Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation

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GBC-TV
Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation New Logo.jpg
18 South Barrack Road
City of license Gibraltar
Branding GBC Television
GBC Radio
Slogan "First for local news"
Affiliations Independent
Owner Government of Gibraltar
Founded 1958
First air date 1958 (radio)
1963 (television)
Call letters' meaning Gibraltar
Broadcasting
Corporation
Transmitter coordinates 36°07′28″N 5°21′01″W / 36.124565°N 5.350358°W / 36.124565; -5.350358Coordinates: 36°07′28″N 5°21′01″W / 36.124565°N 5.350358°W / 36.124565; -5.350358
Website GBC.gi

The Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) is Gibraltar's public service broadcaster. It has provided the community with a radio and television service since 1963.

History[edit]

Modelled on the BBC, the Corporation was established in 1963 with the amalgamation of Gibraltar Television, a private company, and the Government-owned radio service, Radio Gibraltar which started regular broadcasting in 1958. Unlike the BBC, the majority of GBC's funding comes in the form of a grant from the Government. GBC did receive a small amount of income from the levying of a television licence fee. However, it was announced in Gibraltar's budget speech of 23 June 2006 that the TV licence was to be abolished.

The Board[edit]

The activities of the corporation are controlled and governed by a board consisting of a chairman and not more than seven members appointed by the governor. Subject only to any directions of the Governor-in-Council the board is responsible for the corporation's policy. The corporation appoints a general manager and other staff to carry out its policies and the board is empowered to delegate any of their duties to their employees except responsibility for policy. Within GBC the board's powers are absolute.

The chairman and board thus work through their permanent staff, headed by a general manager, who are responsible to the board. Although the chief concern of the board is undoubtedly broad policy, once laid down it is left to the general manager and senior staff, whom they appoint to carry out as trustees of the public interest in broadcasting. In view of their ultimate responsibility for everything that is broadcast, it is the board's duty to take an active interest not only in the programmes, but also in the financial and staff policies of the corporation.

This is done through a number of sub-committees in which board members and senior staff participate in decisions relating to the treatment of political and public affairs, finance and development, and programmes. Only the House of Assembly has the power to change the ordinance and the Governor-in-Council the directions.

Radio Gibraltar[edit]

Radio Gibraltar broadcasts 24 hours a day and its programme format is similar to that of commercial local radio stations in the United Kingdom. The station operates on both FM and AM, broadcasting a mix of local programming in English and Spanish, and retransmissions of the BBC World Service. In December 2005, GBC started internet streaming of its radio service on the Internet, which, along with an up-to-date programme guide for GBC television and radio, can be found on the website. You can hear Radio Gibraltar live from 7am to 8pm on weekdays, after 8pm the station plays continuous music through the night with only the brief interruption of Radio Gibraltar's jingle. On the station's AM frequencies BBC transmission can be heard through the night. On Weekends the station broadcasts live from 8am to 9pm with the same format. Radio Gibraltar's station is currently located at 18 South Barrack Road in Gibraltar's south district, after moving there in the 1980s from Wellington Front, its old location since its beginning in 1958.

On Saturday 16 February 2008 Radio Gibraltar celebrated its 50th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, past presenters were invited to co-host programmes in the slot which they once occupied, amongst them Peter Canessa, David Hoare, Norma Delgado, Gerry Martinez, Christine Dobinson and Richard Cartwright. During the week leading up to the anniversary, Radio Gibraltar broadcast interviews with former presenters who recalled their memories of Radio Gibraltar as well as on-air jingles from the past. One of the high points of Radio Gibraltar's history was that it served as a communications link between Gibraltar and the neighbouring communities in Spain during the closure of the land frontier, which divided families between 1969 and 1982. A special Roadshow live from Main Street was held on the anniversary.

GBC TV showed a special programme to commemorate Radio Gibraltar's 50th anniversary which was celebrated during the week starting 18 February 2008.

Radio Gibraltar programming[edit]

Radio Gibraltar largely devotes its daytime hours to local news and current affairs, delivered through the flagship programme Focus, which has an AM, Lunchtime and PM edition.

Outside the Focus News programmes, Radio Gibraltar's daytime hours are filled with magazine type shows that feature chat, games, competitions and phone-ins, and all is sandwiched in between "Classic Hits, Latest Songs" as per the station's slogan. Programmes include The Morning Show, The Afternoon Show and the long-running Spanish language programme Saludos which has anchored the 2-4pm slot for over twenty years.

The weekend schedule normally features personality-led shows alongside repeats from Radio Gibraltar's evening schedule, the UK Chart Show and a live transmission of Sunday Mass.

