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Production balance

Published 23 May 2011

Remember the days of regional ITV? Granada produced World In Action, Central produced Family Fortunes and The Cook Report, and Thames (R.I.P.) productions ranged from The Bill to This Week….

Sold for Sky

Published 3 March 2011

Admit it to yourself, this isn’t a surprise even if you initially thought it was. It seemed obvious that Sky News was going to be the sacrificial lamb in a…

Bleakley and Chiles talk Daybreak

Published 27 November 2010

Much has been said about ITV1’s Daybreak, the replacement for GMTV which, it has to be said, hasn’t got off to the greatest of starts. None of what’s been said has been said by me as frankly I’m a Today programme listener and not even my natural interest could beat my early morning, groggy inertia and make me put the television on. However whilst much has been said in the press and by other commentators, not a huge amount as been said by its stars. Until now.

The road to ITV’s recovery

Published 18 September 2010

Russ J Graham on what lessons can be learned from ITV making great drama for the BBC

The end of the Border line

Published 9 September 2010

Colm O’Rourke reflects on the life and death of Border Television

Not-so-Freeview

Published 18 June 2010

The announcement that BSkyB is withdrawing its Sky Sports News channel from Freeview may not be that unexpected but it does raise some interesting unanswered questions in relation to Sky’s…

Not a time for favours

Published 8 February 2010

BSkyB agrees to cut ITV stake In recent weeks it has been obvious that the “love affair” between politicians and BSkyB – at least in public – has started to…

The End of City Road

Published 4 February 2010

It’s been many years since I personally lived in the North East so the story that demolition had begun on Tyne Tees’s old City Road studios had passed me by.

News from somewhere

Published 22 October 2009

ITV to drop Big Ben from News at Ten titles It’s no surprise to learn that ITV bosses have decided to partly apportion the blame for relatively low ratings for…

No (regional) branding please, we’re ITV1

Published 13 October 2009

ITV faces regional news battle Conveniently forgetting about GMTV (in which ITV have, ahem, a majority shareholding), ITV plc is perhaps unsuccessfully trying to demand that any new regional news…

Primeval returns

Published 29 September 2009

Well if this is not a sad sight for ITV I don’t know what is. For the good news is that Primeval will return (good if you like Primeval anyway!) in a deal with UKTV which will see the programme air on Watch afterwards, and BBC Worldwide become the largest co-production partner.

Risky business

Published 28 September 2009

ITV uncertainty could open doors to takeover bid, says analyst If you now have a distinct feeling along the lines that “We’ve been here before”, then you are almost certainly…

Strictly off limits?

Published 22 September 2009

BBC’s Sir Michael Lyons weighs into row over Strictly scheduling clash It seems very obvious at this point in time that the BBC Trust has to at least look as…

Selling point

Published 13 September 2009

Rule change allows TV product placement When Andy Burnham (the previous Culture Secretary) said that there was no room for paid product placement on British television, the general consensus was…

Disney buys Marvel – more corporate conservatism?

Published 31 August 2009

Financial Times: Disney to buy Marvel for $4bn. Imagine this: you are webslinging across the New York city skyline, just like Spiderman. You swing round to see the famous Baxter…

The Come Back Kid

Published 19 August 2009

More Mark Austin on News at Ten As part of a piece proclaiming that Mark Austin will be doing more News at Ten, is the news that Alastair Stewart is…

Awaiting stardom

Published 10 August 2009

Some MediaBlog readers might just remember something I posted nearly a year ago that attempted to explain the effects of the credit crunch, albeit in a somewhat unorthodox fashion. Anyway,…

There’s no “I” in STV

Published 7 August 2009

Broadcast Now: Grade slams STV opt outs Michael Grade in “cannot understand STV’s attitude” shocker; who would have thought it? From a purely commercial viewpoint, STV’s decision to drop the…

ITV no longer free?

Published 6 August 2009

Broadcast Now: ITV digital channels may leave Freeview If such a thing had happened merely two years ago it would have been a bigger deal than it is today. That’s…

Lacking reality

Published 9 July 2009

BBC News: ITV ‘to charge for Talent clips’ At least proving that Michael Grade has either a good sense of humour or a complete lack of perspective, he’s just announced…

It’s not just tennis

Published 1 July 2009

ITV1 slumps to all-time ratings low This is rather hard to believe even allowing for ITV1’s lax summer schedule combined with Wimbledon tennis and the slow but continuing growth of…

