PEAK AND DECLINE
Returning to 1962, Jersey had a Commercial Television Station that opened on September the 1st. This was Channel Television Ltd; the output programming was primary from England, through the I.B.A. Independent Broadcasting Authority, where UK station networks opened in 1955.
These early days of local broadcasting, and the required revenue through advertising, were quite rough and ready; primary because of having the most basic of equipment’s just sufficient enough, to get a studio On-Air. A single camera was used initially for presenting advertisements, literally facing dead pan with a background flip board bestowing the clients product/service presented live.
In comparison however, the networked advertisements were very slick, having been produced on film by the advertising agencies, through the Associated Rediffusion Group, with their Star Logo.
This was featured between each advert slot, and produced a stark comparison to the local output today this would seem very comical in comparison, to our use of digital multimedia computing techniques. In 1962, the relatively new E.M.I 405 Line broadcast system, was the current art of black and white television. In valve technology, the only way to record a programme was on film however, the cost was high and thus, seldom used to capture for prosperity, Channel Television’s burgeoning years, of 405 transmissions.
The original studio and station site was at Rouge Bouillon, on the left side, up from the Robin Hood road junction the site is now States Housing. Channel Television acquired the former site of Rediffusion, off La Pouquelaye main road where in 1989 they moved into the extensively converted open plan assembly line, and old store areas. Channel now had two large studios A & B, plus editing suites, and a Main Master Control Room, with it's Continuity Studio, also the Equipment Room for all the stations broadcast systems and cable routing... otherwise, the original Rediffusion building externally, has mostly remained the same.
For Channel Television Ltd, the final demise of Rediffusion/Reditronics, could not have come at a more opportune moment; as Rouge Bouillon became very cramped for space to expand their operation; and also allowed Channel to upgrade all their broadcasting systems in one clean and structured manner, through the contracting of Sony Broadcast. To equip the main station was a considerable task, seen from the electronic, mechanical and cabling aspects required, from an empty shell of a building to an operational station where, alongside Sony installation engineers, was Channel’s own Engineering Section, with yours truly fully involved.
From my perspective, this was a terrific opportunity, that had seen my career in electronic Research and Development end, with Rediffusion/Reditronics closure in 1987. However, the grey clouds were gathering; electronics, and the radio television industry within the UK that were nationalised, found the UK government determined to sell-off the I.B.A. Network, and other government owned companies; this set in motion a point of no return for the industry, and Jersey too.
From take-overs to emerging technologies, the 1990’s became a decade of decline and unemployment. Through the greed and short sighted UK government policies, where sadly Jersey’s under 40 age group of skilled Electronic Engineers, had no other choice than be absorbed into the computer or finance sector. Our Government’s indifference to the problem goes way back to 1970, where the States actively discouraged and ignored potential investors, keen to set-up a Jersey based Electronics Industry; in favour of the Finance Economy, that disenfranchised engineers of a career, or real choice outside of finance.
Associated Companies in over 175 towns in Great Britain and in Barbados, Bermuda. Canada, Ceylon, Guyana,
Hong Kong, Jamaica, Malaya, Malta, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and West Africa etc.
© rediffusion.info 2012
REDIFFUSION JERSEY LIMITED
La Pouquelaye, St Helier
Jersey CI Tel. 0534 30321
Jersey’s Radio & Television Industry 1922 - 2002 By Brian M. Lucas