Radio Gibraltar's evening schedule is mostly made up of one locally produced programme airing in the 7-8pm slot. Programmes include;

  • Made in Gibraltar; A weekly series showcasing local musicians
  • Jazz Town; Playing the best smooth jazz every week, from everlasting names like Sinatra to the most recent stars such as Madeleine Peyroux
  • My Country; Playing the American Country Top 5 songs and featuring a brand new album every week
  • Yesterday When I was Young; Radio Gibraltar's golden oldies show playing songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s. This series is Radio Gibraltar's longest running series, having been on air for over 20 years.
  • Soundtrack of my life; Insight into local personalities and figures through music
  • Centre Stage; Another long running series that plays a selection of songs from the biggest musicals ever to grace a stage.

Radio Gibraltar also covers Community events such as National Day, sessions of Parliament, General Elections and others. It is also well known for organising Roadshows throughout the entire year, mainly organised around Charity events, Appeals, Awareness Campaigns and similar, culminating in the annual GBC / Radio Gibraltar Open day Charity fundraiser which takes place the week before Christmas. The station also carries a simulcast of the GBC TV programme Gibraltar Government Lottery Draw live every alternate Tuesday. Special programming usually takes over the news slots on Public Holidays, notably the 1pm hour.

Radio Gibraltar App[edit]

On Monday 10 September 2012, coinciding with Gibraltar's National Day, a Radio Gibraltar App for the iPhone became available giving listeners a new way to listen to Radio Gibraltar on the go.

GBC Television[edit]

Prior to the 1990s, GBC TV was the only English-language channel available in Gibraltar. Launched as Gibraltar television in 1962, a privately owned commercial station, the broadcaster became the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation a year later in 1963 when it became a Public Broadcaster funded by Government.

GTV, later GBC TV was first housed in Wellington Front, in what was commonly called Wellington Front Studios. Due to its location in Gibraltar, the area around Wellington Front usually floods during the rainy season. GBC often flooded and once this occurred during a live TV broadcast.

In the late 70s GBC TV began experimenting with colour broadcasts. An all colour operation began in 1980 when GBC was relocated to 18 South Barrack Road into a building that is now called Broadcasting House.

Broadcast hours and schedule[edit]

In its early days and until the 1990s, GBC TV offered viewers a mix of local production and international series, mainly imported from the BBC, ITV franchises and also from Canada and Australia. Broadcasting hours would be restricted to the evenings, with television normally being on air between 7pm (later 6.30pm) until shortly after midnight. GBC TV would also go on air during the daytime (normally for a couple of hours) from 3.30pm during school holidays at Christmas.

Typically TV broadcasts would begin with a PRD (Programme Run Down) which would air for a few minutes before giving way to a title sequence playing the GBC TV start-up theme and logo.

Traditionally the programme line-up would be composed of children's programming between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. In the mid 80s children's programming would take two slots, 6.30pm – 7pm and 7.30pm – 8pm with the decision to relay live the BBC Six O'clock News (7pm in Gibraltar time). BBC News at Six was later dropped in favour of ITN bulletins.

Local programing would usually air in the 8pm slot and in later evening slots following the news bulletin. Imported series would usually air during Primetime and in the late night 11pm slot. Feature films would traditionally air on Tuesday nights and Saturday nights under the Tuesday Movie and Saturday Movie banners.

Local News[edit]

Local news has occupied various slots, airing as late as 10.30pm, and 9pm before settling in the 8.30pm slot where it currently remains. On occasions, during the Summer months, and prior to the introduction of the 11.30pm News replay, news programmes would be scheduled at the later time of 9pm to accommodate viewers' Summer routines.

Local news has been re-branded on air a number of times over the years. During the 80s it aired as Deadline. Currently local news on TV is branded as Newswatch, a brand introduced in the 90s. When GBC reporters travel outside of Gibraltar on assignment (notably the US and UK) they normally use the "GBC News" brand.

Newswatch

At present one news team produces news programming for both GBC TV and Radio Gibraltar. The Newswatch programme airs weekdays at 8.30pm with a replay at the later time of 11pm. It also streams live on www.gbc.gi and is also available next day after broadcast via the Watch Again player. No local news is produced or airs on TV or Radio at the weekend or on Public Holidays, unless events dictate differently. Newswatch has been using this composition for its openings, closings and stings for many years.

News Headlines air weekdays at 8pm with an approximate duration of 60 seconds. From 1 October 2012, as part of GBCs new Autumn schedules, the Newswatch Headlines will move forward to 7.30pm airing immediately after the station goes on air, and will also incorporate the Weather (previously independent at 7.30pm) and the What's On (diary of events) feature.

