In June 1961 I wrote in a Birmingham newspaper … “Ever since Independent Television came to the Midlands in 1956, the Midland viewer has found it difficult to understand how it is that on Channel 8 he sees not only the ATV and A.B.C. symbols but those of Associated-Rediffusion, Granada, Scottish Television and so on, as well”.

Philip H Dorté, OBE

I went on to explain the intricacies of I.T.V. “Networking” and thus how, for example, the Midland viewer can see our ATV symbol on his screen seven days out of seven, even though ATV are the appointed Programme Contractors in the Midlands on week-days only.

In this booklet we are assuming that readers understand about “Networking” and why a number of the programmes broadcast by the I.T.A.’s transmitter at Lichfield do not actually originate in the Midlands.

Having in mind, too, the constant requests for our Midland stars and our Midland announcers to make personal appearances at every type of function that is held in the Midlands, we are assuming that the reader is most interested in what goes on behind the scenes of television here in the Midlands.

Since February 1956, when Independent Television’s first regional service came on the air in the Midlands, things have moved apace.

ATV’s Midland headquarters have moved to a new and spacious building in Edmund Street, Birmingham; the Alpha Television Studios are now unrecognisable to those who first knew the premises as “The T.V. Theatre” ; the proportion of Midland homes with television sets has increased from 43.6 to 83 per cent (according to a recent survey by the Midlands Electricity Board) and the letters “ATV” have become as familiar in the Midlands as “B.B.C.” which had thirty-five years start over us.

In this booklet will be found information which we hope will be appreciated by viewers and be of interest to that now small proportion of Midlanders whom we do not as yet embrace amongst our audience.

ATV in the Midlands will continue in the future, as in the past, to keep in the closest possible touch with its audience. By leavening the best that is available in Drama and Light Entertainment with the type of programme that is entertaining as well as informative we hope that we shall continue to maintain the confidence and following of the vast majority of Midlanders.

About the author

Midlands Controller of Associated TeleVision Limited

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