Casualties of the ITV merger 

27 December 2003

An unusually perceptive piece from Nick Higham on BBCi

And so it has come to pass. To the surprise of everyone except us ‘amateurs’ who don’t know what we’re talking about (apparently):

Scottish Media Group are unhappy with Granada and Carlton bagsying the name ‘ITV’.

– SMG can be paid off easily.

– ITV’s regionalism is the first thing to suffer from this ‘merger’.

– Carlton-the-upstart will be the second to suffer from this ‘merger’.

– Regional branding has disappeared! Shock horror! Er, ages ago, Nick, but it took longer in London, obviously.

– Fewer network programmes from the regions.

– Granada Manchester and Meridian Southampton are to close for… well, there’s a ‘good’ reason, but the reality is “to save money”.

– Carlton’s management and staff have been hung out to dry because (a) Granada is better at this merger business; (b) Granada is bigger; (c) Granada actually knows something or other about television after almost 50 years in the business, whilst Carlton has heard of television and thinks there might be money in it, but is waiting for Mr Baird to give a full report.

So, the top and the bottom: ITV is crappy. ITV isn’t getting any less crappy. ITV isn’t going to get any less crappy. But at least Carlton will be gone.

So we’ll have shite television, but at least we won’t have Carlton. A 1% improvement.

It’ll do.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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