Newswatch is fronted by a number of newsreaders who work on rotation.

Due to budget constraints, but taking full advantage of social media sites, local news is also updated via Twitter and Facebook. This was recently demonstrated when GBC recently provided Breaking News Coverage and News Updates of the ongoing British Waters incursions by Spanish Police (2012) and two Bomb Alerts (2012) via Social Media instead of opting for a traditional TV news update style broadcast.

Viewpoint

Viewpoint is the brand name for GBCs ongoing current affairs discussion series. The series has been running for a number of years and occupies the Thursday night slot that has traditionally accommodated most of GBCs past discussion series'. The programme's duration and frequency has been significantly reduced over the years; from a 90-minute weekly format to a 60-minute fortnightly one. The programme usually runs new series' between late September and early December, and continues after the Christmas break; from late January or February until late June, with a break in the Spring coinciding with the Easter break. Viewpoint normally airs live and consists of a panel discussing community / political issues. In recent times the programme has become more participatory in nature by expanding on the traditional "Viewers Phone-in" and vox-pop to also include e-mails and comments made on social media sites.

Until the cancellation of companion series, "Community Call" which dealt with social issues and topics, Viewpoint dealt exclusively with political issues. Viewpoint has a number of different presenters who work in rotation.

Other News formats

GBC News also produces Special reports and programming as required or dictated by events. These include interviews and addresses by politicians and community figures and special reports centring on specific news items.

BBC and ITN News on GBC TV

In the mid 80s GBC TV decided to introduce international news into its schedules. Coinciding with the launch of the BBC News at Six (originally launched and branded the BBC Six o'clock News) a few months earlier, GBC took the option to carry the bulletin. The programme aired live (at 7pm due to the time difference with the UK) and in a simultaneous broadcast with BBC One. When greeting the audience, the BBC newsreader would acknowledge "viewers in Gibraltar" and also note the time difference.

GBC TV also carried the BBCs flagship news broadcast BBC Nine O'Clock News. again this would air live and simultaneously with the BBC broadcast, but at the local time of 10pm.

Shorter 10-minute bulletins also aired on Saturdays and Bank holidays, although these were sometimes not aired live and were accommodated into the GBC TV schedule.

In the late 80s, ITN launched ITN World News, a newscast which they produced for the new satellite TV channel Super Channel, which at the time was owned by all but one of the ITV companies. Coinciding with this, GBC TV opted to drop the BBC News bulletins in favour of ITN World News. Like with the BBC broadcasts, ITN provided two broadcasts; the first was a pre-recorded bulletin which aired at 7pm Gibraltar Time and was a version produced for international syndication. The second aired at 10pm Gibraltar Time and was the live broadcast produced for Super Channel.

The GBC Open Day[edit]

The GBC Open day is an annual fund-raiser event that has grown from year to year. Launched in (date), the annual event started out as a fundraiser event to financially support the annual Three King's Cavalcade and also to buy Christmas gifts for the least well off children in the community.

Originally, the event would encompass a number of fundraising initiatives that took place on the day of the Open Day itself, but over the years this has grown, and now a number of fundraisers are held throughout the year with monies being presented at the Open Day on the day of broadcast.

The GBC Open Day normally takes place a week before Christmas Day, always on a Wednesday. The event starts on radio Gibraltar at 9am, and continues on radio until 7pm. GBC Television normally takes over, starting their televised version of the event after the news bulletin, from 9pm till the early hours.

The Radio Gibraltar part of the Open Day is composed of a Roadshow, normally held at John Mackintosh Square, with the public being invited to go down and donate money in exchange for a Christmas greeting and a musical dedication. Over the years, further aspects were introduced into the Radio format such as the annual "Villancicos" contest (Christmas Carol contest) where businesses and workplaces were invited to write and perform their own take on popular songs and carols. The TV version of the Open Day can be described as a traditional Tele-thon, complete with entertainment, live music, comedy, variety, cheque presentations, competitions and an auction. The Television Open Day also includes parodies of local events over the last year, and a "Reward" segment previously titled "Surprise" where individuals within the community are prized for their contribution, strength and sacrifices. Previously the TV version also featured the annual "Treasure Hunt" with live links throughout the broadcast on the progress made by participants. This disappeared over time despite being one of the most popular aspects of the TV Open Day, albeit being revived in the last few years as a pre-recorded segment.

Today, the GBC Open Day is a local charity which raises monies for a variety of local charities. It remains one of the highlights in the Gibraltaian Social Calendar, with most of the community participating and contributing in some way.

