the decision for it to be transmitted that way? Was it a IBA requirement? Surely it would have been easier for TV-am just to be fed to the ITV companies and they could then handle regional advertising for them etc? And I believe GMTV had its own way of transmission as well, albeit linked to the local companies? Anyone able to shed some light?
Remember the ITV companies in those days weren't broadcasters as such, they were programme contractors. They supplied their output to the IBA who transmitted it. So when it was on air it was fed directly to the IBAs transmitters, when the regional companies were in air they were instead. This is why they were franchises, not licenses

Part of the idea was to increase plurality of news and programme provison and get a contractor that was new. I can't remember if ITN or any of the ITV companies were involved in bidding for the franchise but I imagine if the breakfast franchise was from within ITV they might have made use of ITVs facilities. I think there was some antipathy towards TVam at the start


Of course going forward to 1993 and the IBA was gone and GMTV was part owned by an ITV company. They got the ITV companies to supply news for them and so the easiest way to do this was for GMTV to pass through them.

My understanding is that LNN put out several versions of GMTV with different adverts, these went to each ITV company, but not through their presentation area. Instead it passed through the news gallery who opted out for the bulletins. At 9:25 the regional companies presentation areas were switched back into line
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#93

(10-02-2024, 09:41 PM)WillPS Wrote:  It's worth remembering that until the IBA was disbanded ITV (the network) was theirs and the various franchised operators were merely "programme contractors"; the broadcaster was the IBA no matter which ITV region you lived in. As such, each programme contractor would provide the IBA with a compliant signal which the IBA would take care of emitting.

The IBA made the arrangements with regards to the breakfast TV contract, not the regional programme contractors (some of which tried quite hard to stop it from happening). Their transmission arrangement was entirely consistent with how they operated at the time - but it was also pragmatic given the context.

This differed from the arrangement post-93, where each regional franchise in effect became the broadcaster, with their own responsibility for getting their programming broadcast - and as such they could form whatever arrangements they wanted/needed to in order to get the programming to its audience in the manner committed to. They each held the contracts with their transmission contractors, in a total reversal of the situation with the IBA. They also had far more ability to choose which elements of their broadcast they handled themselves, which they contracted to eachother (such as overnight playout), which they formed joint ventures to handle (such as LNN) and which they contacted to third parties.

In the case of GMTV it was doubly convenient to let the regions handle the last mile to the transmitters since they were contracting out all the regional news back to the regional franchisees anyway. It was cheaper and simpler for all concerned.

As I recall the earliest GMTV weather forecasts came from Birmingham. How long did last for?
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#94

(10-02-2024, 10:06 PM)Humphrey Hacker Wrote:  As I recall the earliest GMTV weather forecasts came from Birmingham. How long did last for?
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They moved south and got one permanent presenter (Sally Meen) around the time the studio got TV-amified about 4 months in. Very occasionally came from Brum after that. At first, it rotated between her, Emma and Charlie in Brum, IIRC.
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#95

(10-02-2024, 10:06 PM)Humphrey Hacker Wrote:  As I recall the earliest GMTV weather forecasts came from Birmingham. How long did last for?
tvark.org 

By 1994 IWP (who produced ITV National Weather) had moved into a temporary facility at TLS and started providing a full service to LNN and producing the national weather bulletins from there. It was inevitable they would eventually take over the GMTV weather contract too.
At the height of the service it wasn't unusual for IWP to fully produce local forecasts for Meridian and Anglia from TLS too.
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#96

(10-02-2024, 09:41 PM)Stooky Bill Wrote:  If realised the announcers were employed but Carlton/LWT but not the TCs too. So there was a shift changeover on a Friday evening?

Who employed the TC during GMTVs hours?

Yes there was a shift changeover between TC's on Fridays.

I can't recall too well what happened during GMTV's time on air. I have a feeling LNN staffed the control room during GMTV's time on air. When you think about it there was no need for a nominated contractor role as there was no network to co-ordinate. The TC had direct talkback to the GMTV production gallery (to count out of breaks etc) and so it would have been easy to co-ordinate last minute changes to the schedule etc. GMTV senior programme editorial management were always present when they were on air so editorially it would have been easy enough.

To answer another previous question LNN produced at least 3 advert macro regions during GMTV's on-air time, I think it might have ended up as 4.
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#97

(12-02-2024, 11:28 AM)Bluecortina Wrote:  Yes there was a shift changeover between TC's on Fridays.

I can't recall too well what happened during GMTV's time on air. I have a feeling LNN staffed the control room during GMTV's time on air. When you think about it there was no need for a nominated contractor role as there was no network to co-ordinate. The TC had direct talkback to the GMTV production gallery (to count out of breaks etc) and so it would have been easy to co-ordinate last minute changes to the schedule etc. GMTV senior programme editorial management were always present when they were on air so editorially it would have been easy enough.

To answer another previous question LNN produced at least 3 advert macro regions during GMTV's on-air time, I think it might have ended up as 4.

To reply to my own reply (!) I am reminded by an ex-colleague that LNN engineering manned the transmission area during GMTV's on air time and TC's and announcers were not present, programme timings etc came from the GMTV gallery. In the end there were 6 macro regions.
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