The Procedure of the Authority

This system of interrelated companies, technical installations and control arrangements operates under the direct control of the Independent Television Authority. The Authority usually consists of a Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and eight Members. The Members of the Authority serve in a part-time capacity, though the Chairman is expected to make the work of the Authority his main interest. Three of the members have as their special care the interests of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively. Members are appointed by the Postmaster-General “from among persons appearing to him to be qualified for the Office”, and the Minister is required to satisfy himself that they have no outside interests likely to affect prejudicially their conduct as members. Meetings of the Authority are held every three weeks, generally at its headquarters in London, but several times a year meetings are held in centres of Independent Television production in other parts of the United Kingdom. At the meetings the Authority’s policy is determined and all aspects of its work are reviewed.

The head of the Authority’s permanent staff is the Director-General, Sir Robert Fraser, O.B.E. The Authority employs a staff of about 550 people, of whom about 180 are headquarters administrative and technical staff, 350 technical staff manning the transmitters and 17 regional staff.

The main formal channel of communication between the Authority and the programme companies is a Standing Consultative Committee (SCC). Senior executives of each company and senior staff of the Authority attend the monthly meetings of ,this committee which sits under the chairmanship of the Authority’s Director-General. Between meetings a constant flow of information and consultation between the Authority’s officers and each company ensures that the Authority’s policy is understood and carried out. Through its Regional Officers the Authority is represented in the Regions. These officers are responsible for the day-to-day surveillance of the Independent Television output in their areas, as well as for liaison with local authorities, voluntary bodies and members of the public.

The Authority is advised by committees of experts in the field of Religion, Children’s and School programmes, Adult Education, and the control of advertisements.


Independent Television is financially self-supporting. No charge falls on public funds. Under Section 10 of the Television Act the Authority is charged

so to conduct its affairs as to secure that its revenues become at the earliest possible date, and thereafter continue, at least sufficient –

(a) to meet all sums properly chargeable to revenue account (including sums required for the repayment of loans and interest thereon, for provision for depreciation and/or the establishment and maintenance of their reserve fund); and

(b) to make provision towards, and as soon as practicable for necessary capital expenditure.

To enable the Authority to start operations, it was empowered under Section 12 of the Act to borrow from the Postmaster-General, with the consent of the Treasury, up to £2 million initial capital in its first five years. In fact, it proved necessary to borrow only £555,000, and this sum was wholly repaid by the middle of 1959. The Authority’s responsibilities under Section 10 are therefore fulfilled, both its revenue expenditure and its capital investment programme being paid for entirely out of the revenue from the programme companies.


A full account of the provisions of the Act regarding the inclusion of advertisements in the programmes and of the Authority’s responsibilities in the advertising field is given in the chapter “Advertising Control”.

Two salient points are:

(i) Sponsorship is not allowed; advertisers are not allowed to supply, suggest or take credit for programmes. They may only buy time in the programmes in the same way as they would buy space in the press.

(ii) The frequency and permitted amount of advertising in the programmes are controlled by the Authority.

ITV’s Regional Pattern

London: The ITA’s transmitter at Croydon was opened on 22nd September 1955. It serves a population of 13 million in and around London. Programmes are provided by Associated-Rediffusion Ltd. (A-R) from Mondays to Fridays and by Associated TeleVision Ltd. (ATV) on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Midlands: The ITA’s transmitter at Lichfield was opened on 17th February 1956. It serves a population of 8¾ million. Programmes are provided by Associated TeleVision Ltd. (ATV) from Mondays to Fridays and by ABC Television Ltd. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The North: A population of 12½ million in Lancashire and Yorkshire is served by the ITA’s transmitters at Winter Hill and Emley Moor, opened in 1956. Programmes are provided by Granada TV Network Ltd. from Mondays to Fridays and by ABC Television Ltd. on Saturdays and Sundays. ITA Regional Officer: S. D. Murphy, Astley House, Quay Street, Manchester 3. Manchester Blackfriars 2707.

Scotland: THE ITA SCOTTISH COMMITTEE: Professor David Talbot Rice, M.B.E. (Chairman); Mr. Frank Donachy, O.B.E. 3 Mr. ]ohh Fergus, F.I.P.A.; The Rev. Arthur H. Gray; Dr. H. Stewart Mackintosh, C.B.E.; Sir William MacTaggart, P.R.S.A.; Mrs. T. N. Morgan; Miss Barbara L. Napier, J.P.; The Rev. Dr. W. A. Smellie.

Scotland is served by five of the ITA’s transmitters. A population of 4 million in Central Scotland is reached by the Black Hill station opened in 1957, the first after the three main areas had been covered. Programmes are provided by Scottish Television Ltd. (STV). North-East Scotland, with a population of 1.4 million, is served by the transmitters at Durris and Mounteagle, opened in 1961. Programmes are provided by Grampian Television Ltd. The southern borders of Scotland are served by the Caldbeck and Selkirk transmitters with programmes provided by Border Television Ltd. ITA Regional Officer for Scotland: John Lindsay, 147 West Regent Street, Glasgow C.2. Glasgow City 3130. (The Regional Officer for North-East England deals with the Border area.)