GBC programmes[edit]

Imported series previously aired on GBC TV

Children's programming

Live-action

Animated

British comedy / sitcoms

US comedy / sitcoms

British drama / soaps

US / Canada drama / soaps

Entertainment formats

Other

  • Return to Eden
  • Shaka Zulu
  • The Sullivans – The Australian soap was hugely popular in Gibraltar and is considered one of GBC TVs most successful imports of all time. Screened mostly throughout the 80s, the soap was a Sunday night staple and usually followed The Sunday Message religious broadcast. Whilst it is standard scheduling practice today, GBC TVs scheduling of The Sullivans during the 80s was well ahead of its day, with the broadcaster opting to air two episodes back-to back on Sunday nights, editing out the closing credits of the first episode and the opening sequence for the second to create a seamless hour long episode instead of two half-hour instalments. Sadly GBC TV never completed the 1,114 episode run of the series, cutting it off shortly after surpassing the 1000 episode mark as a result of its decision to drop all imports from its schedules. Local viewers never saw the conclusion of the series until satellite TV arrived in Gibraltar and golden oldies channel UK Gold screened the entire run.

Local programme titles

  • "The Magic garden / Playground"
  • "Susan's Corner"
  • "3 to 6"
  • "Brain Box"
  • Top Team
  • "City Talk"
  • "Snippets"
  • "Soundchaser"
  • "Storyliners"
  • "A Walk through History"
  • "Girl Chat"
  • "From the Archives"
  • "Smarty Pants",
  • "Taboo",
  • "9 o'clock shop",
  • "Community Call"
  • "Sunday Message"
  • "Live from The Rock"
  • "Two's Company"
  • "The Mag"
  • "Telespree"
  • "Sports Report"
  • "Telebingo"
  • "The Quiz"
  • "The Bland Travel Game"
  • "The Thursday Debate"
  • "Music Street"
  • "PLU – People Like Us"
  • "Abstractus"
  • "Cultural Exchange"
  • "The Lamplighters"
  • "Sweet Somethings"
  • "Summer Rendez-vous"
  • "Health Matters"
  • "Just Another Day"
  • "Vicki's Kitchen"
  • "Flavours of the 1001 Nights"
  • "News Review"
  • "Support"
  • "Postcards from the Past"
  • "Diversity"
  • "Andrea's Kind of folk"

Early 1990s – Satellite TV Arrives[edit]

With the arrival of satellite TV to Gibraltar, GBC TV decided to compete with a Microwave Distribution System MMDS which carried the BBC TV Europe service. Due to difficulties in securing the rights to rebroadcast other channels and propagation problems, the service was terminated. GBC started relaying BBC Prime on its VHF and UHF channels. In the early 1990s this comprised the BBC programming throughout the day with GBC TV productions screening in appointed "windows", such as the NewsWatch programme at 8.30pm. At the time reception of these satellite channels required a 4 m dish which was impractical for home users. The BBC service was re-encrypted with decoders supplied to licence holders free of charge.

This rebroadcasting ended in 1999 when GBC ceased BBC transmission in favour of a relaunch which would see the channel broadcasting its own output between 7.30pm and 11.30pm.

The 1999 Relaunch[edit]

The BBC 1992 made for television movie An Ungentlemanly Act spearheaded the GBC 1999 schedules on Relaunch Night.

As part of the 1999 relaunch, GBC TV acquired the broadcast rights to various international TV series and Made for TV movies. Titles included the British action series Bodyguards, the Australian dramedy SeaChange, the Australian medical drama All Saints, the British romantic dramedy Cold Feet (screened under the Foreign Markets title "Life, Love and Everything Else"), reruns of classic Western drama Bonanza, the Canadian police drama Cold Squad; and factual series, "Hutan: Wildlife of the Malaysian Rainforest", Movies, Games and Videos,Cybernet, Adventure and discovery,Reel Adventures and "Sportsworx". GBC TV also "fills" its schedules with random episodes of music shows "London Live" "Legends of Jazz" and "The album Show". At present most "scripted fare" has disappeared from GBC TV schedules, and in its place the channel screens various lifestyle and travel programmes such as "Inside Luxury Travel" and various Country profile / promotional programmes.

GBC Experiment: Latin American telenovelas[edit]

In 1999, GBC TV piloted the screening of a Spanish-language programme in their late night slot (10.30pm). Flor de Oro, a Colombian telenovela was the first Spanish language serial to air on the channel. It ran for 65 episodes and had a replay the next day at 2pm. Following the conclusion of the serial, GBC TV launched a second telenovela, 90-60-90 Modelos, this time opting not to include it in its nightly transmissions and only maintaining it in its 2pm slot. When the serial finished, GBC ended its Spanish-language television programming and restricted Spanish broadcasts to radio (Radio Gibraltar) in its traditional 2pm – 4pm slot.

