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STV is the brand used by both ITV licensees in Northern and Central Scotland, formerly known as Grampian TV (now legally STV North) and Scottish TV (now legally STV Central) respectively. The brand was adopted on Tuesday, 30 May 2006 replacing both franchises' identities. Its positioning, identity and brand guidelines were developed by Elmwood Design's Edinburgh office. The STV branding was previously used by Scottish Television from around 1970 to August 1985. 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: STV News at Six and STV News broadcast separate bulletins to Northern and 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 Television), a single director of programmes (David Brook - former strategy director of Channel 4) 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.

Although the stations are only required to produce 1.5 hours a week of regional non-news programmes (a single arrangement covering both North and Central regions), the chief executive of STV Group plc, Rob Woodward, told MPs at a Westminster briefing in October 2008 that the station would aim to increase its regional output from 2009 onwards.

Alongside regional news, regular STV programming includes the political programme Politics Now, the weekday lifestyle magazine The Hour and a rugby highlights programme STV Rugby. The company also produces many Gaelic programmes, some of which are now produced for the Scots Gaelic-language channel, BBC Alba, alongside archive material including Speaking our Language and Machair. On a network scale, one of STV's most famous exports is the long-running crime drama Taggart, set in Glasgowmarker.

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 (STV Central region), Northern Exposure (STV North region) and Weather Blether (STV Weather) have gained cult status and continue to be produced on a regular basis.

Previous TV programming includes the serial dramas Take the High Road, Garnock Way & 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. Another of the station's best-known programmes, Scotsport, ran continuously for 51 years until May 2008 and remains one of the world's longest running television sports programmes.

Prime time programming

Soaps are in salmon; sports are in green; dramas are in blue; reality shows are in yellow; game shows are in orange; comedies/entertainment are in beige; Factual/Documentary are in purple.

This is a sample weeks primetime line-up. Special event programming stripped across the week sometimes replaces regular scheduling.

STV 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m.
Sunday STV Rugby News All Star Family Fortunes The X Factor I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
Monday The Hour News Emmerdalemarker Coronation Streetmarker The Greatest Scot Coronation Streetmarker I'm a Celebrity...
Tuesday The Hour News Emmerdalemarker Make Me Happier Coronation Streetmarker I'm a Celebrity...
Wednesday The Hour News Emmerdalemarker Coronation Streetmarker I'm a Celebrity...
Thursday The Hour News Emmerdalemarker Grimefighters Coronation Streetmarker I'm a Celebrity...
Friday The Hour News Emmerdalemarker Coronation Streetmarker Tonight I'm a Celebrity...
Saturday Movies Various You've Been Framed Harry Hill's TV Burp The X Factor


STV Central

The STV studios in Glasgow were originally located in the former Theatre Royal in the Cowcaddensmarker area of the city. The first programme broadcast by STV 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 full theatre and national opera house and moved into custom-built studios next door. The association with Cowcaddensmarker ended in July 2006 when they moved to new studios in Pacific Quay, alongside the Glasgow Science Centremarker.

In Edinburgh, STV converted the Gateway Theatre in Leith Walk into colour studios during the mid-late 1960s - a facility which proved especially useful in 1969 when a fire gutted studio A at the Theatre Royal, killing two firemen. The Edinburgh studios later became a permanent production centre for Take The High Road before being closed in the early 1990s to save costs. STV's Edinburgh base now consists of smaller studio and office facilities for local news and advertising operations.

STV North

STV North's Aberdeenmarker headquarters moved to new smaller studios in the city's West Tullos areamarker in June 2003, vacating a converted tram depot that had been used since Grampian Television's launch in September 1961. Expansions to the Queens Cross complex were made in 1983 and 1987 - the former as part of a £5 million investment into the company's technical facilities.

Around the time of the station's launch, Grampian also established premises in Dundee, later moving to Albany House in 1980 and Harbour Chambers in 1998. In April 2008, a new Dundee studio for local news and advertising operations was opened in the Seabraes area of the city.

Grampian opened a base for local Highlands & Islands newsgathering in Invernessmarker in 1983, situated in Huntly Street, which remains open today. A studio complex in Stornowaymarker was opened in 1993 to accommodate the expansion of the station's Scots Gaelic programming production. The studios closed in 2000 following the axing of the Gaelic news service, Telefios.

Grampian also established secondary studios in Edinburgh during the late 1960s from where some of the station's light entertainment programming was produced. The studios were closed in 1969.

50th Birthday

STV's special 50th Birthday logo
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 Television's 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.

Regions and Frequencies


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 the North edition of STV News at Six, alongside short bulletins (STV News) and a weekly news programme for the deaf (STV News Review). The news service includes local opt-outs from Dundeemarker (serving Taysidemarker & North East Fifemarker) and Aberdeen (serving the North East, Highlands & Islands) on week nights. The two sub-regions also receive separate commercials. STV North also has a studio in Invernessmarker and has announced proposals to create a third news and advertising sub-region for the Highlands and Islands.

STV Central (formerly Scottish Television) is based at the STV Group headquarters in Glasgow and serves Central Scotland. The Central edition of STV News at Six is the main news programme covering the region with regular STV News bulletins throughout the day and a weekly news programme for the deaf (STV News Review). The news service includes opt-outs from Glasgow (serving the city and the west of the central belt) and Edinburgh (serving the capital city, South Fifemarker 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.


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

STV Central


  • Black Hillmarker: Channel 43
  • Darvel: Channel 23
  • Rosneath: Channel 61
  • Torosay: Channel 25


STV North

North East, Highlands & Islands

  • Durrismarker: Channel 25
  • Knockmore: Channel 23
  • Rosemarkie: Channel 49
  • Rumster Forestmarker: Channel 24
  • Eitshal: Channel 23
  • Keelylang Hill: Channel 43
  • Bressaymarker: Channel 25

Tayside & North East Fife

Retaining identity

STV, together with its counterpart UTV in Northern Irelandmarker, 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 only mentions of the ITV1 brand on Channel 3 in the STV regions occur during GMTV, which operates as a separate station, and during some networked programmes themselves.

Online presence

STV's official website,, consists of news, sport, entertainment, weather, competitions and programming information. The website also features a video catch-up service, STV Player, offering a chance to see networked and regional programming aired on the station for 30 days after their original broadcast. Exclusive online programming in the form of regular video blogs are also produced for the website.


  1. Westminster speech by Rob Woodward,, 16 October 2008
  2. The Theatre Royal : Entertaining a Nation by Graeme Smith ISBN 978-0-955-94200-6

See also

External links

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