HTV


HTV

Infobox ITV franchisee
name = HTV (1968 - 2006)
ITV Wales (2006 - present)
ITV West (2006 - present)


based = ITV Wales: Cardiff;
ITV West: Bristol
area = Wales
West of England
owner = ITV plc
airdate = 20 May 1968
old
"The famous HTV logos used 1970-87"
captionb =
closeddate = lost on-air identity on 27 October 2002 (HTV West known verbally as ITV1 West before regional programming only, HTV Wales now known as ITV1 Wales at all times)
replaced = Television Wales and the West
(Independent Television Service for Wales and the West)
replacedby =
website = Wales
[http://www.itvlocal.com/wales itvlocal.com/wales]
West
[http://www.itvlocal.com/west itvlocal.com/west]

HTV, now legally known as ITV Wales and West, is the ITV contractor for Wales and the West of England [ [http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/ifi/tvlicensing/c3/htv/ HTV licence - Ofcom] ] . It is owned by ITV plc.

It took over from TWW in 1968, as Harlech Television, later becoming HTV. Its headquarters are based in Cardiff & Bristol.

It has since become, through a series of takeovers, "ITV Wales & West", effectively operated as two separate regions.

History

Initially the station used its full name (after the head of the company, Lord Harlech), but from the introduction of colour in 1970 it became HTV after fears that the name "Harlech" alienated non-Welsh viewers of the station's programmes on the ITV network.

The company won its franchise in circumstances which angered its predecessor TWW and the Independent Television Authority offered them an opportunity to buy shares in HTV, an offer which was declined. It was felt that TWW, being corporately-based in London was too distant form the area it served and that Harlech, jointly based in Bristol and Cardiff, would serve the area better. TWW left its franchise five months early, selling the remaining air-time to Harlech. This resulted in an emergency service as Harlech were not ready to go on-air.

HTV was in a unique position of being the only ITV company to serve two distinct countries (Wales and England, albeit just the west of England) and therefore two distinct languages and cultures (although Granada also covers North Wales and provided Welsh language programmes in its early years; Border Television could claim to serve three - the extreme north west of England, south-west Scotland and the Isle of Man, but the differences in cultures were much less and differences in popular language negligible).

HTV West had a lucrative sideline in producing high quality children's TV series, often sold internationally. "Arthur Of The Britons" (a historic adventure series), "Children of the Stones" (a supernatural thriller shot amid the famous stone circle at Avebury in Wiltshire) and "Robin Of Sherwood" were all very popular wherever they were shown. HTV Wales produced far less drama output, though they were contracted to make the ten-part "Return to Treasure Island" for The Disney Channel in 1985.

In 1984 HTV opened new £14m studios at Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff to replace those inherited from TWW at Pontcanna. The studios fell into the ownership of United Business Media (then United News and Media) following the takeover of HTV by the group in 1996. However, while HTV changed hands twice more, UBM continued to own the Culverhouse Cross headquarters. ITV plc bought the headquarters in 2006 and plan to create a media village on the site. They have also invested heavily in ITV Wales' newsroom, but have leased the management of Studio 1 to Barcud Derwen, a Welsh TV production facilities provider, under the company's Omni TV business. [ [http://www.omnitv.co.uk Omni TV official website] ] Among other programmes, the studio played host to some of the interior sets for the first revived series of "Doctor Who" in 2005.

HTV Ltd was re-named ITV Wales & West Ltd on 29 December 2006, alongside HTV Group Ltd, which was re-named "ITV Wales & West Group Ltd" [ [http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/9bd6100b56c8bcefc8522408ceaeed3c/compdetails Web Check - ITV Wales & West Group Ltd information] ] Elis Owen is regional director for HTV Wales with Jane McCloskey as regional director for HTV West and Westcountry Television.

ervices

HTV/ITV Wales and West operates two separate services: ITV1 Wales (formerly "HTV Cymru Wales") in Wales, and ITV1 West (previously "HTV West", then briefly 'ITV1 West of England') in the West of England area.

Since 2006, the full name "ITV1 West" has disappeared and is no longer seen before any programming on the channel. At all times, the station is simply called ITV1.
ITV1 Wales meanwhile is seen before all programmes.

ITV1 Wales also continued to have its own team of continuity announcers until 16 January 2006, at which point ITV1 Wales switched to using the ITV1 announcer team which ITV1 West had used since 28 October 2002.
Although only being verbally referred to before regional programming sometimes, ITV in Wales continues to be visually identified as "ITV1 Wales", though the Wales shifts around the screen depending on the program being played out.
For selected Regional programming, the "Wales" Sits under the ITV1 Logo, at all other times it is inserted on the channel's feed at the bottom of the screen

Following the change to the single ITV1 branding, 'HTV' was kept for its news programming, but this was dropped on 2 February 2004, in favour of ITV Wales News/ITV West News.

