TV Projects

Box Set: Weekend Magazine (Birmingham)

And so in July 2017 Made In Birmingham moved… to Birmingham. It made sense. The only reason that Big Centre and then Made in Birmingham hadn’t been in Birmingham up until that point was down to cost. The original station which had won the West Midlands local television license had based itself in Birmingham and had then gone bust. So when Big Centre picked up the license they reasoned that they could still cover the area very well without actually needing to be based in Birmingham – and the strategy had worked perfectly.

However, now that the station was part of a bigger group, the view was that it now actually needed to be in the city, particularly as the stated focus of the company was “city TV”. Initially a site in Shirley, near Solihull, was considered though ultimately this was felt to have been too small, and equally as far removed from the City Centre as Walsall currently was. Then a deal was struck with ITV Central presenter Bob Warman, who has various property interests around Birmingham, to lease a three storey office building right in the centre of the City.

The final credit before the end card actually shows a shot of the new Birmingham studios. We were based in the far left section of the building in the background, covering four windows’ width. Top floor was the offices, the whole of the middle floor was the main studio, and the left two windows of the ground floor were the studio gallery.

Over the course of a single weekend, everything was packed up from the original studios inside The Goldmine Centre in Walsall and shipped across – by horsebox (I kid you not) – to Bridge Street in the Centre of Birmingham, literally a stone’s throw across from where the ATV Centre studios had once stood. Over the three available floors, the top floor became the staff offices plus News and Sales. The middle floor became one large studio with a technical area. The ground floor became a meeting room/board room, with a separate large gallery room (my home at first).

My Birmingham News Weekend Magazine received a lick of paint with regards to its graphics, but continued on as before. At this point there were Saturday and Sunday versions of the programme, with an additional ‘start the week’ review programme airing on a Monday morning.

A quick note about how the listings below work. Videos all play in the main big screen, and you choose from the thumbnail listing underneath! Oldest first, newest last. Each title is the original transmission date backwards, followed by the programme name. So “170701 Saturday Magazine” is the programme for 1st July 2017.