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Channel M is a regional television station, based in Manchestermarker. The channel's output is specifically designed for Greater Manchestermarker, United Kingdom and the surrounding area. It began broadcasting on 14 February 2000 as Manchester Student Television. Channel M is owned and operated by the Guardian Media Group, owner of Manchester Evening News.

Coverage

As an RSL station Channel M was primarily available free to air on terrestrial in parts of Greater Manchester. In 2004 Channel M launched on the NTL platform (now part of Virgin Media), and launched on the digital satellite in April 2006 - the first RSL channel to be broadcast on satellite. The channel is available on the Sky Digital service, giving the station UK-wide coverage, as well as FTA availability to broadcast across Western Europe on Astra 28.2°Emarker.

The channel can be received on analogue television, on channel 39 (615 MHz) in many western & southern areas of the region, on Virgin Media Channel 878 around Greater Manchestermarker, mid-Lancashiremarker & Cheshiremarker and nationwide on Sky channel 203. In January 2009, the broadcasting regulator OFCOMmarker announced that Channel M would receive a licence to broadcast on Freeview after digital switchover.

The channel also become the first broadcaster in the region to offer its programmes on demand via broadband TV on its award-winning website.

Programming

News programming

From 2004 until July 2009, the station's flagship programme was the 5pm weeknight edition of Channel M News (produced in conjunction with the Manchester Evening News), which later expanded to include breakfast, lunchtime and late evening bulletins as well as a weekly review programme and occasional live specials.

On Monday 13 July 2009, Channel M's news coverage was incorporated into a three-hour magazine programme entitled Channel M Today, broadcast on weekdays between 4pm & 7pm and presented by chief news anchor Andy Crane, Nina Warhurst and former Style in the City presenter Jemma Gofton. The programme also features local sport, features and entertainment coverage.

Non-news programming

Originally, the main sources of programming were CHUMmarker, Euronews, Channel M's own productions and the University of Salfordmarker. The Canadian-sourced output was gradually replaced by in-house Channel M Productions as the station invested and developed more local programming, from the station's launch on digital satellite services in April 2006 until the end of most non-news output in May 2009.

The station continues to produce The Jobsmine, a weekly round-up of vacancies in the region and The Homesmine, a regular property magazine show. Both programmes are broadcast as commercial presentations.

At 4pm and intervals throughout the day, Channel M Playlist airs music videos, usually from the alternative and indie genres. Originally, CHUM Televisionmarker's North American music output was shown during the day.

Past programming

Up until May 2009, Channel M also produced highly acclaimed entertainment output including the comedy talk-show Frank Sidebottom's Proper Telly Show and regular music coverage. Programming such as the weekly entertainment show City Life Social and video/computer game review series Re:Loaded helped Channel M to gain interest nationally.

City Life Social, The Great Northern Music Show and In Session were Channel M's main music programmes, often presented by Gerry McLaughlin with Clint Boon as a stand-in host. These programmes usually featured live, acoustic or unplugged studio and outside broadcast performances from alternative and indie bands.

Former BBC Radio Manchester host, Granada presenter and Factory Records boss Tony Wilson was due to present a Friday evening music and entertainment show called The New Friday, produced by former Granada producer and BBC Radio Manchester host Eamonn O'Neill. However, this programme was postponed after Wilson became terminally ill with cancer. Wilson died in August 2007 and the plans for The New Friday were soon abandoned.

City Life Social (previously City Centre Social) then became the station's flagship music show, as Channel M shifted towards a greater focus on live performances within programmes. This policy continued until the music department ceased production in May 2009, shortly after the station announced severe cutbacks in staff and programming.

The cutbacks also affected the station's three-hour breakfast programme Channel M Breakfast, which had been airing on weekdays since 16 April 2007 and included regional news, weather, travel, sport, features and entertainment. The slot is now used to broadcast live footage of the area's traffic cameras to a simulcast of Real Radio North West. Other programmes to be axed included Style in the City, City Life, The Great Manchester Football Show and the Salford University production Reel North.

In terms of broadcast awards, University of Salfordmarker productions Hitting Home and Reel North have received multiple nominations from the Royal Television Society since 2001, respectively winning Best Regional Current Affairs Programme in 2005 and Best Regional Programme in 2006.

Advertising

Channel M's extremely localised audience is unusual for a British television channel. This has promoted an opportunity for local advertising on a Greater Manchester-wide scale.

The majority of the commercials shown on Channel M are produced by local companies attempting to attract this localised audience. One can recognise that many of these commercials are extremely low budget. Large companies like Ikea and DFS have also advertised on Channel M, the former during the opening of Greater Manchester's first Ikea store in Ashton-under-Lynemarker. Many of these adverts are also shown on ITV1 in the Granada Television region. Channel M offers businesses an opportunity to create a television advertisement, as the channel also films, edits and produces commercials.

Studios

The channel was originally based at smaller studios in The Trianglemarker shopping mall and the later at The Printworksmarker entertainment complex, both of which in Manchester City Centre. Until Channel M moved to the Urbismarker museum in August 2005, Channel M News was pre-recorded - bulletins were first broadcast live in May 2006. The studio's position on the ground floor of Urbis in Manchester City Centremarker gives a live elevated background shot of the area around Cathedral Gardens and the Manchester Victoria Railway station. The channel's main production team is based beside and below the studio in on the ground floor and basement. Visitors to Urbis can see the studios, as they are located behind glass adjacent to the museum's entrance. American style Newschasers adorned in the channel's logo are also based at the museum.