Early Noughties[edit]

Current

The television service also broadcasts 24 hours a day with the programme profile favouring the inclusion of local productions, including news and current affairs programmes. GBC TV programming airs daily between 7.30pm and 11.30pm, with the rest of its transmission hours being taken up by an Information Service which provides local information as well as from time to time broadcasting TV programme replays and programming from the channel's archives.

Local television shows airing on GBC TV include:

  • Newswatch – the channel's flagship news bulletin which airs every weekday at 8.30pm and replayed at 11pm.
  • Talk About Town – A discussion series in Llanito (the local vernacular) in which three presenters discuss local affairs, from the need to replace a street sign to important political affairs.
  • Viewpoint – The flagship political discussion show.
  • Pepe's Pot – Culinary series in Llanito in which presenter Pepe Palmero teaches viewers how to prepare local favourites. The series ended after five seasons in 2006. Revived in 2012.
  • Sports Report – Long running local sports review type show
  • Telebingo – Long running local gameshow hosted by local presenter David Hoare and then Andy Coumbe, based on the traditional bingo game. The gameshow ended on 25 July 2007.
  • In Him I Trust – Long running religious magazine show

GBC TV also screens religious, music, history and children's programmes as well as many specials which cover events held in the local community.

The majority of GBC's output is imported, particularly from the UK, US and Australia. These are unavailable for streaming on GBC's website due to copyright.[1] As has been the trend worldwide, GBC TV has also added a few reality shows to their line-up in recent years. The first reality series to air on the GBC was Let's Dance, a take on the BBCs Strictly Come Dancing contest. In the GBC version, various local personalities competed in a weekly competition that run for four weeks. A second series followed, as did a third in Spring 2009. January 2007 saw the launch of GBC's new reality contest – Weekend Warrior in which two teams of local personalities battled it out against each other in a recruit training type competition.

GBC Daytime hours[edit]

Over the years, GBC TV has mostly been on air exclusively during the evenings with a few exceptions – holiday programming for children at Christmas and live broadcasts of community and news events. However, daytime hours were normally handed over to a number of Advertistment formats, most notably the EYE service during the 1980s. The EYE service can be compared to an on-screen revolving Teletext format which consisted of Community Information, Diary of Events, competitions and advertisements. Radio Gibraltar provided the audio for the EYE service. The service ceased when GBC TV opted to relay BBC broadcasts.

After the 1999 relaunch, GBC TV announced it would incorporate Daytime transmissions as a way of extending broadcast hours and subsequently increasing advertising time available to potential advertiseres. Initially, as a pilot-scheme, the service replayed a Spanish language telenovela that aired weeknights at 10.30pm, but the plan was to extend this to include a news magazine show during the lunch-hour and a Community notice-board type magazine show. There was talk of taking to TV the popular radio news format Focus at Luchtime. This never materialised.

At present, GBC TV fills daytime hours with a cheaper version of the old EYE format. The new service currently rotates a few ads with Community information, Diary of events, notices and Government Notices. Old photographs of Gibraltar donated by local photograpers and collectors also feature, alongside photo portfolios from amateur photographers and Photography competition winners. Portfolios feature for months and are refreshed randomly. Like with the EYE service, Radio Gibraltar provides an auddio stream for the service.

GBC On-screen branding[edit]

Logo and DOG

GBC on-screen branding and corporate identity have changed a number of times throughout its history. The iconic circle set against the backdrop of a computer animation of the Rock of Gibraltar was used throughout the 80s.

During the 90s, coinciding with GBC limiting its service and handing over most of its broadcast hours to retransmissions of the BBC Europe channel, a new logo was introduced. Designed locally, the new logo featured a broken silhouette of the Rock of Gibraltar against a white background and red letters depicting the GBC TV name.

After the 1999 relaunch, GBC again rebranded to an earlier version of the current logo which is depicted by a "silver colured- wavy impression" of the silhouette of the Rock of Gibraltar. It also features "Gibraltar sunshine" represented by a yellow coloured Sun emerging from behind the Rock, and the Mediterranean Sea depicted by a "blue-coloured wavy" which also serves to underline the GBC red-coloured letters.

Recently GBC have opted for a reworking of the current logo, which uses silver colours against a blue background. The new logo is solely made up of a "silver coloured wavy" depiction of the silhouette of the Rock against a blue background and the GBC lettering now in a silver colour. The reworked version is currently appearing in the Newswatch titles, and corporate idents. The GBC website has not updated or changed the logo to the reworked version. The old logo with red lettering is still being used as the station's DOG.