Wales and the West of England: THE ITA WELSH COMMITTEE: Mr. Jenkin Alban Davies, J.P. (Chairman); Dr. Ivor Davies; Miss Norah Isaac; Mrs. Enid Watkin ]ones; Mr. Thomas Ieuan Jeffrys Jones, M.A.; Major General Lewis Owain Pugh; Mr. Leslie Richards; The Rev. D. R. Thomas, M.A.

Two companies, TWW Ltd. and Wales (West & North) Ltd. (WWN), provide programmes for the Authority to broadcast to Welsh viewers. In addition to its responsibilities in South Wales, TWW also covers a wide area in the West of England; it provides programmes for the ITA’s transmitter at St. Hilary, opened in 1958, serving a population of 3.3 million. The technical difficulties of the area covered by Wales (West & North) Ltd. are indicated by the fact that three transmitters are needed in South-West, North-West and North-East Wales to broadcast its programmes to a population of about 1 million. These transmitters opened during 1962-63. ITA Regional Officer: L. J. Evans, Arlbee House, Greyfriars Place, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff. Cardiff 28759.

Southern England: Southern Television Ltd. provides programmes for Southern England from Kent to Dorset, an area which is not easily defined geographically or technically. The ITA’s transmitters at Chillerton Down on the Isle of Wight (opened in 1958) and at Dover (opened in 196O) serve a population of 4.3 million. ITA Regional Officer: Cmdr. G. W. Alcock, O.B.E., R.N. (Rtd.), 3o Portland Street, Southampton. Southampton 29115.

North-East England and Border Regions: The North-East of England, with programmes provided by Tyne Tees Television Ltd., is geographically, technically and socially well defined, consisting basically of the main part of the counties of Northumberland, Durham and the North Riding of Yorkshire. A population of 2.7 million is served from the ITAs transmitter at Burnhope, opened in 1959. Border Television Ltd. serves two nationalities as its area straddles the Anglo-Scottish border, its programmes being broadcast by one transmitter at Caldbeck and another at Selkirk in Scotland (opened 1961) to a population of nearly half a million. ITA Regional Officer: R. J. F. Larimer 32-4 Mosley Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Newcastle 61-0148.

East Anglia: This was the first predominantly rural area in which the Independent Television Authority appointed a programme contractor, Anglia Television Ltd. This area is again both historically and geographically well defined. The topography of the area necessitated the first 1,000 ft. mast erected for the Authority, to serve a population of 2½ million. Programme operation commenced in 1959. ITA Regional Officer: Major General D. A. L. Wade, C.B., O.B.E., M.C., Century Insurance Building, 24 Castle Meadow, Norwich. Norwich 23533.

Northern Ireland: THE ITA ULSTER COMMITTEE: Sir Lucius O’Brien (Chairman); Mr. John G. Colhoun; Rev. Dr. C. B. Daly; Mr. G. B. Newe, O.B.E.; Mrs. G. Seth; Professor C. L. Wilson; The Rev. J. H. Withers.

The Province of Northern Ireland is served by two transmitters. The major one near the principal centre of population, the Belfast area, opened in 1959. The second, at Strabane in the west of the Province, opened early in 1963. Programmes are provided by Ulster Television Ltd. The population served is 1.4 million. ITA Regional Officer: W. H. Wilson, 5 Donegall Square South, Belfast. Belfast 3o818.

South-West England and the Channel Islands: Another geographically well-defined area is the South-West of England, consisting of the peninsula of Cornwall, Devon and parts of Somerset and Dorset. Westward Television Ltd. serves a population of 1.6 million from the ITA’s transmitters at Caradon Hill and Stockland Hill (opened in 1961). Programmes for the Channel Islands are provided by the smallest of all the fifteen ITV programme companies, Channel Television Ltd. Programme operation commenced during 1962. ITA Regional Officer: W. A. C. Collingwood, O.B.E., Royal London House, Armada Way, Plymouth. Plymouth 63031.

Staff and Organisation

The staff of Independent Television as a whole amounts to some 8,000 people. This is apart from the many thousands of artistes and musicians who obtain employment each year with the programme companies, and also excludes the considerable numbers employed in ancillary industries serving Independent Television. Details of the staff, officers and members of the boards of the programme companies are given in pages 15-47. The following pages contain details of the staff and organisation of the Independent Television Authority itself.

