IBA Archive at Bournemouth University

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Regional Officers’ Monthly Reports, East of England, January 1978 – January 1983

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Summary of Document

This file contains the Regional Officers’ Reports from the East of England Region. The reports were produced approximately every two months. This file commences with February/March 1978, and ends with December 1982/January 1983. The reports consistently contain headings on Local Programming, The Company, The Region, and Independent Local Radio, although from time to time other topics are introduced. The writing style of the reports was less familiar than the ones from the Midlands, but also contains similar marginal notations, presumably made by the Director-General. Sarah Thane assumed role of Regional Officer in the summer of 1982, and The Region section was replaced by a Public Relations section.

The Programming section focused on the programmes made in Anglia, although there were occasional separate headings for Network Programming. J. N. R. Hallett, the Regional Officer, offered analysis of the programmes, but did not editorialise much on the subject matter. The most successful series produced in the region was a programme on industry and business, “Enterprise”. Its first mention was in the April/June 1978 report. Racing and farming are also popular local topics for programming.

The Company section highlighted facilities and staffing. Industrial problems were evident throughout with oblique references to the ITV Blackout in the summer of 1979. These references consisted of BBC Anglia not taking on staff, and financial concerns by those initially greeting the walkout as an extended holiday. The resumption of broadcasting was reported in the October/November 1979 report, but previous reports did not warn of impending walkout.

The Region section was mainly reserved for discussion of public meetings held throughout the region. Hallett often described these meetings negatively, describing one meeting in 1979 as a depressing experience. The attendance was usually low, and those in attendance quarrelled over local issues, and the meetings often resulted in negative portrayals in the local press. In the end, Hallett expressed that the format was useful exercise in bringing the region together (June/July 1980). As stated above, Sarah Thane retitled this section Public Relations when she took over from Hallett

ILR section initially concentrated on Radio Orwell in Ipswich. Of particular notice was a reported boost in sales for Radio Orwell during the ITV Blackout. A station was established in Peterborough, Radio Hereward, during this period, and Southend/Chelmsford and Luton/Bedford contracts were offered. The possible establishment of BBC Local Radio in Norwich was also discussed.

Documents:

Report for the East of England, 12 January – 13 February 1978

Industrial Subjects Covered in “Framing Diary” 1.4.77-1.4.78

IBA Paper 153(79), Report for the East of England, Note by Mr. J.N.R. Hallett, dated 29 May 1979.

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