CARLTON CENTRAL REGION by keara

VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 8

									CARLTON CENTRAL REGION

ANNUAL STATEMENT 2002


INTRODUCTION:

In a world where competition for the viewers’ attention increases day by day and at a
time when there are more and more choices facing consumers, there are no longer any
soft spots or “easy” places to be found in the complex and multi-faceted programme
schedule on offer. As that pressure grows it results in a greater challenge than ever to
the regional broadcasters within the ITV system.

As a unique provider, offering more in programming in the region than any other
broadcaster, it is now more important than ever that we rise to the challenge to
reassert and properly fulfil the role we occupy.

To do this we have to make sure we have a schedule that is competitive, relevant and
appealing and that the appeal is, potentially, to all of the available audience. ITV,
even regionally, should be inclusive and broad. We have shown that with the right
programmes we can not only fulfil our proper regional and public service obligations,
but also draw sizeable audiences.

For this reason our priorities for 2002 will focus on two main courses of action; the
overhaul of our regional programme schedule and the implementation of a regional
policy to ensure proper ethnic and cultural diversity in all of our operations.

The schedule has to be strong and properly resourced. That must lie at the heart of
everything we do. But following through with a proper diversity plan is also critical.
Without it we will not achieve a balanced workforce, without which we will not
achieve proper on-air representation. Without that our programmes will simply not
appeal as widely as they must and that is something we can ill-afford to happen.

This Statement sets out our approach to not only diversity issues but also includes our
off-air commitments for 2002. The Statement begins with an outline of plans for
regional news, current affairs and other programming. We will once again refresh the
schedule with eleven new series or titles, completely overhaul our approach to current
affairs where we will introduce three new series and attempt to give even greater
visibility to CENTRAL NEWS.


CENTRAL NEWS:

Consistently we say that CENTRAL NEWS is at the heart of what we do. Next year
we will deliver 285 hours of news and that will be concentrated around the key
morning, lunchtime and afternoon slots with perhaps the greatest emphasis on the
early evening news magazine and the late peak bulletins.

Our aim is to maintain CENTRAL NEWS’ reputation for good journalism, attractive
presentation with an accessible and modern style.


                                                                                      1
Between June and December 2001 new editors were promoted or appointed to each of
our sub-regional newsrooms in Birmingham, Nottingham and Abingdon. Two of
these appointments were only put in place towards the very end of 2001 and the editor
of CENTRAL NEWS SOUTH will not take up the reins until January 2002.

However, we can say that it is our intention to increase the degree of hard news in
each programme whilst preserving the friendly and warm manner that audiences find
appealing. We will make the widest possible use of our “live” satellite capabilities.
And (although there can be no guarantee of this), with an appealing, relevant and
properly resourced programme, it is our ambition to increase audiences to CENTRAL
NEWS.

CENTRAL NEWS will continue to break stories and it will continue to have first
class sports reporting. Working together with our promotions, presentation and
regional affairs departments, we will also ensure that CENTRAL NEWS across the
Midlands has the highest possible profile and visibility. To assist this in early 2002
we will also be relaunching the CENTRAL NEWS website (itv.com/centralnews).


CURRENT AFFAIRS:

In 2002 we will take a new approach to current affairs with a broader range of formats
than ever before. There will be three new series in the line-up and at least one new,
previously untried, format.

The main peak time current affairs vehicle will continue to be 30 MINUTES, our
half-hour single subject series.

In 2001 this programme provided a rich variety of subjects, coverage and formats and
in doing so won two Midlands RTS Awards. We will build on this reputation in
2002.

Although the actual programme agenda is subject to change as it responds to new
issues and demands, we have already started work on a number of individual
programmes which promise to maintain and increase 30 MINTUES’ reputation. Once
again there will be a very diverse approach to subjects and formats.

We are also keen to broaden the scope and reach of our current affairs output and we
now have an opportunity following the end of CENTRAL WEEKEND last year after
fifteen years in the schedule. Friday nights, particularly late Friday, have become one
of the most competitive areas of the television schedule with new programming from
BBC1 and BBC2 vying for audiences together with established pieces on Channel 4
and Channel 5. We believe it is possible to recapture the lively spirit of Friday night
debate in which we have led the way, with a format that will appeal to a somewhat
younger than normal current affairs audience. At the same time it will offer a
genuine alternative at that point in the Friday evening schedule.




                                                                                     2
Live, with a studio base and with inserts and contributions from around the region,
this programme will have an initial short run to effectively pilot the project with a
view to further development.

Another addition to the current affairs line-up will be the newly relaunched
NEWSWEEK. Until the end of last year, NEWSWEEK provided a weekly sub-
regional news review. In January 2002 it will reappear in a new current affairs
format.

While its agenda will be closely related to the news of the week, the new programme
will feature background interviews and analysis. There will continue to be split
editions for each of the sub-regions and the “new” NEWSWEEK will break ground in
providing an unsurpassed level of regular current affairs coverage for each of the
Central sub-regions.

