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Post 1- TV listing history

By Katie cook
Examples of TV listings-
• TV times
• TV guide
• TV quick
• Radio times
• Freeview
• TV choice
• What’s on TV?
Timeline of when the TV listings began-

Radio times TV guide TV choice Freeview

1923 1953 1999 2002

What’s on TV times TV quick

TV? 1955 1999
TV times
• TV times was published in 1955 in the UK by Time Inc and then later became nation wide in 1968. Before
that a number of the regional ITV companies, namely; Westward Television, Scottish Television, Tyne Tees
Television, Ulster Television, TWW and Teledu Cymru, had their own listings magazines. The Midlands
originally published their own edition of the TV Times listing ATV and ABC program only, but an alternative
listings magazine for the Midlands called TV World existed from 1964-69. The TV Times although national
was published on a regional basis, each addition reflecting the listings for that individual area, always
including a schedule for overlapping areas.
• If you were lucky enough to be able to receive another ITV company, you often had a choice of viewing,
mostly the choice was between films in the afternoon or late at night, quite a treat in the days before multi-
channel broadcasting.
• In November 1982, Channel 4, Britain’s second commercial Television station started, and, at the time, it was
funded by ITV, its listings were carried in the TV Times.
• In 1991 television listings were deregulated and the TV Times was able to publish listings for BBC Radio and
Television and other cable services.
Likewise the Radio times (the BBC listings publication which started in 1923) was able to publish ITV program
listings. Soon many cheaper and in fearer publications followed; the monopoly of the TV listings was over.
Radio Times
Radio times started on September 28th,1923. Radio times began as a joint venture wiuth the BBC
and publisher George Newnes Ltd, who produced, printed and distributed the magazine. However,
in 1925 the BBC took over full editorial control and by 1937 the entire operation was in-house and
has remained this way ever since.
It didn't remain just 'radio' times for very long. As early as 1928, Radio times announced a regular
series of ‘experimental television transmissions by the Baird process’ for half an hour every
morning. But it wasn't until 2 November 1936, with the start of the first 405-line high-definition
service, that Radio times became the world's first television listings magazine. Two pages a week
sufficed at first, but that soon grew: by January 1937 the magazine published a lavish photogravure
supplement for readers in the London area who could pick up transmissions from Alexandra Palace.
By September 1939, Radio Times was devoting three pages a week to television, but when war was
declared on 3 September, TV closed down ‘in order to prevent enemy aircraft from using its signal
as a directional beacon’ and the nation turned once again to the wireless.
‘Broadcasting carries on!’ announced the first wartime Radio Times, but there was only one station,
the newly christened Home Service, to inform, educate and entertain through the dark years ahead.
By 1944, paper rationing had reduced the magazine to 20 pages of tiny type on thin paper, but
despite all the disruption of war, Radio Times never missed an edition.
• The radio times is a British weekly magazine that details all the weekly
programs and broadcasts on television and radio. Upon its founding
in 1923 it was the first ever broadcast and listing magazine. Initially it
only showed BBC listing and was produced entirely in-house by BBC
magazines. Today, a weekly issue is produced including UK channels,
such as BBC and ITV.
• Each weekly issue will consist of numerous double page spreads that
display a table showing the dates, times and channel that a particular show
will feature. Each day of the week will have it own spread showing the
featured programs. As of 1990, the days of the week and the genre of
programs shown are defined by colour. For example, the heading of a page
for Saturday listings will be a deep red and the heading for a film will be a
dark blue. This allows the reader to quickly find what they are looking for
by flicking through the pages. This is considered to be a USP for the radio
times and one of the reasons it has been able to compete with the rise of
the internet and technology. It is easily understood and accessible to the
reader and does not require them to have access to expensive technologies
or internet connection.
Target audience
• Due to the radio times being so easily accessible it is often read by
older target audiences, roughly around 60-75 years of age in both
men and women. This is because this demographic will not look to
other means of viewing listing like social media, YouTube and TV
guides. This is often due to these method not being easily understood
or accessible to less familiar audiences. Younger generations below
the demographic age will most likely be familiar with alternate
methods and in turn will not retrieve a radio times because they can
gain information quicker through modern technology.
• Its worth noting that the radio times does have its own website
where it features a lot of the same information as i=the printed issues
as well as a constant stream of web articles and news feeds.
My decision
• It is important to decide whether I think that the radio times magazine
would put me at an advantage by having my documentary featured in a
weekly issue. I have already decided the channel, day and time that my
documentary will be aired and came to the conclusion that it would be
shown on ITV2 Wednesday at 9pm. This gives me an idea of whereabouts
the documentary would feature in an issue of the radio times. Therefore, I
have decided to use radio times TV listing as it covers the channel that my
documentary will be on, ITV2. Therefore, it is certain that it will be able to
be seen by people who are reading the listing and people who look on ITV2
schedule they will see my documentary. Also, as it is a very popular TV
listing and one of the best selling TV listing magazines more readers will
see my documentary being advertised. Therefore, I am able to reach a
wider audience instead of limiting ourselves.