Structural changes in British TV

The first major structural change to Granada came in the first franchise renewal in 1968 when Granada lost part of its region with Yorkshire, the Borders and the North East being hived off. To that date Granada had operated only on weekdays to the entire north of England. In return however Granada was allowed to operate at a weekend although Sidney Bernstein, outraged at the splitting of Granadaland, threatened to take the ruling to the United Nations !

But it was during the 1980s that more serious changes began to appear. Channel4 Television which began transmitting in November 1982 introduced a radical new structure with programmes being made by independent companies rather than in-house. And it was that structure which was to become a fundamental part of the 1990 Broadcasting Act, introduced by the Conservative Government. The Act would change forever the way independent television in the UK operated. Suddenly it became a freelance industry with the trade unions less powerful, more programmes being produced by independent companies and other facilities also being out sourced. The result was job losses, budget cuts and an attempted takeover. In an move to reinvigorate and restructure the company Granada appointed Gerry Robinson as its chief executive in 1991. A year later chairman  David Plowright was ousted along with other long-standing executives.

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