Manchester Media

The Guardian Media Group, which is based at offices in the Spinningfields district of Manchester, owns and operates Channel M. Much of the news-gathering operations are synchronised with the Manchester Evening News. News stories gathered by GMG can be distributed in The Guardian and The Observer national newspapers, the MEN, Greater-Manchester's weekly Advertiser newspapers, Channel M, plus the Mancunian GMG Radio stations (Smooth Radio, Century FM and 106.1 Rock Radio).

Over the past two years, the company has invested greatly in publicising Channel M in a billboard, taxi wrap-around, adshel and local weekly newspaper campaign. This access is advantageous to the profile of the station - it means that cross-reference advertising can be established for a very small cost. On the cover of the MEN every day where on the right hand column, a news feature or programme on Channel M that evening is referred to. In the MEN TV Guide, full Channel M listing are shown beside those of BBC1, BBC2, Granada Televisionmarker, Channel 4 and Five. Channel M advertisements are often placed throughout the MEN, Greater Manchester's local free-sheets and the Greater Manchester's edition of Metro. Commercial brands such as City Life, The Jobsmine and The Homesmine also feature across the Manchester Evening News, Greater Manchester's weekly newspapers and Channel M.

Channel M's local news rivals include ITV Granada and BBC North West. These channels broadcast Granada Reports and BBC North West Tonight respectively. Other broadcasting headquarters in Manchester include ITV franchisee Granada Television which is located on Quay Street and BBC's Northern England hub on Oxford Roadmarker where North West Tonight and BBC Radio Manchester are based. Piccadilly Radio 261's offspring Key 103 and Magic 1152 broadcast from Castlefieldmarker.

In 2005, the channel won the "Best Newcomer" award at the Royal Television Society Awards.

The Future

Channel M's former dependence on imported programmes (mainly music and entertainment programming from CHUM Televisionmarker) in Canada, was down to the amount of original output created by Channel M with Canadian programming previously making up much of the station's schedule. With the increase of in-house production from its launch on Sky Digital until May 2009, the station was able to broadcast up to 21 hours a day of local programming. The Euronews breakfast slot was moved back to early morning due to the creation of Channel M Breakfast, resulting in a full 24-hour service. The Euronews simulcast was originally dropped in August 2008 owing to technical problems but was restored four months later.

On 27 April 2009, Channel M's chief executive Mark Dodson announced that the station was looking to make 41 redundancies from its 74 staff and restrict weekday live programming from four programmes (totalling six hours of output) to one three-hour news magazine programme, broadcast between 4pm and 7pm, in order to cut losses. The new live programme, Channel M Today launched on Monday 13 July 2009. A company review carried out by the Guardian Media Group before the announcement recommended that the station should focus on news and general sport programming.

Following the announcement, Channel M axed all of its stand-alone entertainment, sport and features programming as well as the weekday breakfast show and lunchtime & evening news bulletins. News and sport coverage is now incorporated into Channel M Today.

Programmes

  • Channel M Playlist
  • Channel M Plays Pop
  • Channel M Today


  • The Homesmine (previously Homesearch)
  • The Jobsmine (previously Jobsearch)


Previous in-house programmes

  • 30 Minutes of...
  • 4 Manchester
  • The Biker Show
  • Channel M Breakfast
  • Channel M Lunchtime News
  • Channel M Late News
  • Channel M News Live
  • Channel M News Review
  • City Centre Social
  • The City Debate Show
  • City Life Comedian of the Year
  • City Life Social
  • Code XIII
  • Code XIII: Grassroots
  • Community Focus
  • Cookin' Impossible
  • Crime Team
  • Fashion Face Off
  • FC United
  • Frank Sidebottom's Proper Telly Show
  • The Great Manchester Football Show
  • Gloves Off


  • The Great Northern Music Show
  • Hitting Home
  • I Love Manchester
  • In Session
  • Inside MCFC
  • The Lancashire Cricket Show
  • The Latics Football Show
  • Made in Manchester
  • Manchester Exchange
  • Manchester Fight Night
  • Manchester Unlimited
  • M:usic Live
  • The Phoenix Ice Hockey Show
  • Reel North
  • Re:Loaded
  • The Run
  • Seconds Out
  • Sports Central
  • Style In The City
  • Talking Sharks
  • The United Debate Show
  • Zeitgeist


Imported programmes

Programmes produced by CHUM TVmarker included:

  • Star at The Movies
  • Arts and Minds
  • In Fashion
  • Best! Movies! Ever!




N.B. Imported programmes are no longer broadcast.

Presenters

  • Ben Bland
  • Georja Calvin-Smith
  • Andy Crane
  • Nikki Dean
  • Joe Evans
  • Jemma Gofton


  • Ian Irving
  • Gerry McLaughlin
  • Natalie Quirk
  • Jude Vause-Walsh
  • Nina Warhurst
  • James Webster


See also



References

  1. Axe falls on more than half of Channel M staff, Press Gazette, 27 April 2009
  2. MEN Media woes continue as half Channel M staff face axe, How Do, 28 April 2009


External links




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