The new regime at Granada

Simon Albury and Simon Berthon and lots of our producers were involved in the Campaign for Quality Television. We had a number of meetings with the broadcasting minister at the time, and they gradually introduced a quality threshold over which the people had to pass in order for their bid to qualify, which of course ultimately was the reason that Granada retained its share because MerseyTelevision didn’t pass the quality threshold. So that was the reason that Thames lost its licence altogether, and TVS, and that was sort of the beginning of the end. The advent of the end of David Plowright, and the arrival of Compass and Charles Allen and Gerry Robinson, was an absolutely tidal change in every aspect of this business. I mean, Gerry was a very charming man, but absolutely financially focussed, and very shareholder value-focussed, and utterly ruthless. Charles was much less charming, but at least as ruthless. They brought a financial rigour and management practices to the company that were completely unrecognisable and ruined the business.

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