South Cumbrian and Manx Viewers have a Strategy to Put Pressure on ITV1 Granada and BBC North West to “Up Their Game” for the Northern North West and Isle of Man- or Else!

6th November 2020

Dear Readers,

This first week in November was a week that BBC North West Tonight has reverted to Not Covering Cumbria- the only time the county has been mentioned is in Owain Wyn Evans’ Weather-forecast! ITV1 Granada Reports haven’t covered Cumbria either.

If ever there was a week to illustrate how poorly the northern half of North West England- and indeed the Isle of Man- is covered by both main North West Regional Television outlets, it is the week that has just passed. Hasn’t Cumbria also been affected by the nationwide second Lockdown, with pubs, bars and cafés forced to close?

It is surely times like this that viewers who live in South Cumbria, the Isle of Man and northern Lancashire- in areas just a bit too far south to receive ITV1 Border (Cumbrian version) should make sure that they can Vote with their Televisions- by getting Sky or Freeview and then getting a Sky or Freeview specialist to twiddle some knobs on their Digi-boxes so that they can receive ITV1 Border, not Granada (on the Isle of Man there’s the excellent Manx Telecom TV that just covers the Isle of Man. See the website for it here- https://www.manx.net/tv). Then viewers can write to explain why they are abandoning ITV1 Granada Reports and BBC North West Tonight with an email as follows:

Dear Head of Programming, ITV1 Granada/ BBC North West [Delete as appropriate]

I am writing to let you know that I am getting the Sky technician in to re-tune my Digibox so that I can watch ITV1 Border (England)- which mainly covers Cumbria/ ManxTelecom TV [Delete as Appropriate]. That some-one is sufficiently fed-up at getting constant Manchester/ Liverpool/ South Lancashire coverage and nothing locally or to the north of where one lives, that they are prepared to spend money on a Sky technician is an indictment to your news-coverage that you advertise as covering North West England and the Isle of Man- but never the northern half of the Region and seldom the Isle of Man.

Now, the North West Region stretches from Cheshire right up to the Scottish Border, but you don’t cover the northern half of the North West (or, if you do, it is very rarely). I live in South Cumbria/ North Lancashire [Delete as appropriate] and very much feel our area does not get covered adequately. Three or four nights can pass without any coverage north of Preston, which is unacceptable.

I will be advising local friends and family members to watch ITV1 Border/Manx Telecom TV [Delete as appropriate] at 6.pm to get local news and news to the north of where we all live. I will also consider trying to get That’s TV Cumbria to get more local coverage. If you do not make real improvements to the amount of news- coverage that you give for viewers who live north of Preston or on the Isle of Man you will lose viewers.

Yours Sincerely

If just one hundred South Cumbrians wrote an email like that to the North West Regional programmers and then switched over to ITV1 Border (England) they would soon take note. There would then be a discussion amongst the North West Regional Television programme- producers about how to improve coverage of their northern hinterland (i.e. Cumbria), to stem the loss of northern viewers.

If you want to write an email based on the above template then contact:

BBC North West Tonight: Email nwt@bbc.co.uk

ITV1 Granada Reports: Email granada.reports@itv.com

You could even write to ITV1 Border News to tell them you don’t like your area being in the ITV1 Granada Region because “All we ever get is Manchester and Liverpool. Cumbria is never covered! But you at ITV1 Border (Cumbrian version) cover Cumbria about which we care and have friends there!“. You could write to ITV1 Granada using the above e-mail telling them that you have written to ITV1 Border to request getting ITV1 Border’s Lookaround News Programme / being part of the ITV1 Border area because “You at ITV1 Granada hardly ever come north of Preston“. A hundred South Cumbrian viewers still in the ITV1 Granada Region writing an email like that to ITV1 Granada Programmers would really spook them- They would feel compelled to act!

If you want to send an email to ITV1 Border the contact is: btv@itv.com or btvnews@itv.com

Published by northwestisnorthwest

I live near Alston in north -east Cumbria (and yes, it is in North West England). I have friends who live in the middle part of North West England - near Lancaster (which is where I went to University and used to live until 14 years ago). A big problem is that the Regional Television Bulletins for the North West covers the southern third of the Region about 90%,(plus a part of Derbyshire which is NOT the North West of England), covers the middle third of North West England poorly and covers the northern third of North West England not at all! People living in the westernmost part of North West England (around St. Bees Head) have local BBC news on their televisions which is 90% about North East England!!

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