ITV Meridian Ltd (formerly and more commonly known as Meridian Broadcasting) is the holder of the ITV franchise for South and South East England. It has been broadcasting since 1 January 1993, when it replaced TVS. The main headquarters were situated at studios in Northam, Southampton (previously used by both Southern and TVS), but in December 2004 they moved to part of an office building on the Solent Business Park, near Whiteley, Hampshire; as a result, Meridian’s role has gradually been reduced from producing a wide variety of regional and network programming (as it did since 1993, when it inherited a large studio complex in Southampton) to producing little more than regional news bulletins which are a contractual obligation (as it does today).
Meridian’s first ident was a colourful affair. It burst onto our screens when they took over the franchise in 1993. There were three soundtracks to this ident, a formal version to link to the news, a soft version for soaps and dramas, and a rock version for more entertaining programming.
Evening Ident This glass version of the 1993 Meridian ident was broadcast late at night, and was never seen during the day. Shame really, as this would have made a great daytime ident.
Unused ident This ident was seen during the first edition of Meridian News, as part of a promotional video. It was never used as an ident on-screen.
Breakbumper The funky original breakbumper. An interesting take on the sun/face logo.
Promo With thanks to Aidan Lunn
1996-98 The second Meridian ident was introduced in September 1996. Unlike the previous ident, there were only two versions of the soundtrack. The rock-star style music was withdrawn.
With Granada and Carlton failing to agree on a design for the generic Heart idents, Meridian plugged the gap by introducing this ident on the 8th November 1998. No surprises in terms of design, the third and final local ident from the south used the same formula as the idents that preceded it. It lasted a year before the re-edited GMG Hearts finally took to the airwaves.
This was the breakbumper that was used at the time. Very unimaginative.
Menus With thanks to Aidan Lunn
Jan – Autumn 1993 Slides With thanks to Aidan Lunn
Auttum 1993 – 1994 Slides
Films Promo: Autumn 1993
1995-1996 – slides With thanks to Aidan Lunn and Benriggers.
Films Promo: 1996
1996-1999 slides With thanks to Benriggers.
Promotions Sting This style of sting was also used in the Anglia and HTV regions.
Coming Up Caption
Meridian adopted the hearts motif used across most of the ITV network in 1999. The familiar sun logo was reduced to a smudge in a blue box.
2001-2002 The hearts idents were updated in 2001 to co-incide with the new ITV1 branding.
2002-2004 Regional continuity was thrown out the window in 2002, although regional idents still appeared before local programmes. The Meridian logo was gone forever…