Back in the Old Gang 

2 February 2004 tbs.pm/3425

In late 1990, the Vaux Brewery decided to sell its 19% in Tyne Tees. After denying interest at first, Yorkshire Television quickly bought the stake, costing a cool £5.1million.

With the franchise renewal process already underway, this would seem to be an strange time to invest, especially when it was revealed that the heavyweight ‘North East Television’, backed by Granada, Border and the Newcastle Chronicle.

Fighting to keep it’s franchise, Tyne Tees retaliated, and teamed up with Yorkshire and Phil Redmond’s Mersey TV to big against Granada. At the same time they put in a bid of over £15million for their own franchise – a staggering ammount that was over three times their annual profit.

In the end all three stations kept their own franchises, although it wasn’t cheap – Tyne Tees out-bid the competition by £10million.

Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Group logo

Yorkshire-Tyne Tees – original and innovative.

With both companies having crippled themselves in the franchise round, Yorkshire took advantage of new regulations from the ITC which would allow one company to once again own two franchises, and snapped up it’s North Eastern partner, taking control in 1992.

It was an act that ultimately led to the consolidation of ITV in England and Wales into just one company, although it was not for a few more years that the battles would really start.

The combined group took the highly original name of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television and took what is perhaps one of the worst corporate logos ever seen. The large dominant Yorkshire Y, surrounded by smaller subservient TTTVs left little doubt about who was in control of the company.

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