Fresh resources have also been committed to the programme to fulfil these new
requirements.

Joining the current affairs line-up will be another new departure in programming.
Whereas much of our current affairs in the past has been based on long-running
series, in 2002 we will introduce one self-contained current affairs series. It will be
broadcast in a late peak slot and will deal specifically with the continuously topical
theme of law and order.

We feel this will give us an opportunity to deal in depth with a particular issue in a
way that might not be possible with a weekly formatted programme.

Our political coverage will be maintained by IT’S YOUR SHOUT and while we
strive to broaden ethnic representation in mainstream programming, we will continue
with our weekend current affairs programme SPOTLIGHT ASIA, still fulfilling an
important role.

With this current affairs line-up, single subjects, archive programming, live debate,
magazine and short series, we are better equipped than ever to deliver the fullest
reflection of the region.

At the time of preparing this Statement in December 2001, we anticipate delivering
approximately 66 hours of current affairs in 2002.


OTHER PROGRAMMING:

Supporting news and current affairs will be a raft of other programming offering a
range and diversity of appeal, subjects and approach.

In the Central region we have always felt that network and regional schedules should
complement rather than compete. Therefore we always aim to make programmes that
are not only innovative but also offer something that is apposite and relevant to the
audience. In 2002 our general programming will be a combination of returning,



                                                                                     3
popular series, programmes developed from earlier successes together with an array
of new titles, always a hallmark of our regional schedule.

In the past five years the Central region programme makers have become highly
skilled in “real life” observational documentaries, MOTORWAY, TRAUMA and
FLYING MEDICS are recent examples of how we have employed the genre in the
late peak slots. Next year we will be introducing two new series in the field. One,
provisionally entitled, FIRE AND RESCUE, will follow the work of one of the
Midlands’ busiest emergency teams as it races to respond to incidents. REAL TOP
GUN will follow trainees from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire as they pursue their
ambition to become fighter pilots.

Our daytime lifestyle programming is another area where there will be significant
change. Two new series, both co-productions with our colleagues at Carlton in
London, will appear on weekday afternoons. One, about gardening, will feature an
established and well-known gardener who is new to regional broadcasting. The other
series, also new to the Midlands, will be RENOVATION STREET, a DIY format that
follows remakes and rebuilds of streets throughout the licence areas.

Although the arts and entertainment are no longer mandatory programme categories
for the ITC’s Table II, these general areas still offer a great deal of interest to
audiences. In 2002 we will be introducing three new series that deal in various ways
with performance and entertainment.

A major independent production, our series about the Snibston & Desford Colliery
Brass Band will follow it on tour and in competition in America in pursuit of one of
the brass band world’s greatest prizes.

The provisionally entitled ROCK LEGENDS will trace the roots and music of six of
the Midlands’ best known rock and pop acts.

EXTRAS, inspired by a documentary made two years ago for 30 MINTUES, is
another independent production about Midlanders plying their trade as supporting
artistes in films and television dramas.

With a strong and successful regional schedule it is frequently difficult to include as
many of the series and programmes that we would wish. However in 2002 we will be
returning with new series derived and developed from some past successes. YOUNG
OFFENDERS will return to the Stoke Heath detention centre in Shropshire, last
visited by us two years ago. The earlier series drew a strong and positive response
from the audience and it was commended at the time by the ITC for the way in which
it dealt with difficult issues. It achieved audience shares at 10.30pm of up to 32%.

In a more gentle vein, the HEART OF THE COUNTRY team will return with another
series of HEART OF THE COUNTRY GOES WILD, investigating and reporting on
the enthralling but sometimes desperate state of wildlife in the region. The 2000
series was linked to the Central region’s SANCTUARY 2000 scheme which was part
of ITV’s Year of Promise campaign. When it first appeared in Autumn 2000, the
programme achieved audience shares as high as 28%.



                                                                                     4
In the remainder of the schedule, HEART OF THE COUNTRY itself will lead the list
of programmes returning in 2002. In peak time slots it will be joined by our co-
production PULLING POWER and we also intend another series of the PULLING
POWER spin off, THE STORY OF..., celebrating popular Midlands motoring brands.

WATERWORLD, SKY HIGH and BABY HOSPITAL will also return.

We will continue the work we have been doing with archive programming. Last
year’s series 50 YEARS OF… was a popular success. In 2002 we will either develop
that strand further or introduce a new archive-based proposal.

During the course of the year we will also allow ourselves to schedule one-off
programmes and subjects where these are appropriate. One that will feature
prominently is the televised final of the MIDLANDER OF THE YEAR campaign in
February 2002. A further series will run throughout the year culminating in a
ceremony in 2003.


SPORT:

Sport plays an important part in the lives of our audience. We reflected a broad range
of sports in our three sub-regions’ news services but the major interest is undoubtedly
in football.

