« Topics
1234...789
Sir Richard Rotcod495 posts since 18 Jun 2003
Broadcast posted:
ITV axe to fall on Nottingham studio
Paul Revoir
12 February 2004 08:05

ITV is poised to pull out of Nottingham after deciding to sell its multimillion pound studio complex and move nearly all its operations to Birmingham.

The decision, part of Charles Allen's plans to make 100m of savings in the merged company, could see Europe's largest studio complex, once famously home to Crossroads, being sold off.

Most staff will be relocated to Birmingham although an unspecified number will lose their jobs. ITV may decide to keep a regional newsroom in Nottingham.

At its peak the Nottingham complex employed 350 people, including freelancers, but many lost their jobs as a result of Crossroads being axed last summer. A process of consultation with staff will begin shortly about redundancies.

Sources told Broadcast that the fate of the Lenton Lane studio complex was pretty much sealed by the death of Crossroads and Peak Practice, coupled with the overcapacity of studio space within the Granada and Carlton companies. One insider said: "The situation is exactly like Meridian." Meridian studios were often vacant and will now be sold to developers.

ITV may have to keep a regional newsroom in the city, depending on the view of Ofcom, which regulates local news resources. However, it is unlikely to intervene as Central operates two other newsrooms for the franchise at Birmingham and Abingdon.

Staff were alerted to the potential sale just before Christmas when minutes from a Tyne Tees Television communications group meeting, posted on the company's intranet, revealed that the Nottingham operation would be moving to a new site. But embarrassed bosses quickly removed the line from the website.

Sources confirmed that Tyne Tees is also "looking for a new home", but franchise chiefs have told staff that there will not be job losses on the scale of Meridian, where up to 170 jobs are going.

The NUJ is already threatening industrial action at Central over the redundancies of six senior producers in the regional department, which covers Nottingham and Birmingham.

ITV bosses had threatened to give those who lost jobs the statutory minimum pay if unions threatened industrial action. But, following an 83% vote in favour of moving towards a ballot, the NUJ said that Central bosses had offered a new round of talks.

A Granada spokesman denied that ITV was pulling out of Nottingham.
Neil Jones5,215 posts since 23 Dec 2001
That's a shame, though kind of ironic really that they had to build those studios twenty years earlier to retain the broadcasting licence for that region IIRC. Looks like it could be true then when they said that the death of Crossroads meant the death of Lenton Lane studios.

Quote:
Sources told Broadcast that the fate of the Lenton Lane studio complex was pretty much sealed by the death of Crossroads and Peak Practice, coupled with the overcapacity of studio space within the Granada and Carlton companies. One insider said: "The situation is exactly like Meridian." Meridian studios were often vacant and will now be sold to developers.


Must be a bad time to work for ITV whether you're at Meridian or Central or wherever. I don't think we've seen the end of this period of consolidation though.

Quote:
ITV may have to keep a regional newsroom in the city, depending on the view of Ofcom, which regulates local news resources. However, it is unlikely to intervene as Central operates two other newsrooms for the franchise at Birmingham and Abingdon.


This is where Ofcom is supposed to come in and be helpful by at least saving some of those jobs by insisting on keeping a regional newsroom there, even if its just Abington style. However, I fear that it'll just be overlooked and Birmingham will just expand its horizons to cover the East Midlands on occasion as well.
boring_user_name454 posts since 10 Jan 2003
Although this seems yet another blow for regionality, this closure could really benefit Central News East. Their operation is currently laughably run-down and dated, with betacart still being used as the primary playout device! So, a move to a smaller more modern base in Nottingham would enable central east to have totally modern tapeless facilities, rather than the current 1980s hotch potch of failing equipment!
cwathen3,383 posts since 27 Dec 2001
Quote:
This is where Ofcom is supposed to come in and be helpful by at least saving some of those jobs by insisting on keeping a regional newsroom there, even if its just Abington style. However, I fear that it'll just be overlooked and Birmingham will just expand its horizons to cover the East Midlands on occasion as well.