Casting suspicion

Published 30 June 2009

BSkyB’s Mike Darcey attacks ‘culture of dependency’ in UK television Up to now, BSkyB has enjoyed a near-privileged position as the UK’s dominant pay-TV operator, and this has been tolerated…

Jackson mania

Published 26 June 2009

Once every so often, a news story breaks of great enough importance that gets the media into such a tizz it makes everything else take a back seat for a…

Point of contention

Published 18 June 2009

Ben Bradshaw tells BBC: to save the licence fee, share it It’s not surprising that the final Digital Britain report has provoked a wide range of reactions, and it was…

Endangered species

Published 15 June 2009

Primeval dropped by ITV BBC set for clash over plans to give part of licence fee to rivals These two media stories may be fundamentally different in their nature but…

The end of free ITV?

Published 2 June 2009

Ah, do you remember the days? Everyone was rushing off pay TV, determined to embrace the world of free to air television. It would be great! Advertising would pay for…

“A rose by any other name…”

Published 28 May 2009

Granada name to disappear from ITV businesses When Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs first introduced the Apple TV set top box (which displays media content downloaded from the iTunes Store) during…

One small loss for ITV

Published 6 May 2009

ITV to axe The South Bank Show when Melvyn Bragg retires next year The news that The South Bank Show is going to be axed isn’t surprising at all to…

Change of heart?

Published 23 April 2009

Michael Grade to step down as ITV chief executive This move comes as a modest surprise given the fact that Michael Grade was scheduled to stay on as chief executive…

Gone but never forgotten

Published 19 March 2009

Simon Luxton on the end of regional names on ITV1

Still out of place

Published 11 March 2009

ITV chief Michael Grade to challenge ‘perverse’ ban on product placement Product placement has been a ‘hot’ issue for commercial broadcasters for what seems like a long time – this…

The price of failure

Published 9 March 2009

ITV executives write protest letter to Michael Grade Well done Michael Grade for having the temerity to sack the chief architect of ITV’s recent failure to achieve a content-led turnaround…

Reputation isn’t enough

Published 4 March 2009

ITV admits defeat on content-led turnaround I’ll say this now; Michael Grade had exactly the right idea for a turnaround strategy for ITV plc as it stood, but the ‘r-word’…

Too much to swallow

Published 25 February 2009

ITV proposes merger with Channel 4 and Five to create broadcasting giant In a way you can kind of see the business logic in this idea, namely one large commercial…

Oh woe is ITV – part 625,405

Published 16 February 2009

Blood-letting at ITV To say that ITV plc has been going through a rough patch recently is something of an understatement, with the media press over the last few days…

Marsupial murder

Published 4 February 2009

Project Kangaroo: 50 jobs to go as broadcasters rule out appeal Project Kangaroo blocked by Competition Commission So it seems that the ‘olive branch’ created by Project Kangaroo, namely a…

Stepwise migration

Published 29 January 2009

digital britain – interim report: Government outlines plans for UK’s digital transition Today saw the publication of (Lord) Stephen Carter’s interim report entitled “Digital Britain”, which in one sense is…

Fitting the bill

Published 23 January 2009

The Bill cut to once a week Although the motive for trimming back ITV1’s The Bill to a once a week, post-watershed slot is mainly financial (drama in particular being…

Public argument

Published 21 January 2009

BBC licence fee ‘digital surplus’ could help fund new PSB body, says Ofcom Ofcom: Report summary plus links to full versions Now that the long-awaited report from Ofcom has finally…

Marsupial misguidance

Published 24 December 2008

Pull out of Project Kangaroo, broadcasters told With Project Kangaroo still trying to get off the ground, it’s perhaps predictable that someone somewhere might conceivably suggest that ITV and Channel…

Olive branch

Published 11 December 2008

BBC outlines £120m partnership plans with other public service broadcasters After a couple of months where the BBC superficially seemed to be upsetting everyone from readers of the Daily Mail…

The price of freedom

Published 8 December 2008

Caught in the storm Prior to the 1980s, UK TV broadcasting was predominantly a preserve of the BBC and regional ITV franchises plus a tiny number of cable TV channels,…

Marsupial mishap

Published 3 December 2008

Project Kangaroo punctured by Competition Commission Competition Commission statement (PDF file) Project Kangaroo is (or perhaps was, given the stance that now seems to be all too clear) an attempt…

Mike Scott

Published 26 October 2008

Presenter and executive extraordinaire

Regionally yours

Published 23 October 2008

Joy of Six: ITV regional idents This “top six” list of regional ITV idents controversially puts TSW in the top position ahead of ATV (the heretics); TSW’s second ident in…

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