The return of live Nationwide league matches to the Midlands regional schedule
proved popular with viewers in 2001. We will bring more live games to Sunday
afternoons in 2002. We will also continue with the weekly magazine SOCCER
SUNDAY containing highlights, interviews and follow-ups on the weekend’s local
Nationwide games.

During the week CENTRAL SPORTS SPECIAL will provide unrivalled highlights
coverage of league and Worthington Cup matches.

NETWORK:

Carlton’s Central region sports staff make a major contribution to network sports
production and to the ITV Sports channel and will continue to do so from its base in
our Gas Street headquarters in Birmingham.

CiTV will continue in 2002 as part of our Midlands network output and we also have
in place a group developing network proposals based on our factual teams situated in
Nottingham and Birmingham.


CARLTON IN THE COMMUNITY:

As we said in our Statement for 2001, our strong presence off-air is in some ways as
important as our presence on-air. Being part of the fabric of the region, making a
contribution and making a difference, are action points for all of us at Carlton. We
will engage with the region and with local communities in a number of ways.


                                                                                     5
The MILDANDER OF THE YEAR campaign will honour and celebrate those
individuals who contribute their time, their skills and their resources to improving life
in the region. The scheme will be promoted and featured throughout the year on
CENTRAL NEWS. The final of the 2002 series will be held early in 2003. (The
final ceremony of MIDLANDER OF THE YEAR 2001 will be held in 2002. See
page 5).

We will continue to help develop the wider media industry in the region through
financial and other assistance. We will support:

   MACE, The Media Archive for Central England
   MMTC, Midlands Media Training Consortium
   Local Screen Commission activities based in the region
   The Birmingham Film and Television Festival
   First Cut, the scheme to encourage new writing and directing talent
   Royal Television Society Midlands Centre

Senior executives based in the Midlands will carry on serving a number of these
organisations and bodies as Chairmen, Board members or Advisors.

We will maintain our association with regional arts organisations with the aim of
achieving more access for the young and disadvantaged. These organisations will
include:

   City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
   Birmingham Royal Ballet
   Royal Shakespeare Company

In the wider community we will carry on with BUSINESS BREAKS, enabling new,
start-up businesses to advertise on television for the nominal sum of £1. BUSINESS
BREAKS is run in association with the Prince’s Trust and Business Link.

We will also maintain our programme of events and promotions to support and
publicise our regional programmes. We will further support our active and thriving
Regional Advisory Council as a “critical friend” and a regular source of advice and
response to our programmes and activities.




DIVERSITY:

As we said in our review of 2001, recognising and reflecting the diversity, particularly
the cultural diversity, of the region is vital if we are to be effective regional
broadcasters. There is a strong desire within the staff in Carlton Central region to be
more manifestly inclusive and that is underlined by our membership of the
broadcasters Cultural Diversity Network, the Chairman of which is Clive Jones, the
Carlton Channels Chief Executive Officer. However, while being part of the national


                                                                                       6
industry campaign is important, it is in the region itself that we need to be effective.
That is why, as part of this Statement, we are setting out our own Cultural Diversity
Plan for the Midlands in 2002.

We have made further advances in 2001 to deepen our commitments and to
strengthen our ties with the ethnic and particularly Asian communities. These are
detailed in our review of 2001, also published today. This Action Plan builds on that.


Cultural Diversity: A Regional Action Plan

Improving the level of people employed from ethnic backgrounds in the business and
modernising the portrayal of Black and Asian people on screen is a key priority for
Carlton - Central region in 2002. This plan sets out a course of action for 2002 and
beyond:

   We will continue our sponsorship of the Diwali celebrations in Leicester, the
    largest festival of its kind outside of India

   We will host a diversity conference that represents all communities. This follows
    from the diversity seminar we held in Leicester in 2001

   We will establish a diversity panel as part of our Regional Advisory Council

   We will run a careers roadshow targeting Year 9 pupils in schools with a high
    proportion of young people from ethnic backgrounds

   We will establish long-term relationships with some schools to offer work
    experience placements

   We will implement a programme of diversity awareness training for senior staff

   We will introduce employment targets in each of our sub-regions

   We will sponsor and support awards recognising contributions to multicultural
    programming and positive race relations, such as the Norman Beaton Award at the
    Birmingham Film and Television Festival

   We will carry out effective monitoring of broadcast output to ensure fair and
    balanced representation



SUMMARY:

2002 will be a year of fresh challenges for regional television. This Statement tries to
capture what it is we will offer and deliver as programme makers, broadcasters and as
members of the community in the year ahead.




                                                                                      7
   We will refine, refresh and develop all of our programme strands to meet the
    audience demands and expectations

   We will produce up to eleven new regional series and titles in 2002

   We will strive to make the greatest possible creative contribution to the networks

   We will build on our commitment to the community through off-air activity

   We will hereby publish our Action Plan for cultural diversity in 2002.




Ian Squires
Managing Director
Carlton Broadcasting, Central Region




                                                                                         8

								
To top