Channel M: Wikis


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Channel m
Channel M UK.PNG
Launched 14 February 2000
Owned by Guardian Media Group
Picture format 16:9
Country  United Kingdom
Formerly called Manchester Student Television
Sky Digital Channel 203
Freesat Channel 981
Eurobird 1 11527V 27500 2/3
Service ID: 50315
Virgin Media Channel 878
(Greater Manchester only)
Internet television
Channel M Online Watch online

Channel M is a regional television station, based in Manchester. It began broadcasting on 14 February 2000 as Manchester Student Television and is owned and operated by the Guardian Media Group.



Originally an RSL station, Channel M was primarily available free to air on terrestrial in parts of Greater Manchester. In 2004 Channel M launched on the NTL platform (now part of Virgin Media), and launched on digital satellite in April 2006 - the first RSL channel to be broadcast on satellite. The channel is available on the Sky Digital service, giving the station UK-wide coverage, as well as FTA availability to broadcast across Western Europe on Astra 28.2°E.

The channel can be received on Virgin Media Channel 878 around Greater Manchester, mid-Lancashire & Cheshire and nationwide on Sky channel 203. The channel also became the first broadcaster in the region to offer its programmes on demand via broadband TV on its award-winning website.

In January 2009, the broadcasting regulator OFCOM announced that Channel M would receive a licence to broadcast on Freeview after digital switchover. On 2 December 2009, Channel M ceased broadcasting on analogue terrestrial television UHF channel 39 (615 MHz) as part of the digital switchover. Around this time, the station announced plans to launch on Freeview (digital terrestrial television) during early 2010.


News programming

From 2004 until July 2009, the station's flagship programme was the 5pm weeknight edition of Channel M News (produced in conjunction with the Manchester Evening News), which later expanded to include breakfast, lunchtime and late evening bulletins as well as a weekly review programme and occasional live specials.

On Monday 13 July 2009, Channel M's news coverage was incorporated into a magazine programme entitled Channel M Today, broadcast on weekdays between 4pm & 7pm and presented by chief news anchor Andy Crane alongside a rotating team of sports and features presenters. The programme, which also features local sport, features and entertainment coverage, is due to end on Friday 19 March 2010.[1]

Non-news programming

Originally, the main sources of programming were CHUM, Euronews, Channel M's own productions and the University of Salford. The Canadian-sourced output was gradually replaced by in-house Channel M Productions as the station invested and developed more local programming, from the station's launch on digital satellite services in April 2006 until the end of most non-news output in May 2009. Remaining GMG production is due to cease on 19th March 2010, although the channel will remain on-air using a mix of archive and acquired content.[2]

University of Salford programming was not affected by the GMG cuts of March 2010, and its output remains unchanged. Having first broadcast on Channel M in February 2000, the university continues to produce five strands of original programming, namely Reel North (short films), Zeitgeist (arts magazine), Grey Matters (studio debate), Hitting Home (documentary) and the soon-to-be-launched Wildtrack (wildlife documentary).

Past programming

Up until May 2009, GMG also produced highly acclaimed entertainment output including the comedy talk-show Frank Sidebottom's Proper Telly Show and regular music coverage. Programming such as the weekly entertainment show City Life Social and video/computer game review series Re:Loaded helped Channel M to gain interest nationally.

City Life Social, The Great Northern Music Show and In Session were Channel M's main music programmes, often presented by Gerry McLaughlin with Clint Boon as a stand-in host. These programmes usually featured live, acoustic or unplugged studio and outside broadcast performances from alternative and indie bands.

Former BBC Radio Manchester host, Granada presenter and Factory Records boss Tony Wilson was due to present a Friday evening music and entertainment show called The New Friday, produced by former Granada producer and BBC Radio Manchester host Eamonn O'Neill. However, this programme was postponed after Wilson became terminally ill with cancer. Wilson died in August 2007 and the plans for The New Friday were soon abandoned.

City Life Social (previously City Centre Social) then became the station's flagship music show, as Channel M shifted towards a greater focus on live performances within programmes. This policy continued until the music department ceased production in May 2009, shortly after the station announced severe cutbacks in staff and programming.

The cutbacks also affected the station's three-hour breakfast programme Channel M Breakfast, which had been airing on weekdays since 16 April 2007 and included regional news, weather, travel, sport, features and entertainment. The slot is now used to broadcast live footage of the area's traffic cameras to a simulcast of Real Radio North West. Other programmes to be axed included Style in the City, City Life, and The Great Manchester Football Show.


Channel M's extremely localised audience is unusual for a British television channel. This has promoted an opportunity for local advertising on a Greater Manchester-wide scale.

The majority of the commercials shown on Channel M are produced by local companies attempting to attract a localised audience. One can recognise that many of these commercials are extremely low budget. Large companies like Ikea and DFS have also advertised on Channel M, the former during the opening of Greater Manchester's first Ikea store in Ashton-under-Lyne. Channel M offers businesses an opportunity to create a television advertisement, as the channel also films, edits and produces commercials.