Idents

GBC has introduced Gibraltar-themed idents during 2012.

During April 2012, for the first time, across London, in three different places, 55 soldiers of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment were responsible for the security and for providing the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace, St James Palace and the Tower of London, and guarding the Crown Jewels. GBC commemorated the historical occasion with a number of idents depicting the Royal Gibraltar Regiment duties in London. These idents also served to launch GBCs new style idents which have continued since.

To date there are a number of idents. Most depict Gibraltar landscapes, streets, buildings, monuments, institutions and everyday Gibraltar life. These idents are refreshed frequently and are in constant rotation.

There are also "themed" and "commemorative" idents depicting "seasons" and occasions. Summer idents have depicted Gibraltar beaches, the Sea and Gibraltar's Summer lifestyle. Commemorative idents have depicted the Golden Jubilee, National Day, and the London 2012 Olypipcs (the first with Gibraltarian participation).

New idents are planned for Autumn 2012 to coincide with GBCs new programme schedule which will see an increase in local programming.

GBC Branding Theme and scores

GBCs branding theme has been changed over the years. During the 70s and 80s GBC used a powerful orchestral type theme which was very much in line with TV station branding of the time.

Over the years and in keeping with changing styles, GBC have opted for a number of smoother sounding themes. At present GBC uses a smooth, inspirational -type track as its brand theme.

GBC themes and programme scores are not exclusively produced for GBC TV as is the case with Radio Gibraltar jingles, and are instead bought from Royalty Free Music sites. At present the GBC brand theme is also being used as the programme theme for a factual series made by a Spanish TV channel.

The Future of GBC[edit]

In summer 2007, the Government of Gibraltar announced that if it were to be re-elected in that year's elections, they would review broadcasting in Gibraltar and GBC TV and Radio would undergo a major overhaul in 2008. The GSD Government was then subsequently re-elected in 2007 for a further term. It has been said that the Government would consider privatising in full or in part broadcasting in Gibraltar.

During a function held to celebrate Radio Gibraltar's 50th anniversary, Chief Minister Peter Caruana announced that the planned review of GBC and Broadcasting in Gibraltar would take place before the end of 2008.

As at June 2009, the Government has confirmed that a full review of GBC TV and Radio was completed earlier in the year. During a session in Parliament, when asked by the Opposition, Government announced that they had no "immediate plans" to reveal details of the survey. They further added that the GBC Review is "no major priority". Any changes to GBC will be unlikely to take place before 2010.

2010: Allan King and "The Way Forward"[edit]

On 2 February 2010, the Government of Gibraltar published a paper detailing the future of GBC. Entitled "The Way Forward", the paper was based on the various recommendations made by media personality and consultant, Allan King (formerly of the UK's Sky TV), in a report commissioned by the Government. King's report is dated November 2008 and entitled "Preparing GBC for the next 50 years". Following the release of the paper, the Government has opened a period of public consultation that ran for six weeks on the future of broadcasting in Gibraltar.[2][3]

The paper recommended that GBC TV and Radio Gibraltar close up one day at midnight, and re-open the next day at 6am as a completely "New GBC" with a brand new logo, slogan, feel and programme schedule.[2]

The paper looked at different areas and stresses the importance attached to providing better facilities, technical equipment, staff development and better management in order for broadcasting to move forward and survive. The paper states that there should be more local special interest programming, in-depth documentary series, one-off programmes and local "magazine" programmes separate from news programmes. It states that there is little justification for many of the current "bought-in" programmes as they do not relate to Gibraltar, and are simply a cheap way of filling airtime. GBC's raison d'être is its service to Gibraltar, i.e. its public service broadcasting function. There could be justification for some bought-in programmes where there is genuine local interest (providing they are cost effective), and for films.[3]

The paper also mentions the need to rebalance frequency use in Gibraltar, as the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) has too many for its small audience. A second channel could be used for special events etc., or even be leased out in programming block format such as the breakfast television franchise GMTV which operates via ITV in the UK.[3]

The Way Forward also recommends that GBC take up the role of cable television operator to provide a new revenue stream for the broadcaster.[3]

On radio, King stated that Radio Gibraltar tries to cater for too wide an audience, and recommends launching a second radio station, one for a general audience with news and current affairs at its heart, with the second service targeting a younger audience.[3]

The King report initiated some debate in Gibraltar. Meanwhile Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Peter Caruana, has proposed to the GBC board that Allan King be appointed the broadcaster's first chief executive officer.[3] In late March 2010, the Board of GBC appointed Allan King as the broadcaster's first CEO for a term of three years. King began his employment with GBC on 7 April 2010.