That would assume that OFCOM has a vested interest in seeing commercial TV regulated properly (which does mean that at times what is commercially good for the broadcaster is not good for the viewer, and must be stopped). That ITV is in the state it is demonstrates that they have no such interest, and they don't appear to be any different to the ITC in that any hurdles which do prevent the latest money saving consolodation at ITV will be swiftly cleared out of the way.

I do wonder why ITV PLC don't go the whole hog and pull everything into London, I doubt OFCOM would stop it.
morgaineofevil
Has central news always had bases in Nottingham and always had central news east?? I remmmerbin my firdt year at uni where i was living in Leicester we got Bob and Sylvia for central news at 6 i never noticedd whthwe thy ever reported abot east as well?? then when i moved i got ken and marie whom of which i find their stxyle balnd and out dated as well as its look compalred to what central news west had?? i think it should be moved to BIRMINGHam then we might get a better wuality news output??
morgaineofevil
Has central news always had bases in Nottingham and always had central news east?? I remmmerbin my firdt year at uni where i was living in Leicester we got Bob and Sylvia for central news at 6 i never noticed whether they ever reported about east as well?? I did read in ione of the history of central and news someobne sayin Bob and sylvie on Central news at six and then the quote-"wonder if people in the east remember them?"= then when i moved i got kevin and marie whom of which i find their style bland and out dated as well as its look compalred to what central news west had?? i think it should be moved to BIRMINGHam then we might get a better quality news output and a better view of the midlands althouigh it is currently very Birmingham based!!!
cwathen3,383 posts since 27 Dec 2001
Trying to decipher that....

Central News East was supposed to be there from day 1 (I think there is even about a week's worth of Central News East from January 1982 which was recorded but never broadcast), but industrial action delayed it's started until 1984 (and whilst we're at it, the Central South operation from Abingdon started in 1989 - believed to be Central's master stroke to ensure they kept their licence in the aftermath of the imminent 1990 Broadcast Act).

Central News East has always been based in Nottingham, but at first had an identical look to that of Central News West, so you couldn't tell the difference except by the presenters. And aswell as that Central East didn't always provide the news, some weekend and short bulletins were a pan regional service from Central West.

And for the last couple of years, East (nor South for that matter) hasn't been carried on GMTV; there has instead been a single service from Central West (and on top of all of that, only Central West is carried on Sky).
Corin874 posts since 28 Jun 2003
Let the presses roll with those employee pink slips!

So Mrs T's dreams for ITV are finally coming to fruition.

This is great news for ITV plc stockholders.

It is a major step in making ITV plc a leaner more profitable enterprise, and thus a more appealing prize to multinational media giants seeking to buy a commercial television network company in the UK.

Charles Allen should get a knighthood this year for his services to broadcasting, so please do not forget to send in his name for nominations on the honors list.
Aston1,152 posts since 4 Jan 2003
This is awful news, I was born just metres away from the Lenton Lane studios at the QMC and have held it close to my heart ever since. As a kid I went to a couple of auditions for Central TV's drama workshop for kids (never got in mind!), I wish I still had that rejection letter on with the cake logo...

I always hoped I'd be able to work there too, as part of a team making network productions, but instead I've had to move to London to do the job I want to do. It's a bit sad really and means there are no network TV studios between Milton Keynes (I may be wrong there?) and Leeds.

Perhaps 3Sixty Media in Manchester (joint operation between the BBC and Granada) should consider buying the facility, I'm sure both sides would benefit... (but then I am biased - I think there should be much more TV production coming from outside London).
Square Eyes7,705 posts since 31 Mar 2001
With all due respect to everyone who works at the Nottingham site, just what do they produce there any more ? No Crossroads, no Peak Practice, no Family Fortunes - what do they use the studios for ?

Whilst I appreciate that we are talking peoples jobs and livelihoods, there seem little point in holding onto a facility if there is little or no output for sentimental reasons. As has been said, bricks and mortar don't make for great telly, sounds like it's become an expensive white elephant.
Corin874 posts since 28 Jun 2003
Aston posted:
I think there should be much more TV production coming from outside London).

Apparently Charles Allen does not agree with your sentiment. Since Granada Media took control of LWT, most of Granada's tv production has been moved from Manchester to the South Bank.

The future of regional broadcasting is now in the hands of the BBC.