ITV Tyne Tees - Studios


Tyne Tees's original studios were located on City Road, Newcastle upon Tyne and were converted from two furniture warehouses purchased by the company. These new studios formed the basis of Tyne Tees operations and featured the company offices. The location was deliberately chosen because of its proximity to the telephone exchange in Carliol Square. Television signals were relayed by land-line from the studios to the switching centre; a distance between the studios and the exchange greater than 1 mile (1.6 km) would have significantly increased the cost of receiving the networked programmes from the other ITV stations.

The complex initially contained four studios, with a fifth built in 1981 to accommodate productions for Channel 4. Two nearby pubs, The Egypt Cottage and Rose & Crown, became affectionately known as Studio 5 because of the amount of time that the station's staff spent in them. Scottish and Newcastle Breweries offered to sell the adjacent The Egypt Cottage to the station when it was established, but Tyne Tees declined. However, the upstairs room was used as rehearsal space, and the pub would regularly feature in the '80s music show The Tube.

The complex continued until 2004 following the merger of Granada and Carlton to form ITV plc. As a result of the merger, ITV plc had (according to the company) an over-capacity of studio facilities and production units around the country, which had previously been rivals, but were now all part of the same group. In order to save money, several large regional headquarters, studio sites and programme departments closed and merged. The decision was taken to close the City Road studios and relocate to a smaller purpose-built complex housing a newsroom and studio, resulting in the loss of up to 30 jobs. A documentary about the move to new premises, The Big Move, reflected that over the years the staff numbers had dropped by about 800, and around 170 people would be moving to the new site.

Tyne Tees moved to Television House at The Watermark, a new business park adjacent to the MetroCentre in Gateshead, in 2005. The first broadcast from their new base took place on 2 July 2005. Along with the move, news reporters had to learn a range of new skills, such as editing their own reports. The new practices contrasted with early reporting, which had an average crew of five. The new equipment required only a camera operator, who could also operate sound equipment, and a reporter. Television House also acts as a base for ITV SignPost, Britain's biggest supplier of British Sign Language (BSL) services for television, video, CD-ROM, DVD, film and the Internet.

In 2010 the studios at City Road along with the neighbouring pub, the Egypt Cottage, were demolished with plans for a residential development on the site.

Tyne Tees also has smaller studios and offices in Billingham, York, London and within the Media Centre at the University of Sunderland.

Read more about this topic:  ITV Tyne Tees

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