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ITV stations that lost their franchise

IS
Inspector Sands

With Carlton's original idents, I sometimes wonder if, had they won the Midlands franchise as well, they would've just used the same people and names, but changed the place names. It's not like people could easily do a double-take with this sort of thing in 1993...

They'd have had a different logo of course, that T was small for a reason

Obviously so that the logo could easily spell out "London" in break bumpers and the idents themselves

It's sort of why the Carlton logo is usually at the top left:
https://www.tvark.org/?page=media&mediaid=118911

Yes, that's why the T and L are like that and why the logo was left-justified. Although this was largely forgotten after a few months.

Incidently Carlton original break bumper (which I think was blue) had audio, a sort of humming noise. I think it was dropped after a few days, presumably because it was very annoying
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JK
JKDerry UTV Newsline
I have always wondered how different a network would ITV have been if Thames Television had have won the franchise back?

How would Thames Television change for Jan 1993 onward, would they have changed their presentation, logos, and also would London News Network have been created, or would Thames have continued to push to do their own news for London, as Thames and LWT had frosty relationship.
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
Your guess is as good as anybody else's, because nobody knows. For all we know Thames could have chucked all the pre 1992 packaging into the bin and completely rebranded everything.

Still think the end result of ITV plc would have happened eventually though, including breakfast. Same outcome, different methodology as it were.
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JA
JAS84 Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
I imagine that the 1989 generic ident would've stayed a few months longer with the new ident launching in 1992 instead of late 1991. That ident would've probably lasted to at least 1995. The ident and logo could've even lasted right up to 1999, when the heart generic idents were launched. The 1997 Tower Bridge logo would've never existed, and the Thames name would very likely have gone in 2002.

The bigger question is Central and Westcountry. If Carlton didn't have London weekdays, would they ever have expanded to other regions?
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JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
Hadn't that Thames ident already been in use since 1990 anyway, albeit only before local programming?

I guess there's also the question of whether the heart generic idents and stuff would have existed with different ITV companies in charge? Maybe something entirely different would have been developed.
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IS
Inspector Sands
Hadn't that Thames ident already been in use since 1990 anyway, albeit only before local programming?

Yep, as soon as they brought in the blue triangle logo they introduced that ident for local programmes, I think possibly it originally had slightly different music.

When they ditched the ITV branding a week or so after they found out they'd lost the license they brought it in full time along with it's accompanying presentation. I do wonder when all that was produced, it all looked too good to have been knocked up in a week or so. Maybe it was planned to be used anyway, license loss or not?
JA
JAS84 Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
That's why I figured maybe it was originally planned for January 1992, and introduced a few months early when they found out they'd lost the franchise.
IS
Inspector Sands

How would Thames Television change for Jan 1993 onward, would they have changed their presentation, logos, and also would London News Network have been created, or would Thames have continued to push to do their own news for London, as Thames and LWT had frosty relationship.

I don't think the relationship between the two was as difficult as people like to make out now. Sure they were rivals in some respects but they had to work together, and did collaborate.

The creation of what became LNN was in LWT's license bid. With the cost cutting that Thames would have had to have done if they had won they'd probably have been keen on going down that route. That's what would have made the decision, they wouldn't have stubbornly carried on doing it for reasons of pride when there was the need to drive down costs.

Plus in 1994 the lease on their HQ at Euston was ended for redevelopment so they'd have had to have relocated, the ideal time to collaborate with LWT, maybe they'd have ended up locating a lot of their operations on The South Bank like Carlton did?
WH
Whataday Founding member Wales Wales Today
JAS84 posted:
It couldn't have been taken over by Granada, as they had LWT already.


Granada didn't take over LWT until 1994.
WH
Whataday Founding member Wales Wales Today
When they ditched the ITV branding a week or so after they found out they'd lost the license they brought it in full time along with it's accompanying presentation. I do wonder when all that was produced, it all looked too good to have been knocked up in a week or so. Maybe it was planned to be used anyway, license loss or not?


I'm not sure about that, but I don't think the franchise loss was a great shock to Thames on the day of the announcement. It was the talk of the industry for months prior and there were already detailed plans in place to continue as an independent production company in advance of the announcement. It made sense to ditch the ITV branding as part of these plans, so they could reinforce their own.
JO
Jonwo
Ironically, Thames losing their license has meant it still exists as a label under Fremantle today whereas the other ITV companies have been folded into ITV plc.
WH
Whataday Founding member Wales Wales Today
Here's an interesting article from 1994:

Quote:
Media: How Thames turned the tide: From failed franchisee to thriving 'indie' producer: there can be life after broadcasting death, as Richard Last witnessed

Wednesday 9 February 1994

Last week, 42 per cent of all programme hours transmitted on the ITV network in weekday peak time (7pm to 10pm, Monday to Thursday) came from a single production company: Thames Television. The pattern is set to continue well into next month. For any one of the 16 licensed broadcasters, it would be a good record. For a company that lost its franchise on December 31 1992, it is extraordinary.