The Senior Staff of the Authority
Director-General Sir Robert Fraser, O.B.E.
Deputy Director-General (Programme Services) B. C. Sendall, C.B.E.
Deputy Director-General (Administrative Services) A. W. Pragnell, O.B.E., D.F.C.
Chief Engineer P. A. T. Bevan, C.B.E.
Chief of Finance and Establishments L. Waight, C.M.G.
Secretary E. A. O. G. Wedell
Advertising Control Officer A. Graham
Programme Services Officer R. Ponsonby
Programme Clearance Officer Miss J. Choyce
Head of Regional Services F. H. Copplestone
Press and Information Officer M. Hallett
Publications Editor E. H. Croston
Head of Planning and Construction A. M. Beresford-Cooke, O.B.E.
Head of Operations and Maintenance R. C. Harman, O.B.E.
Senior Engineer (Transmitter Planning) T. S. Robson
Senior Engineer (Contracts) H. W. Boutall, M.B.E.
Senior Engineer (Lines) W. N. Anderson
Senior Engineer (Operations) P. S. Stanley
Senior Engineer (Maintenance) A. James
Accountant A. S. Curbishley, O.B.E.
Assistant Accountants R. G. Read, R. Bowes
Personnel Officer R. L. Fox
Deputy Personnel Officer R. H. R. Walsh
ITA Regional Officers
Northern Ireland WH Wilson
Wales and West of England LJ Evans
Southern England Cmdr GW Alcock, OBE, RN (Rtd)
East Anglia Major-General DAL Wade, CB, OBE, MC
Scotland John Lindsay
North-East England RJF Lorimer
South-West England and the Channel Islands WAC Collingwood, OBE
The North SD Murphy
The Midlands Vacant
Engineers-in-Charge of ITA Stations
St Hilary W Woolfenden
Lichfield NG Payne, MBE
Winter Hill WH Jarvis, MBE
Emley Moor ICI Lamb
Croydon GE Tagholm
Chillerton Down H French
Black Hill PT Firth
Burnhope FL Firth
Black Mountain R Cameron
Mendlesham WD Thomas
Dover PJ Darby
Caradon Hill K Archer
Stockland Hill GW Stephenson
Caldbeck HN Salisbury
Durris DH Rennie
Mounteagle PG James
Fremont Point WD Kidd
Presely L Evans
Moel-y-Parc E Warwick

ITA Organisation
The Authority’s staff on 1st January 1963 totalled 547, made up as follows:

  • Headquarters – 180
  • Regional Offices – 17
  • Transmitting Stations – 350

The major proportion of the Authority’s staff consists of the engineers directly concerned with the transmission of Independent Television programmes from the Authority’s twenty-two transmitters in various parts of the United Kingdom. The Regional Officers are similarly dispersed throughout the regional centres of television production, and act as the Authority’s representatives to the local television companies and the public in these areas.

Under the Director-General, the headquarters staff is divided into three divisions:

  • Programme Services
  • Administrative Services
  • Engineering

The Programme Services Division
This Division, under the Deputy Director-General (Programme Services), is responsible for the whole range of the output of Independent Television in both the programme and the advertising fields, its control and supervision. The Programme Department deals with the approval and supervision of programmes in relation to general matters such as balance, quality, good taste and decency, and the maintenance of political impartiality; and to detailed matters such as the administration of the control of hours of broadcasting and the requirements concerning foreign material. The Advertising Department deals with the whole range of advertising on television, and is responsible for ensuring that the strict control provisions which apply to advertisements are observed.

The Head of Regional Services, who works for the Deputy Director-General (Programme Services), co-ordinates the work of the Regional Officers and acts as the focal point for the liaison between the Authority and the regional companies.

A statistical unit attached to the Programme Services Department deals with the maintenance of the statistics of programme hours and foreign material, which are essential to the Authority’s work.

Administrative Services Division
This division, under the Deputy Director-General (Administrative Services), consists of three departments.

The Finance Department is responsible for the Authority’s internal financial controls and procedures, e.g. budgetary control, preparation of forward estimates of income and expenditure and submission of regular financial returns to the Authority. It is responsible also for advising the Authority on matters of financial policy and on the financial aspects of general policy. The Personnel Department is responsible for general establishment, accommodation and welfare matters and for liaison with the recognised staff union, the Association of Broadcasting Staff. Both these departments are under the direction of the Chief of Finance and Establishments.

The Secretariat, under the Secretary to the Authority, is responsible for the conduct of the business of the Authority itself and its contractual relations with the programme companies. The conduct of the business of the Standing Consultative Committee, which constitutes the formal link between the Authority and the programme companies, is also undertaken by the Secretariat Lastly, the Secretariat provides, as a common service to the Authority as a whole, the Press and Information Office, the Publications Department, and the Reference Library.

Engineering Division
This division is under the control of the Chief Engineer, who takes general responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Authority’s transmitting system. The division has two departments. The Planning and Construction Department is responsible for the siting, construction and equipment of the broadcast transmitting stations. The Operations and Maintenance Department is responsible for the running of the broadcast transmitting stations once they are built. The Engineers-in-Charge and staff of these stations are responsible to the head of this department. The Operations and Maintenance Department also includes a Lines Transmission Section, which is responsible for the planning of the programme distribution network and its daily operation. Certain point-to-point link construction, as well as radio propagation and specialised field strength measurements, are also undertaken by this section.

Training Facilities
The Authority’s station engineering staff receive training at special courses at the Marconi College at Chelmsford. These courses are residential and last for about four months each. There are two types of course: one concerned mainly with elementary principles, and the other a more advanced one dealing with the techniques employed on ITA transmitting stations.