Comment

This is what the editorial of World’s Press News and Advertisers’ Review had to say about the changes:

The new, competitive situation into which TV is entering, particularly in the London area where BBC-2 is no more than ten days away, is reflected in Associated-Rediffusion’s decision to become plain Rediffusion, to modernise their institutional-style station card and to make other significant changes in the manner in which they serve the metropolitan market.

The programme and presentation changes, listed in detail this week by Lord Windlesham, Chief Programme Executive, represent something of a metamorphosis for the organisation which pioneered commercial TV in Britain nearly nine years ago. Fleet Street has doubtless been interested to note that London’s Monday to Friday programme contractors are banking, among a whole lot of other things, on the ability of a different kind of spot news service to keep their flock from straying. Flashes, supplied by ITN and put out under the banner of ‘Newsdesk’ are supplementing the main nightly bulletin and should have the effect of helping to sustain interest in the evening’s fare, although Rediffusion have taken a plunge into more controversial waters by their decision to promote the use of the 24-hour clock in the screening of time checks. However the impact of the new ‘with it’ spirit, the force of the new ‘image’, ought not to be underestimated.

‘New name, new look, new programmes’ is how Rediffusion describe the transformation scene in which they are now starring. Moreover, in Lord Windelsham’s words, ‘a lot of changes will be taking place in the future’. From their key position in the ITA structure, the company are clearly determined to do everything in their power to maintain the viewing lead which Independent Television still has.

To what extent BBC-2 can trim the hours of viewing devoted to Channel 9 remains to be seen. Yet the lesson that competition must benefit the viewer as well as those who use and serve the medium is once again driven home. On the strength of their programme plans, outlined and hinted at, advertisers have every reason to feel confident in Rediffusion’s ability to go on delivering them the kind and the size of publics they seek.

 

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