Group W, how I miss thee
You may have heard at some point or another that television used to be much more community oriented, and been confused by that remark being that local TV stations do in fact stay within their local markets.
What you don't know was the very, very significant effort by certain broadcast groups to bring the highest quality television you could watch.
I was very fortunate to have experienced television in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a child where some of the absolute BEST programming that ever existed was being aired. It truly was a golden age of TV.
Group W was a partnership between broadcast television stations with a simple goal - bring better television to the masses. But it's how they did it that was incredible.
The method was simple. Let the stations retain their identity. Let them purposely concentrate on staying very local. Let them put forward a genuine effort towards connecting with the community. Share ideas between other stations in the network. Discuss what works and what doesn't.
Like I said, it was incredible. It allowed the stations to keep their markets while expanding and furthermore not lose control of what they broadcast.
It's a genius concept in television. Truly. Too bad it's not used anymore.
Here's a Group W orientation tape. Pay very close attention to what they believe are the best parts of being in Group W. It's "community" every single time.
The Group W station I watched as a kid was WBZ-TV 4 in Boston, Massachusetts. They still exist, obviously (they've always commanded a gigantic local market), but they're nothing like they once were.
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