Programming

HTV/ITV Wales and West's main programmes include "Wales Tonight" (ITV1 Wales), "The West Tonight" (ITV1 West) and "The Ferret" (ITV1 Wales). "Nuts and Bolts", a local drama series on ITV1 Wales, was briefly shown across the UK on ITV2. It ended in 2002, and neither ITV Wales nor ITV West now produce network programming. Up until c.2002, HTV did continue to commission "Movies, Games and Videos". Previously, there have been several major HTV commissions for the network, including "Robin of Sherwood", "Wycliffe" and children's programmes including "Rubbish, King of the Jumble", "Children of the Stones", "The Famous Five" (90s version starring Jemima Rooper), "The Top Ten of Everything", "The Slow Norris", "Captain Starr", and "Dog & Duck"; HTV also produced the game shows "Definition" (originally hosted by Don Moss and later Jeremy Beadle), "Three Little Words" (co-hosted by Ray Alan and his wife Barbie) and "Keynotes", co-produced with Reg Grundy Productions.

Since 1982, HTV Wales (now under the ITV Cymru brand) has provided Welsh language programming to S4C such as "Cefn Gwlad", "Hacio" and "Y Byd ar Bedwar", although this is now commissioned rather than produced in-house. Prior to S4C's introduction, HTV's evening news had to be split into two fifteen-minute bulletins, presented from the same studio and separated by an advertising break: "Y Dydd" ("The Day") in Welsh, and "Report Wales" in English.

Ownership

In 1996, HTV was taken over by United News and Media plc (now United Business Media plc). In 2001, Granada Media plc bought United's television interests, but at the time competition regulations limited the extent to which one company could control the ITV network, and were consequently forced to give up one of its ITV franchises. This resulted in a break-up of HTV, whereby its broadcast facilities and Channel 3 broadcast licence (and hence its advertising revenues) were sold to Carlton Communications plc, owners of Carlton Television, whilst the majority of production facilities were retained by Granada. Unlike Carlton's other ITV acquisitions, which were rebranded to use the Carlton name on screen, HTV's identity was retained on-air until 27 October 2002 when the 'ITV1' brand was introduced to most of the network.

Granada and Carlton were subsequently permitted to merge in 2004 to form the single company ITV plc, which now owns all of the ITV franchises in England and Wales, and consequently re-united the two separated parts of HTV.

Reception

ITV Wales can be received across the UK and Ireland and further afield via satellite on Sky Digital. Its terrestrial signal can also can be received in southeastern parts of Ireland, where it is retransmitted on UHF by so-called 'deflectors', although this is because the UTV region was not historically receivable in those areas by any means in order to be rebroadcast.

ITV West is now also broadcast from a relay transmitter on the Ridge Hill transmitter (on UHF channel 30) and now covers a larger area (see map, but note that the radiation from Ridge Hill is only 90 degrees to the south east for north Gloucestershire, and not the 360 degree radiation as shown).. cite web |url=http://www.itvregions.com/West/Regional+Affairs/Important+news+for+ITV1+viewers+in+Gloucestershire.htm |title=Official press release from ITV | publisher=ITV plc |accessdate=2006-12-04] . This service is on analogue TV only, and is broadcast in tandem with the ITV Central West service (on UHF channel 25). Digital terrestrial viewers using Ridge Hill only receive Central West, but this will change to ITV West on digital switchover in 2010/2011.

Regional news programmes

ITV Wales News

Its flagship programme is known as "Wales Tonight". All other news bulletins are known as ("ITV") "Wales News"
* Jonathon Hill
* Andrea Benfield
* Richard Morgan (sport)
* Ruth Wignall (weather)
* James Wright (weather)
* Charlie Neil (weekend weather)
* Emma Jesson (weekend weather)

Unlike their counterparts in the West of England, ITV Wales cannot use the word "Today" in the title of their daytime news bulletins as the national BBC Wales news programme is called "Wales Today".

ITV West News

Its flagship programme is known as "The West Tonight". All other news bulletins are known as "The West Today/Tonight", dependent on the time of day they are broadcast. With effect from 3 December 2006, following the end of the Central South sub-region and the beginning of ITV West transmissions from Ridge Hill, ITV West took over Central's Gloucester regional news office and began covering north Gloucestershire for the first time, something that had been sought by the public in the area for a long time.
* Lisa Aziz
* Steve Scott
* Jed Pitman (also Head of Sport)
* Richard Payne
* Frances Donovan (sport and relief news presenter)
* Bob Crampton (now doing the weather; also executive editor of "ITV West News" [http://tvpresenters.thetvroomplus.com/category-1.html] )
* Alex Beresford (weather)

Under plans revealed in September 2007, as part of ITV plc's attempts to reduce the cost of regional programming, ITV West and Westcountry Television would combine operations, with "The West Tonight" and "Westcountry Live" becoming a new, single programme covering the whole of the south west of England. While the programme would be based in Bristol, it would, however, feature short opt-outs for both halves of the region, covering more localised stories. The plans have raised fears for the future of the Plymouth newsroom, though, and have yet to be formally submitted to OFCOM for approval.

References

External links

* [http://www.itvlocal.com/wales ITV Wales] at itvlocal.com
* [http://www.itvlocal.com/west ITV West] at itvlocal.com
* [http://www.hhg.org.uk/ Harlech House of Graphics (unofficial history site)]


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