STV Central Ltd


STV is the brand used by both ITV licensees in Northern and Central Scotland, formerly known as Grampian TV (now legally STV North Ltd.) and Scottish TV (now legally STV Central Ltd.) respectively. The brand was adopted on Tuesday, 30 May 2006 replacing both franchises' identities, similar to that of ITV1. Its positioning, identity and brand guidelines were developed by Elmwood Design's Edinburgh office. Both licensees are owned by STV Group plc.


The two licences still produce regional programmes, although the only difference between them is the respective news programmes: North Tonight covering Northern Scotland and Scotland Today covering Central Scotland. There is no "STV (South)" as Southern Scotland is part of the Border Television region (Border being owned by ITV plc) and programmes are presented there under the ITV1 Border brand. Emphasising the fact that STV is essentially one channel across the two regions, there is now a single managing director (Bobby Hain - former managing director of Scottish TV, who also acts as director of programmes following the departure of former Grampian TV MD, Derrick Thomson) and a single head of news (Gordon MacMillan - former head of news of Scottish TV). Terms in the renewed licences for both STV Central and STV North also mean that regional non-news programmes are shared (and identically scheduled) across both licences.

STV produces current affairs and political programming, including Politics Now, and the daily news and lifestyle magazine The Five Thirty Show. One of the station's best known brands is Scotsport, one of the world's longest running sports television programmes, although the programme was aired for the last time in May 2008. The channel also produces many Gaelic programmes. Whilst a lot of STV's output is for its own broadcast area, some programmes are also broadcast to the Scottish part of the Border Television area and some across the whole of the United Kingdom. One of STV's most famous exports is the long-running crime drama Taggart, set in Glasgow (credited as SMG Productions).

More recent STV programmes include the popular Beyond Explanation, presented by Dundonian actor Brian Cox. The programme looked at mysterious sightings across Scotland over the last few centuries. The channel also produce crime show Unsolved: Getting Away With Murder which covered past unsolved criminal cases in Scotland. The series drew high viewing figures and there was also an increase in the number of calls made to the Police by witnesses of various incidents who saw the programmes. STV have also recently broadcast the Scottish dating show Club Cupid, which was filmed in Dundee and a 6-part history series, Highlands, in which Taggart star John Michie discovered the dark history of the Scottish Highlands.

Since June 2007, STV News teams in the Northern and Central regions have also produced exclusive programming for the station's website,, in the form of video blogs. The Real MacKay (Scotland Today), Northern Exposure (North Tonight) and Weather Blether (STV Weather) have gained cult status and continue to be produced on a regular basis.

Previous TV programming includes the dramas Take the High Road, Garnock Way and High Living, gameshows Now You See It and Wheel of Fortune, crime series Crimedesk with Bill Knox, long-running documentary series Weir's Way, lifestyle show Room at the Top, and Glen Michael's Cartoon Cavalcade, which lasted 26 years.


The STV studios in Glasgow were originally located in the former Theatre Royal in the Cowcaddens area of the city. The first program broadcast from the Theatre Royal studios was This is Scotland on 31 August 1957. In 1974, the company sold the Theatre Royal to Scottish Opera for conversion back to a lyric theatre, and moved into custom-built studios next door. The association with Cowcaddens ended in July 2006 when they moved to new studios in Pacific Quay, alongside BBC Scotland and the Glasgow Science Centre. STV's Aberdeen studios moved to a new purpose-built site in the city's Tullos area in 2003, vacating a converted tram shed that had been used since Grampian's launch in 1961. STV also has broadcasting centres in Edinburgh, Dundee and Inverness.

50th Birthday

On 25 August 2007 STV began using a special logo on all idents, promotions, breakbumpers and the STV website, in the run-up to Scottish Televisions 50th birthday on 31 August. The phrase "entertaining Scotland for 50 years" was also added to the idents.

On Christmas Eve 2007, a special documentary based on Scottish TV's 50 years in the business was aired in both Central and Northern Scotland, although STV has been broadcasting only in Central Scotland for 50 years, whereas the ITV franchise in Northern Scotland (STV North, previously Grampian Television) began in 1961.

Channels and Frequencies

STV is broadcast on the following main transmitters (and their dependent relays):


STV serves central and northern Scotland. Within STV, Scotland is split into two regions and four sub-regions. Networked and regional programming is the same in both regions, apart from regional news and advertising. Within both regions, there are further opt-outs providing sub-regional news and commercials.

STV North (formerly Grampian Television) is based in Aberdeen and serves Northern Scotland. The main news programme serving the area is North Tonight, alongside short bulletins (North Today) and a weekly news programme for the deaf (News Review). The news service includes local opt-outs from Dundee (serving Tayside & North East Fife) and Aberdeen (serving the North East, Highlands & Islands) on week nights. STV North also has a studio in Inverness and is reportedly in consideration about launching a third news and advertising sub-region for the Highlands and Islands area. No decision has yet been made. The two sub-regions also receive separate commercials.

STV Central (formerly Scottish Television) is based at the STV Group headquarters in Glasgow and serves Central Scotland. Scotland Today is the main news programme covering the region with regular bulletins throughout the day and a weekly news programme for the deaf (Scotland This Week). The news service includes opt-outs from Glasgow (serving the city and the west of the central belt) and Edinburgh (serving the capital city, Fife and the Lothians) on week nights. The two sub-regions also receive separate commercials.

Altogether, the regions and sub-regions serve a population of 3,849,000.

Retaining identity

STV, together with its counterpart UTV in Northern Ireland, has resisted adopting the generic ITV1 branding that is now commonplace throughout the ITV plc regions in the southern Scottish borders, England and Wales and the Channel Islands, although it has now adopted a single Scottish identity for both its franchises.

The website of STV Currently offers the usual sections of News, Sport, Entertainment, Weather, Competitions, Forums and STV programme information, with TV listings. It also offers a catch-up service - a chance to see most programmes shown on STV, for 30 days after their original broadcast.


See also

External links

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