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Yearbooks: ITA 1972 The Yearbook Archive

 
After struggling with the aftermath of the franchise changes in 1968, coupled with an advertising downturn soon after and the costs of 'going colour' in studios, by the time the 1972 yearbook was published, the ITV companies were beginning to get back on their collective feet.  Only London Weekend had more agony to go through, mostly of its own making.

Anglia, with a VHF coverage that stretched from London in the south to beyond Hull in the north, and as far west as the suburbs of Leeds and Sheffield, had had found its niche.  Accordingly, the boasting in the yearbook was about the Anglia Television Natural History Unit, later Survival Anglia Limited and now abolished by new owners Granada.

ATV uses its pages to plug ATV Today, and to make a big point about the new ATV Centre in central Birmingham, although Borehamwood still gets mentioned and the company is still run from 17 Great Cumberland Place in London W1.

Border gives up a third of one of its two pages to a photo of an unnamed programme about Sir Walter Scott.

Channel makes the most of its local programming (colour still not having arrived due to the technical difficulties presented by the region's location).  Local news programmes are of most interest.

Grampian makes much more of its light entertainment output than regions of an equivalent size, though virtually all of it was only shown locally, some pieces appearing on STV and Border.

Granada boasts of its 'Granadaland programmes' in all fields, pointing to varied local (or at least Manchester, Granada still willfully ignoring the city next door) productions as well as the more famous network offerings.  The company also gives endowments to universities in Sheffield, Leeds, York and Lancaster - the first three showing the company's pre-1968 roots.

HTV tries to be even between both halves, a feat that can only be managed, in these pre-S4C days by giving only the briefest of mentions to programming in Welsh.

London Weekend now under the control of Aidan Crawley, John Freeman, Lord Campbell of Eskan, David Astor and Cyril Bennett, had not yet stopped the revolving door of board members, management and staff that had bedeviled the company from the beginning.  They were also still cooped up in Rediffusion's former studios in Wembley, awaiting the building of the South Bank skyscraper.

STV as ever continued being STV, seeming not to care much for their region whilst simultaneously failing to produce much that was of interest to the network.

Southern takes time to boast of its studio centre in Southampton, a building it describes as being 'one of the most modern... in the world", as well as a mention for the Southerner, ITV's only marine outside broadcast unit.  Most programme references are to local productions rather than network offerings.

Thames had the best of both worlds in the 1968 contracts - ABC staff and management, Rediffusion's programmes.  The arrival of colour put Thames into another golden age, marked most noticeably by the opening of the Euston Road studios, named 'Thames Television House' that allowed ABC to leave Rediffusion's HQ at Holborn and finally get away from the them-and-us attitudes of the mixed employees.

Tyne Tees Television is not yet owned by Trident Television, but that company already exists, to sell airtime for the two regions it would one day reverse-takeover.  Under the firm hand of Business Manager and Company Secretary JP Graham, the Trident experiment would save both TTT and YTV from the problems caused by the large overlap of areas.

Ulster leaps in to plug its Sales and Research arm, based in London, and the publications for advertisers on demographics in Northern Ireland.  Ulster had a tough job to do to get advertisers interested in the region after the start of the Troubles caused a huge economic downturn and cronic lack of inward investment into the six counties.

Westward has the most breathless and excited of all sections.  Despite their small size, the company seems determined to appear as experimenters, youthful and go-getting in an otherwise quiet area.  Good on 'em!

Yorkshire is settling down into its role as one half of Granadaland.  It boasts about the first studio complex in the UK specially designed for colour on Kirkstall Road in Leeds.  Most interesting is the distinct lack of Telefusion names on the board.  When the company first won the contract, it seemed clear that Telefusion would own and dominate.  But the ITA had handed part of the new company to rivals Yorkshire Independent Television, and by 1973 those people were on the board and Telefusion had dropped though a trapdoor of ITV history.

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