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Telegraph 21/06/67
Telegraph 13/06/67
The Times 26/06/67
Telegraph 20/06/67
Death of TWW: Telegraph 21/06/67 The Newspaper Archive

Daily Telegraph 21/06/1967‘CAPRICIOUS INJUSTICE’ TO TWW

By our TV Staff

THE EARL OF DERBY, Chairman of Television Wales and the West, last night described the ITA’s decision not to renew its contract from July next year as capricious and a monumental injustice.

In a reply to a letter from Lord Hill, Chairman of the ITA, giving the reasons for the Authority’s decision, Lord Derby said that it was true that he and a handful of original founder investors had made a good deal of money. But this had no relevance for the great majority of the present shareholders who bought their shares on the Stock Exchange. Lord Derby pointed out that if the Authority thought there were promises and prospects for the company, which were not being fulfilled then it owed a duty to draw the company’s attention to them.

"As it was we did everything we thought you were asking us to do and were totally reassured by the statements made by you and on your behalf, including replies to categorical inquiries by me on three occasions in the last year about whether our service was satisfactory."

Staff’s predicament

Lord Derby said the Television Act envisaged successive con-tracts and nobody had imposed any obligation on Lord Hill to unseat a satisfactory contractor without a word of warning after previous reassurances that they were happy with their work.

He said he regretted Lord Hill’s failure to consider the predicament in which the staff of TWW had been placed by his decision.

A sense of total insecurity had now been engendered in 500 very loyal people who had not only worked for the company but for the Authority over the years.

Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph (in 1967 still called The Daily Telegraph and Morning Post) is now Britain's biggest-selling broadsheet daily, owned by the Canadian-born Conrad Black.

The paper follows a Conservative line, and is widely recognised as having the largest daily news coverage.

You can find out more about the Daily and Sunday Telegraph at www.telegraph.co.uk

PMC Comment

And so it begins. TWW and its Chairman, Lord Derby, were unable to believe what had just happened to them. TWW had been in place from 1958, had been praised by the ITA for its work and had absorbed the loss-making Wales (West and North), thus preventing the death of the only ITV station to go bankrupt.
 
All of this would have normally kept TWW in place to this day. But then along came Harlech.

With Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor for glamour, Geraint Evans and Wynford Vaugan-Thomas for local weight and solid, local, financial backing, Lord Harlech had assembled a consortium that could have taken on any company with ease.

In the face of this, TWW, solid, steady and dependable, looked plain, conservative and boring. Harlech's consortium anticipated almost every paragraph of TWW's submission, pointing out the Wales and West-led nature of themselves against the London-run opposition; noting the innovation and talent, the hope for a network position that they had against TWW's 'slow and steady' approach.

In the hare and tortoise race, the hare won this time. At the beginning of the 21st Century, this comes as no surprise to us. At the time, the 'mini-BBCs' dotted around the country had thought they were permanent. To find they were not merely temporary, but also dispensable, came as a shock.

TWW would be dragged, kicking and screaming, to the gallows. The 'open letter' from Derby to Hill here was just the beginning.

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