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Nicky (previously BBCNicky) 2,895 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Feeling a bit nostalgic and found itsrobert's fantastic ITN Classic Years topic, full of great posts and links but long since archived. Anyway I was doing a bit of geeky YouTubing on the classic 1995 look - perhaps my favourite era of news branding on ITV - and found a couple of nice clips I hadn't seen before (some of which were uploaded years ago, so clearly I haven't been looking hard enough!)

Here are the titles, headlines and opening story from a 1995 Lunchtime News:



Notice the post-headlines sting with the Big Ben face. Does anyone know when this was dropped, as I don't remember seeing this on TV at all. It must have been replaced very early on with the more familiar short stab - see below (4m11s):



itsrobert posted in the old thread that the 1995 look launched in stages - first the change of logo and colour in early March, then the new titles, music and set in early June. (I think the new set was in the same place as the old one but obviously separate from the activity of the newsroom.) For some reason, the Weekend News continued to use the old look for some weeks afterwards (2m43s):



I wonder if there was any particular reason for the 1995 look to be implemented so slowly. Shaky confidence from some executives in the new look? Resistance among some of the newsroom staff to drop the rather jaunty weekend news music?! One of the comments in the old thread also stated that the Lunchtime News was first to launch with the new set, music and Big Ben titles, with the Early Evening News following some weeks later. Very strange if true! I'm presuming the Early Evening and Weekend bulletins used a CSO backdrop of the old newsroom shot - the new set would have already been constructed for the LN. News at Ten continued to use its own separate branding introduced in 1992, but I suppose it would have been interesting to see it brought in line with the 1995 look. I wonder if this had originally been planned by Lambie-Nairn but thrown out by ITN. NAT had already been tweaked several times by then so I can imagine them wanting to leave it alone. I think you can count on one hand the amount of times Trevor McDonald was seen presenting from the blue newsroom studio instead of the NAT set.

Away from the 1995 look, this complete Lunchtime News from 1994. Looks decidedly old-fashioned and rather 1980s compared to the newsroom look used by the other bulletins at the time:



Just some geeky nostalgia. Very Happy
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Nicky (previously BBCNicky) 2,895 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
And there's the fact that the 1995 look continued on the morning news for quite a while after the 1999 revamp on the overnight bulletins and morning news- I wonder why that was!


That's right - very weird indeed! I think the Morning News continued to use the 1995 look right up until the News Channel launched in August 2000. It does seem to be a very ITN thing for some bulletins to continue using elements of old looks but it's totally unexplainable. Glad that practice was dropped though... imagine them using the hideous 2009 look for some bulletins alongside the current excellent branding. Shocked
VMPhil6,958 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Re the 1995 relaunch - perhaps it was simply a case of just wanting to phase in the new look, bit by bit, and seeing what worked and what didn't before applying it to the more high profile bulletins. It does seem strange today when a rebrand happens to all bulletins at the same time.
VMPhil6,958 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
And there's the fact that the 1995 look continued on the morning news and overnight bulletins for quite a while after the 1999 revamp (certainly still using it in May 2000, as TV Ark has an example), I wonder why that was!

The TV Ark example is particularly strange because it's a mish-mash of both eras, with the 1995 titles and the 1999 logo.


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Brekkie26,728 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
I wonder how much say, if any, ITV had in the branding of the news programmes prior to 1999. With ITV making no secret of wanting to axe News at Ten it's understandable that ITN wanted to keep it distinctive rather than just another news bulletin. That sting though after the initial Lunchtime News headlines is very News at Ten-esque.

I think you can count on one hand the amount of times Trevor McDonald was seen presenting from the blue newsroom studio instead of the NAT set.

I can't remember Trevor doing anything other than News at Ten during the period, so I guess it would have been for breaking stories or news specials he might have ventured in there, though I've only seen Dermot Murnaghan in caps from the Diana coverage. If a news special found itself in primetime during the late 90s did it generally follow ITN or News at Ten branding?
Last edited by Brekkie on 31 January 2016 12:04am
Shouldn't that have been posted in the "John Logie Baird has Invented Television" thread?
itsrobert5,891 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
Thanks for starting a new topic on this Nicky - I always love talking about classic ITN!