As of July 2011 no major changes had been seen in GBC's TV broadcasting, albeit a reformatting of its daily News Programme, to shorten it substantially, and follow it with a 'Magazine' style programme. In early 2012, Radio Gibraltar has replaced its jingle with one that mirrors those in the UK. GBC's current situation is unknown.

Broadcasting Act 2012[edit]

The Broadcasting Act 2012 will replace the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation Act 1963 (GBC Act).It will transposd several EU Directives on broadcasting into Gibraltarian law. Under its provisions, GBC will continue to be a public service broadcaster offering free-to-air transmissions to the whole community. Its remit will continue to be to inform, educate and entertain.

A Bill for the Broadcasting Act 2012 was published as a Supplement to the Gibraltar Gazette in August 2012. The Gibraltar Parliament passed the Broadcasting Act 2012 on Friday 28 September 2012, which replaced the GBC Act. It was passed by Government majority, with the Opposition voting against, as it felt there were a number of technical objections which meant they could not support it.

The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, said the new Act ends the GBC's monopoly on broadcasting and introduces a regulatory structure for all broadcasting in Gibraltar.

GBC becomes a Joint-Venture and the creation of the GEN (Gibraltar Entertainment Network)[edit]

Gibraltar Entertainment Network, a company formed in Gibraltar with well-known UK television writer Kim Fuller amongst its directors was part of the arrangement pursued by the Gibraltar Government to try to give the local public service broadcaster GBC a fresh start.

Best known for his work on Not the Nine O'Clock News, Red Dwarf and Spitting Image, Mr Fuller will be one of the directors of the new joint venture company involving GBC in an arms-length deal. Another of the directors will be Anna George whose partner was Led Zeppelin's manager, as well as that of Bad Company, Maggie Bell and the Yardbirds.

An agreement was signed late August 2012 with Rightful Media, a company which includes several directors who are also directors in another Gibraltar headquartered company, Personalbest, and include Andrew Smith, Non Executive chairman and with considerable experience in global asset management for leading entities, media sales manager Brendan Golt, Anna George and Trudi Faulkner the Operations Director.

The new commercial arrangements will see the Corporation owning a 50 percent share in the Gibraltar Entertainment Network (GEN), and developing new built-for-purpose studio complexes at Europa Point, possibly by 2015. A music recording studio will also be set up. There may also be cross-over opportunities for GBC staff at the GEN.

GEN, and the new GBC, will not be fully operational for some time yet, as the estimate time of completion for the construction projects has been set at the end of 2015. GBC will however be relocating to the Ince's Hall Complex which will undergo extensive works to accommodate the broadcaster.

The Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo reiterated that the future of GBC must lie away from public funding. The new business model will see GBC teaming up with a UK entertainment company, Rightful Media to co-own the Gibraltar Entertainment Network, and taking advantage of Gibraltar's beneficial tax status to attract major productions to film and record in Gibraltar.

Autumn / Winter 2012 schedule: Local programming increased[edit]

In October 2012, GBC launches a new Autumn schedule which saw a substantial increase in local programming. The new schedule included "Stuff About Us", a brand new entertainment / variety magazine show that is on Friday nights. A new fortnightly community chat show fronted by female personalities, "Women Unleashed" alternates with "Viewpoint" on Thursdays, taking over a niche left vacant by the cancellation of "Talk About Town". Other programmes include an adventure-style programme "Living on the Edge"; "The Property programme" which looks at Gibraltar's most impressive homes and the local property market; a new gastronomy programme, "uCook", and a new religious programme, "Questions of Faith", replacing the cancelled long-running series "In Him I Trust". As part of the schedule revamp, most GBC programmes play three times over a seven-day period.

Long running programmes "Sports Report", "News Review" and "Viewpoint" continue to feature in the new schedule as does the weeknightly "Newswatch" and the chat show "Diversity". Some new international series will also feature in the new schedule, including aussie police drama Stingers and movie nights.

