2 March 2006

Stevenson Slams SMG Over Loss Of Grampian TV Identity

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has attacked Scottish Media Group, owners of Grampian TV, over their announcement that the Grampian on-screen identity is to be ditched after 45 years in favour of STV.

Mr Stevenson is seeking assurances that local programming – already under pressure in recent years from Glasgow-produced material – will continue.

Mr Stevenson – who was a guest at a celebration to mark Grampian TV’s 40th anniversary - commented:

“Since the takeover of Grampian TV by STV owners Scottish Media Group in 1998, we have seen a dramatic reduction in the number of local programmes being produced in the North-east and a gradual erosion of the Grampian identity.

“Now it seems that we are to lose the very name ‘Grampian Television’ which for so long has been synonymous with good quality local programmes produced for North-east audience.

“At a time when other regional broadcasters, such as Ulster TV, are strengthening their identity and being rewarded with a 50% lead in audience share over the BBC, it seems crazy for Grampian to be merged into the STV brand which has always been associated with Glasgow and Central Scotland.

“If this trend is allowed to continue, then Grampian will no longer represent the culture and character of the region. At a time when Scotland is developing its own political and news agenda, this is particularly concerning.

“This further strengthens the case that broadcasting should be subject to regulation by the Scottish Parliament.”

Stewart Stevenson
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