The Grampian Television name will disappear on Monday and be replaced by a generic STV brand which will cover both the Grampian and Scottish ITV regions. It will bring to an end 45 years of the Aberdeen-based broadcaster which, thanks to it’s audience figures for its local programmes, was once able to proudly boast that it was ‘Britain’s most popular TV station’.
Mr Stevenson – who was a guest at a celebration to mark Grampian TV’s 40th anniversary - commented:
“For as long as there has been commercial television in the North of Scotland, there has been Grampian Television. Since the takeover of Grampian 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 we are saying goodbye to the very name ‘Grampian Television’ which for so long has been synonymous with good quality local programmes produced for North-east audiences.
“In many ways, this is about much more than simply the station ident and channel name. While I welcome the fact that the channel’s news programmes will contain more localised news thanks to splitting the transmission area, the fact remains that less local programmes are produced for the North now than at any time in the station’s history. That is a concern to many people who don’t complain but simply find something better to do with their time instead.
“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.”