Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,100 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Carlton Communications

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1939 The original company was incorporated

1983 The company merged with Carlton Fox Limited and Carlton Studios Limited and became a listed company.

Its subsidiaries were engaged in TV and photographic production facilities, programming, specialist publishing, exhibition contracting and the design and sale of professional TV equipment. Carlton Fox Limited and Carlton Studios Limited were primarily engaged in photographic, exhibition, design, display and TV services.

1985 Not allowed to take over Thames Television

1987 Carlton’s first move into mainstream British TV broadcasting came with the acquisition of a 20 per cent stake in Central.

Owned Modern Video of Philadelphia, which had high speed copying facilities for video cassettes

1988 Acquired Technicolor which was a leader in video duplication and film processing[1]

1989 Carlton bought UEI plc, including the Quantel and Solid State Logic businesses, involved in developing and manufacturing professional video and sound products, making Carlton a world leader in television, film and video technology.

1991 Carlton applied for the London Weekday ITV licence which it won.

1991 Acquired a 20 per cent stake in GMTV which had been awarded the national licence to broadcast breakfast TV, replacing TV-am. This was increased to 25 per cent in December 1999.

1993 Started broadcasting as Carlton Television.

1993 Acquired an 18 per cent stake in ITN, the national and international news provider

1994 Acquired the remaining 81 per cent of Central TV that it did not already own including Central’s 20 per cent interest in Meridian TV, and Central TV’s 18 per cent interest in ITN, of which it resold some. Formed Carlton UK Television Ltd

1996 Acquired Westcountry TV.

As well as expanding into ITV broadcasting, during the 1980s and 1990s Carlton added digital TV, programme production and distribution; audio-visual processing products; video/CD and film processing; cinema advertising; and Internet activities.

1997 Acquired film processing company Metrocolor from Time Warner[2]

1999 Gained new 10-year ITV licences for Carlton (London Weekday) and Westcountry TV.

1999 Solid State Logic was sold. Proposed merger with United News and Media

2000 Quantel was sold to its management.

2000 Sold Technicolor to Thomson Media[3]

2001 Central TV intended to renew its licence when it expires

2003 Merger of Carlton and Granada Television to create ITV plc subject to consideration by the competition authorities. Carlton operated 4 regional licences, including the weekday London licence (Carlton Broadcasting Limited (Carlton TV)), and Granada TV operated 7 regional licences, including the weekend London licence (London Weekend Television Ltd (LWT)).[4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, May 25, 1989
  2. Daily Mirror, September 9, 1997
  3. The Scotsman, December 11, 2000
  4. Competition commission report [1]
  • Competition commission report [2]