The 1995 revamp has always been a bit of a mystery. Having visited ITN many times, I have worked out that the original atrium-side studio was called Studio 3 and was situated on the first floor. This was used for weekend bulletins upon the move to Gray's Inn Road in 1990 and was also used for the launch of the Early Evening News in 1992. It may have also been re-dressed for News at Ten from late 1992 onwards, although I'm not 100% certain. You can clearly see Studio 3 is on the first floor in this image from 1992 - count up floors from the basement:

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The EEN and Weekend studio seemed to change during 1993 and was clearly on the ground floor. I suspect this is when Studio 4 was created directly below where St. 3 had been. I'm sure the EEN and NAT were sharing this studio for a while. By mid to late 1994, NAT had moved into one of the basement studios - this coincided with the dropping of the atrium shots in the opening titles and the change of voiceover to "From ITN..." instead of "From the headquarters of ITN..." I reckon it was at some point in late 1994 that the EEN, Weekend and overnight bulletins started using a CSO set-up of the old set. This would have allowed a major overhaul to take place in Studio 4 ready for the LTN to move there in early 1995. Don't forget that the old LTN had previously still come from the basement.

The 1995 relaunch was definitely done in stages. I did a bit of research in the PRS music database a while back and these are the dates when Dave Hewson's new music was first used for each bulletin:

Lunchtime News: 13th March 1995
Early Evening News: 5th June 1995
Morning News: 18th June 1995
Weekend: 15th July 1995

The only reason I can give is that it had always been done that way. There had never been a time in ITN's history that they had rebranded all the bulletins at once - not until 2004 really. I guess it was just safer to focus on one programme at a time?

james-2001 is absolutely right when he says that the Big Ben clockface titles were still used for a while for the overnight summaries and Morning News after the March 1999 relaunch. As far as I can tell, this continued up until mid-2000 - probably just before the launch of the ITN News Channel which took over Studio 4. I have no concrete evidence as to why this studio and branding was still used until 2000 - my best guess is that the control room needed fewer staff so was more cost effective. But that's purely speculation on my part.
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Brekkie26,728 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
Talking of revamps all at once how was the move to Grays Inn handled? From what I can gather it wasn't until 1992 they really began making use of the atrium, and as stated above ITN didn't like revamping everything on one day, so were all the news sets just basically shipped from their old studios to their new ones as the main bulletins seemed to have the same sets from around 1988 to 1992.
Shouldn't that have been posted in the "John Logie Baird has Invented Television" thread?
itsrobert5,891 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
Talking of revamps all at once how was the move to Grays Inn handled? From what I can gather it wasn't until 1992 they really began making use of the atrium, and as stated above ITN didn't like revamping everything on one day, so were all the news sets just basically shipped from their old studios to their new ones?

As far as I can tell Brekkie, yes they were pretty much shipped from Wells Street to Gray's Inn Road and set up there. They actually started using Studio 3 on the atrium straight away in 1991 for the Gulf War news reports and then the Weekend & Morning News - although the bulletins retained the old graphics and music. The set was then changed in March 1992 for the launch of the EEN.

Aside from that, though, News at 1230, News at 5.40, News at Ten, Channel 4 News and World News all retained their previous branding and studio sets - just at GIR instead of Wells Street! I bet it was some operation to move all that over in time!
Brekkie26,728 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
Found this regarding the move to Grays Inn Road - essentially happened over the last 18 days of 1990:
http://starlogged.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/1991-itn-move-studios-from-tv-times.html

I assume programmes between Christmas and New Year took on the generic weekend look in the days of individual programme branding (that might be one big assumption), so that would probably have helped a lot with the logistics of moving the various sets.
Shouldn't that have been posted in the "John Logie Baird has Invented Television" thread?
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