Opportunity for those not given options


A new television company, the formation of which was announced yesterday, intends to ‘operate as a television programme contractor’. It combines the resources of Mr. Norman Collins and his associates with those of Mr. Prince Littler, Mr. Val Parnell and Mr. Harry Alan Towers, who were not allocated a programme contract option when the I.T.A announced its first selections.

A less familiar element to the new company may be the association with it of two important newspaper groups in the Midlands – The Birmingham Gazette and the Birmingham Post and Mail. This would bring the Westminster Press Group into commercial television as the parent company of the Birmingham Gazette.

The I.T.A has agreed that the ‘allocation’ or option for the commercial television programmes in London on Saturdays and Sundays, and in the Birmingham area from Mondays to Fridays, should apply to the new company.

The Incorporated Television Programme Company will continue separately as a producer and organiser of television programmes and its programmes will be available to both the new company and to other TV organisations.

The board of the new company includes Mr Prince Littler (Chairman), Mr Norman Collins (Deputy Chairman), Mr Lew Grade, Mr Val Parnell, Lord Duncannon, Sir Robert Renwick and Mr Harry Alan Towers.

It will have fully paid share and loan capital of £1 million, and approval of the CIC has been sought. Mr Grade is an important agent in the theatrical business and acts for some well-known theatre and music-hall performers Mr Towers is well established as a producer of recorded radio programmes all over the world

This announcement, especially the fact that the I.T.A. approves the transfer of the programme contract option [from ITC to ATV] clarifies the position about Birmingham and London.

The Guardian, from the London Staff, 1955


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