Fourteen months into unlicensed existence, Thames is proving that there can be life after broadcasting death. The Teddington-based company supplies three half-hour episodes per week of The Bill, on a three-year contract running to 1996, and what is promised to be positively the last series of Minder. This Is Your Life is about to make a profitable transfer to the BBC. The series Scotland Yard has reinforced the Thames reputation for hard-hitting documentary, and Law and Disorder, starring Penelope Keith, has just opened with a 9 million rating.

UK Gold, beamed from a clutch of dishes on the roof at Teddington, has been joined by a second satellite channel, aimed at female audiences - UK Living. The four Thames- side studios hum with the activities of smaller independents which rent space from the largest of the tribe. And Thames's own Wish You Were Here and Strike It Lucky look as if they will run for ever.

When Thames failed to retain its franchise in the ITV auction (the Independent Television Commission spent two days agonising over its most difficult decision) and was replaced by Carlton, the chief executive, Richard Dunn, made two resolutions. One was never to carp about the loss. The other was to optimise every particle of his company's continuing assets until he had forged an independent contender fit for survival in the Nineties. 'Practically everyone in the business was telling me: without a licence to broadcast, you're dead,' he recalls. 'Well, they're not saying it now.'

In April Pearson, the media group that carried out a friendly takeover of Thames last summer, will publish its annual results. They will show a turnover for Thames of more than pounds 100m and profits comfortably over pounds 10m. Compared with its former revenue as a broadcaster of pounds 300m it sounds like small beer. Compared with the next biggest independent companies (turnovers of pounds 15m to pounds 20m), it is huge.

Thames's post-broadcasting career has been built on Mr Dunn's determination to keep the company in being, and on two natural advantages: first, its record as a provider of middlebrow quality television, with series such as The Bill, Minder and Rumpole; and second, the freehold ownership of Teddington Studios, a riverside complex overlooking the lock where tidal and freshwater Thames meet.

Here, in studios where the former largest ITV company once made prestige drama series such as Edward and Mrs Simpson, Select TV makes Birds of a Feather for the BBC and Planet 24 concocts The Word for Channel 4. This Is Your Life goes out from the largest of the four available studios, Kilroy from the smallest.

About 90 per cent of studio use is leased to other independents. Thames's own production units must fit in where they can. Mr Dunn has recently moved out of his executive suite to make room for the writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran. 'Rent-paying clients take priority. We move around as required,' says Mr Dunn.

Nobody pretends that the transformation has been achieved without pain. The biggest trauma came with the handing out of redundancy notices to nine-tenths of the 1,600-strong workforce. The company parted with high-profile executives such as David Elstein (gone to BSkyB), Roger (Death on the Rock) Bolton, Lloyd Shirley and Jonathan Shier.

Yet a surprising number have found places in the new set-up: the Thames veteran Mike Phillips in charge of programme production and distribution; John Howard Davies still in charge of comedy; and John Hambley still running Euston Films. Former Thames technicians, now freelances, are regularly called in to staff the studios.

Much of Thames's income is based on shrewd investment, for instance in the Astra satellites (9.6 per cent) and UK Gold (20 per cent), and vigorous exploitation of its vast 'library', which includes international warhorses such as the Benny Hill shows and The World At War.

But the overriding clout comes from size and reputation. Where other independent companies live from contract to contract, Thames has been able to secure long-term deals, notably with ITV for The Bill and the BBC for This Is Your Life across three years. The BBC deal alone is worth nearly pounds 20m. 'They know we can deliver proven technical and production quality, and they know we are not going to go bankrupt - which is not always the case with some smaller indies,' says Mr Dunn. This confidence means that Thames can afford to develop pilot ideas without cast- iron guarantees from an ultimate buyer. Currently it is engaged in talks with the BBC for a 'classic' serial - the kind it could once have offered ITV.

Not even Michael Green of Carlton-Central or the BBC's director- general, John Birt, could match Thames's most picturesque asset, a 98ft motor launch called Sir Thomas More. Anchored next to the studio car park (on the tidal side of the lock) it provides a unique environment for entertaining clients. As we lunched in the spacious wheelhouse, lapped by a fiercely rushing river, Mr Dunn admitted: 'It's a bit of a luxury. Strictly speaking, we ought to sell it. But we've had to cut off enough of the past already. Thomas More lost his head for his beliefs. We're planning to keep ours.'


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/media-how-thames-turned-the-tide-from-failed-franchisee-to-thriving-indie-producer-there-can-be-life-1392970.html

While many think it's a shame that Thames is now 'just' a production label, it shouldn't be underestimated how much of Fremantle is built on Pearson's initial purchase. Thames Television became Pearson Television, which then used Thames as a label. Therefore essentially Fremantle is Thames.

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