MEDIA: Observer spruces up its TV coverage

The Observer is to revamp its TV and films coverage from this Sunday (26 November), with the creation of a new supplement, Observer TV.

The Observer is to revamp its TV and films coverage from this Sunday (26 November), with the creation of a new supplement, Observer TV.

The Sunday broadsheet's new 40-page full colour TV and radio listings section is overseen by current television editor Mike Bradley. In a first for the paper, three regional versions - covering the Granada, Carlton and Central TV areas - will be printed.

The idea is to create a less cumbersome keep-through-the-week guide than the newspaper's erstwhile Screen supplement, which contained features as well as listings.

Features on film and television will now be consolidated in the existing Review section, which increases from 16 to 20 pages with greater use of colour.

Edited by Lisa O'Kelly, Review will still contain arts and books reviews and features, as well as comment on cultural matters. Akin Ojumu, who has been overseeing the features in Screen for a few months, will handle the same dedicated pages in their new home, although he now will report to O'Kelly. It is 'more logical' to locate related features next to the reviews of the latest cinema releases, said Observer assistant editor Robert Yates.

'The features in Screen have been very well received in terms of content and attitude,' he continued. 'We want to retain that spirit. But we also wanted to offer a very good TV listings package; you can imagine readers putting OTV on top of their sets.'

There will also be more coverage of cable and satellite programming, Yates said. OTV will group programmes and films by genre too. 'It is a neater format,' he added.

The Observer's Screen, which previously appeared inside the 24 or 28 page Escape travel section, is now defunct. However, Escape will remain as a separate section, Yates said. 'The changes will allow us to up-page with greater flexibility,' he added. There would also be greater use of colour.

OTV will be 128mm by 210mm in landscape format.



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