Autumn 2012 Programmes

Local productions (Sept. – Dec. 2012 / Cycle 1)

  • Sports Report – Weekly round-up of local sports events (On-going series)
  • Diversity – Chat show with local personalities and visitors (Programme 13 ends Series One / Aired 22 October)
  • Viewpoint – Fortnightly discussion series focusing on political issues (On-going series)
  • News Review – Weekly local news review series (On-going series)
  • Gibraltar Government Lottery Draw Live – Fortnightly broadcast of the local lottery (On-going series)
  • Stuff About Us – Friday night entertainment magazine show which airs live and includes guests, music, features and competitions.
  • Living on the Edge – Adventure-type series in which a local personality / presenter takes on challenges such as bungee jumping and sky-diving. This is GBCs first commission (produced by an independent local production company as opposed to other GBC shows which are produced in-house) (Series closed 29 November 2012)
  • The Property Market – Weekly half-hour series that talks about the local property market and also features properties for sale and rent. (Programme 6 ends series one / Aired 7 November 2012)
  • Questions of Faith – Weekly half-hour discussion series on religious issues.
  • uCook – Weekly half-hour gastronomy series (Premieres Monday 3 December 2012)
  • Women unleashed – Fortnightly chat show where local female personalities give their take on local issues
  • Exhibition – Ten Years On – Art Series. Ten years ago GBC took a close look at Gibraltar's popular artists and invited them to share their thoughts & inspirations. The new series now revisits them ten years later and looks at how they have evolved as artists.
  • Diamond Jubilee Quiz – Children's Quiz series (Premiered 29 October)
  • New Kids on the Block – Biographical series that looks at the six individuals who became MPs for the first time at the last General Election. (Premieres 14 November 2012)

Local One-Off Specials

  • Gibraltar National Day (2012) – Live broadcast of Gibraltar's National Day Celebrations.
  • Clean Up the World (Gibraltar – 2012) – Half hour special Chronicling the community's effort to clean up the World
  • Gibraltar – A Film by Anna Garcia – Feature length documentary by independent Gibraltar-born film-maker Anna Garcia. In June 2010, Ana Garcia returned home to Gibraltar to get married. Coming back to the most unique of British territories, she finds herself compelled to find out more about the history of her family and her birthplace.

As she prepares for her wedding, we are taken on a very personal journey that uncovers the inspiring story of how a small community has fought for its home and identity.

International Series

  • Stingers – Long running Australian police drama thar run for 8 seasons (192 episodes) between 1998 – 2004. (Aus Channel 9)
  • Forensic School – Factual true crime series
  • Legends of Jazz – 13 part series featuring intimate conversations and original performances by some of the world's leading musicians. (US PBS)
  • On Patrol – US factual docu-series following police officers on patrol
  • Living Coffee – Coffee Culture series
  • Making Of... – Film Preview show with behind the scenes footage.
  • Movies – A selection of older movies, made for TV movies (TVMs), cult classics and straight-to-video/DVD releases.

On Tuesday 13 November 2012, GBC TV rebranded the Tuesday Movie Slot to "Movie Time" and started a new season of recently acquired movies.

31 December 2012: Digital Switch-over[edit]

The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) signed a contract worth around $1.5M with Arqiva in the United Kingdom to provide a digital broadcasting network in Gibraltar. The network will comprise two digital television multiplexes and two digital radio multiplexes. On each television multiplex Gibraltar will be able to transmit up to six distinct programs. Each digital radio multiplex allows for four distinct programs.

The transmitters will be located at a single site on the Upper Rock, thus minimising the environmental impact of the antenna and support structures, which will replace the two television broadcasting sites of Signal Hill and O'Hara's Battery.

The digital broadcasting network will be operational by 31 December 2012, allowing Gibraltar to meet its international obligation to cease its analogue television transmissions by that date.

The contractor, Arqiva, provides much of the infrastructure behind television, radio, satellite and wireless communications in the UK.

Frequencies & Other Availability[edit]

Radio Gibraltar

  • Medium Wave 1458 kHz (206 metres)
  • FM 91.3 MHz West side of the Rock and town area.
  • FM 92.6 MHz South District, Costa del Sol and Campo de Gibraltar (Spain)
  • FM 100.5 MHz South District, Campo de Gibraltar (Spain).

GBC Television

  • VHF Channel 12 West side of Rock including town area.
  • VHF Channel 6 Town area, East Side including Catalan Bay and Costa del Sol (Spain)
  • UHF Channel 53 South District
  • UHF Channel 56 North District
  • UHF Channel 32 Gibraltar, Campo de Gibraltar (Spain)

Online: gbc.gi

Through www.gbc.gi viewers can access:

  • GBC Radio live 24/7 in both Real Audio and Windows Media formats
  • GBC Television with video on demand of local programming.
  • Daily news headlines and the evening 'Newswatch' programme.
  • Local News feature updates regularly (Introduced Summer 2012)

The website also carries advertising and competitions and also features:

  • TV and Radio schedules
  • Presenter and Staff Bios
  • Community Board

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]