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VMPhil7,251 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
The Christmas Radio Times is out now in the south, and from 7 December in the rest of the country.

The reason I'm starting this thread though is because there's a question I can't really find the right place to ask (aside from Metropol's radio forum which is pretty much dead).

The BBC sold off the Radio Times and the rest of its magazines about five years ago and they no longer own it directly. However references to it are still made on air such as at the start of last week's Service for Advent with Carols on Radio 3 ("the full order of service can be found on page 128 of Radio Times"). Does the BBC still retain certain links with the Radio Times then? I know the announcements on BBC TV ended years before it was sold off.
Wicko1,395 posts since 3 Dec 2003
Meridian (South) South Today
I believe the BBC still owns the rights to Radio Times - they just licence it to the current publisher.


I think that Immediate Media solely owns the Radio Times. However, magazines branded with "BBC" such as Gardeners World andTop Gear are licenced out from the BBC to Immediate Media. Ownership of RadioTimes was part of the deal.
I am the Optimistic Goldfish.
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Inspector Sands10,722 posts since 25 Aug 2004
The Christmas edition runs 17-30 December due to Christmas falling on a weekend, so you need to buy the next edition for New Years also. Surprised they didn't make the double edition 24 Dec - 6 Jan.

A triple edition?

I wouldn't have thought that the schedules for New Year Week wouldn't have been ready for when the Christmas edition was published.
Steve Williams1,892 posts since 1 Aug 2008
I wouldn't have thought that the schedules for New Year Week wouldn't have been ready for when the Christmas edition was published.


No. In 1977 they did 24th December-6th January, but it means you're starting very late and there are loads of non-festive shows in the first week of January included (which you can't promote properly because there's loads of Christmas stuff to promote). I think that, given the BBC1 Christmas ident is on air already, it makes more sense to have 17th December in the Christmas Radio Times than 6th January.

It happens every time Christmas is at the weekend. In 1988, they were able to add a brief synopsis of the New Year weekend at the end, but that was an era where the schedules went straight from the controller's desk to the Radio Times. Nowadays there are so many publications (and EPGs) that need the schedule, it's obviously a much more complex undertaking.
buster1,494 posts since 15 Mar 2006
London London
Plus the retailers and magazines like being able to sell it earlier, to take full advantage of the December shoppers. They then get to have a further "New Year" issue out just before Christmas too!
In 1993-4 they included New Year's Day so it was a "15 day guide", however when it was repeated in the following issue there were some changes - one of which being a special second edition of Noel's House Party with the results of "Mr Blobby's Blind Date" later in the evening*, that clearly wasn't planned when the festive fortnight was taken to press.
In 1999-2000 they went up to lunchtime to cover the end of 2000 Today, and then the New Year issue was an 8 day guide to get the whole thing in one issue.

With regards to Radio 3, it is a little surprising to hear the reference to the page number, I'd have thought the website would have been a better thing to reference. Even before it was sold they stopped promoting it on air as the commercial sector wasn't happy ("other listings magazines are available"..)

*I've only just realised how cheeky "Mr Blobby's Blind Date" was, given what House Party's main competition each week was!
Gallunach112 posts since 17 Apr 2005
The Christmas edition runs 17-30 December due to Christmas falling on a weekend, so you need to buy the next edition for New Years also. Surprised they didn't make the double edition 24 Dec - 6 Jan.

A triple edition?

I wouldn't have thought that the schedules for New Year Week wouldn't have been ready for when the Christmas edition was published.


TV Now here in Ireland did a triple edition one year.
Andrew11,838 posts since 27 Mar 2001
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Plus the retailers and magazines like being able to sell it earlier, to take full advantage of the December shoppers. They then get to have a further "New Year" issue out just before Christmas too!

although the New Year one doesn't come out until the 22nd December, so will probably not be a priority for many that close to Christmas, be missed due to Christmas and the bank holidays, and end up being purchased no earlier than about the Wednesday, the same as any other issue.

I'd say including the smattering of festive shows in the full week before Christmas instead of including New Years Day was the wrong decision. New Year's Day seems to be only second to Christmas Day for BBC One thesedays, so it seems odd that those big highlights are excluded from the double issue.

Alternatively do a 16 day edition, change the deadline dates and delay the publication date, nobody really needed to buy it last Saturday!
Brekkie27,111 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
Disagree - the BBC may hold back but most the commercial channels get their Christmas content out of the way by Christmas. BBC1 itself is also in family film mode during the afternoons in the run up to Christmas.

Also with New Years Day being only second to Christmas it makes sense for the publishers to get another flagship issue out of it. It only happens when New Years Day falls on a weekend - based on previous years next years edition should run from the 23rd Dec -5th Jan.
Shouldn't that have been posted in the "John Logie Baird has Invented Television" thread?
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