The channel was originally based at smaller studios in The Triangle shopping mall and the later at The Printworks entertainment complex in Manchester City Centre, until Channel M moved to the former Urbis museum in August 2005. Channel M News was previously pre-recorded until live bulletins were first broadcast in May 2006. The studio's position on the ground floor of Urbis in Manchester City Centre gives a live elevated background shot of the area around Cathedral Gardens and the Manchester Victoria Railway station.

Studio content produced by Salford University is recorded at Adelphi Building, Peru Street, Salford.


On 27 April 2009, Channel M's then-chief executive Mark Dodson announced that the station was looking to make 41 redundancies from its 74 staff and restrict weekday live programming from four programmes (totalling six hours of output) to one three-hour news magazine programme, broadcast between 4pm and 7pm, in order to cut losses.[3] The new live programme, Channel M Today launched on Monday 13 July 2009. A company review carried out by the Guardian Media Group before the announcement recommended that the station should focus on news and general sport programming.[4]

Following the announcement, Channel M axed all of its stand-alone entertainment, sport and features programming as well as the weekday breakfast show and lunchtime & evening news bulletins. News and sport coverage was incorporated into Channel M Today.

In February 2010, the station's owners Guardian Media Group were reported to be in talks with staff regarding options for Channel M's future after the company sold off 32 of its regional newspaper titles, including the Manchester Evening News, to Trinity Mirror for £44.8 million.[5]

A month later, the station announced its remaining in-house regional programmes, including the flagship magazine show Channel M Today, would cease production by Friday 19 March 2010. Consequently, 29 of the station's 33 staff are reported to be losing their jobs.[6] GMG now plans to air live footage of traffic cameras, archived programming and Euronews simulcasts in the short term.[7]

Original programming continues to be produced and broadcast by the University of Salford which was unaffected by GMG cutbacks of March 2010. The university's output consists of five strands of programming: Grey Matters, Wildtrack, and three award-winning strands - Hitting Home, Reel North and Zeitgeist.


  • Channel M Playlist
  • Channel M Plays Pop
  • Channel M Today
  • The Football Debate Show
  • The Homesmine (previously Homesearch)
  • The Jobsmine (previously Jobsearch)

Previous in-house programmes

  • 30 Minutes of...
  • 4 Manchester
  • The Biker Show
  • Channel M Breakfast
  • Channel M Lunchtime News
  • Channel M Late News
  • Channel M News Live
  • Channel M News Review
  • City Centre Social
  • The City Debate Show
  • City Life Comedian of the Year
  • City Life Social
  • Code XIII
  • Code XIII: Grassroots
  • Community Focus
  • Cookin' Impossible
  • Crime Team
  • Fashion Face Off
  • FC United
  • Frank Sidebottom's Proper Telly Show
  • The Great Manchester Football Show
  • The Great Northern Music Show
  • I Love Manchester
  • In Session
  • Inside MCFC
  • The Lancashire Cricket Show
  • The Latics Football Show
  • Made in Manchester
  • Manchester Exchange
  • Manchester Fight Night
  • Manchester Unlimited
  • M:usic Live
  • The Phoenix Ice Hockey Show
  • Re:Loaded
  • The Run
  • Seconds Out
  • Sports Central
  • Style In The City
  • Talking Sharks
  • The United Debate Show

Imported programmes

Programmes produced by CHUM TV included:

  • Star at The Movies
  • Arts and Minds
  • In Fashion
  • Best! Movies! Ever!

N.B. Imported programmes are no longer broadcast.

University of Salford programmes

Presenters and Reporters

  • Ben Bland
  • Michael Billington
  • Georja Calvin-Smith
  • Andy Crane
  • Nikki Dean
  • Andy Dickman
  • Joe Evans
  • Jemma Gofton
  • Emily Clarke
  • Ian Irving
  • Gerry McLaughlin
  • Nikki Dean
  • Natalie Quirk
  • Jude Vause-Walsh
  • Nina Warhurst
  • James Webster
  • John Robb
  • Miz DeShannon

Royal Television Society (North West) Awards

Channel M programmes have been short-listed for RTS (NW) Awards on numerous occasions since 2001 and have won a total of seven times - once for GMG-generated content (Andy Crane) and six times for the University of Salford. In addition to programme awards, the station's website won the RTS Best Online award in 2008.

Programme Winners

  • Hitting Home: Final Clearance - Best Cable, Satellite or RSL programme (2001)
  • Channel M - Best Newcomers (2005)
  • Hitting Home: Displaced - Best Regional Programme (2005)
  • Reel North - Best Regional Programme (2006)
  • Nigel Hoar & Angela Byrne - Best Newcomers (2008)
  • Zeitgeist - Best Low Budget Programme (2009)
  • Andy Crane - Best Regional Presenter (2009)

See also


External links

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