The yearbook mystery 

23 July 2011

When researching for Transdiffusion features, I often come across titbits of information that don’t fit anywhere. Here’s one of them in an experimental format.

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3 responses to this article

David Hastings 23 July 2011 at 10:22 pm

I personally think that Granada might theoretically have been at risk of losing its franchise for similar reasons that afflicted Southern and Westward, namely that it occasionally bordered on complacency despite producing award-winning and popular programmes. This seemed to have been a consideration in relation to the 1993 franchise changes despite Granada’s illustrious track record, and of course past form didn’t help Thames in the final analysis.

Perhaps if someone could track down the promises made by Granada’s franchise competitors we might be able to work out whether any of them actually came close to toppling Granada’s dependability in any shape or form.

As for whether or not there was a leak of information, perhaps there was a degree of educated guesswork on the basis of a (lack of) information supplied by the IBA to the book’s authors prior to publication. The Granada entry could have also have been written after the Southern and/or Westward entries, with similar terminology being employed as a consequence. This was the era of manual typesetting (a very sluggish and labour-intensive process) – any form of affordable “desktop publishing” was still four years away – therefore these books had relatively long lead times.

Jeremy Rogers 25 July 2011 at 9:30 pm

Granada faced one opponent in that round; a weak academical group based in Liverpool, which offered little in terms of network programme plans, experienced broadcasters or finance. Granada did beef up its Liverpool coverage although they tried to claim it had always been the equal of Manchester.

Granada was fortunate never to face a strong contender. In my view it was by no means as secure through the years as it seems now looking back. In its own region it was respected rather than loved. Despite the ‘from the north’ mantra, the Authority had to insist in previous rounds on increased regional company presence at Board level. Despite it causing trouble to the Authority with what it saw as ‘radical’ current affairs, after the departure of Fraser this was seen somewhat more positively.

So what to make of the use of this word? Well if not just accidental, but maybe it was just a subtle bit of code that ultimately the Authority has the last say.

Tony Currie 28 July 2011 at 3:32 pm

Perhaps more likely a sin of omission for the other entries? Surely ALL contractors were ‘presently’ the regional incumbents when the book was being written. Perhaps the original intention had been to make all entries conditional but the constant use of the word was subbed out somewhere?

I am sure of one point – the Yearbook was the Authority’s flagship publication and was therefore the work of their PR department, who would have been ‘in the loop’ as far as pronouncements went. Editorial guesswork of the kind David Hastings suggests above, would simply not have happened.

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