ON Tuesday, 28 August, 1962 a new publication appeared on the newsagents’ display shelves in the Islands. It was the very first edition of the Channel Viewer, heralding the start of ITV programmes in the islands on Channel 9. Price 5d.
Shaw Taylor and Lisa Finlayson, hosts of the popular quiz show Pencil and Paper, were the cover personalities and inside were full details of Channel’s programmes from 1 to 8 of September, along with messages from the then Director-General of the Independent Broadcasting Authority, Sir Robert Fraser OBE, and Senator George Troy, Chairman and Joint Managing Director of Channel when the company began broadcasting.
Other features included a behind the scenes look at Channel’s Rouge Bouillon studios and, to show you that some things haven’t changed much, a walk through Coronation Street to meet the cast.
Following the station opening on Saturday, 1 September, the very first programme was The Adventures of Robin Hood and the evening also included Edgar Lustgarten’s Casebook, Hawaiian Eye and Big Night Out, starring Mike and Bernie Winters.
The evening ended with the news read in French and The Day Is Ended at 12.5 am. That was a late night in those days. On most days programmes opened at 4.45 and closedown was not long after 11pm.
When the client moans and sighs
Make his logo twice the size.
If he still should prove refractory,
Show a picture of his factory.
Only in the gravest cases
Should you show the clients’ faces
– David Ogilvy, 1983
Some of the highlights of that first week were 77 Sunset Strip, Bernard Delfont’s Sunday Show with Tommy Steele, Emergency Ward 10, No Hiding Place, Bonanza, Ben Casey and The Morecambe and Wise Show.
Twenty-five years later many islanders still refer to Channel’s programme journal as the Channel Viewer, although it’s long been called Channel TV Times.
Today the magazine carries full details of ITV programmes that run from TV-am’s breakfast service almost without interruption through until the early hours of the morning. And, of course, there are Channel Four programmes as well.
But over the years the Channel TV Times has become much more than just a list of programmes. Naturally, there are features of the stars and personalities that are favourites at the time, but the magazine has become known for its wide variety of features that reflect many facets of Island life.
It’s the only locally produced weekly magazine that is sold in all the Channel Islands and many copies are also sent to viewers on the nearby French coast.
It’s been through encouraging islanders to take a closer look at their neighbours that the magazine has built a reputation with both readers and advertisers.
Other popular features include the weekly crossword, horoscopes, Bobsbest’s Racing Roundup, news on the latest video releases and monthly articles for women readers and local motorists.
Channel’s reporters also contribute background material of local programmes and major items featured in Channel Report. And regular competitions always produce a big postbag.
The present Editor is Stuart Guilliard, who came to Channel after a long career with the Jersey Evening Post and as Editor of The Islander magazine. Together with Advertising Manager Eric Le Cornu, he continues to expand the range of features and information to help readers make the most of their viewing time, and the time they’re not watching TV as well!