Media / Talk of the Trade: Ahead of its time?

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The Independent Online
THE QUESTION of what happens to nine years of TV-am programmes came up at the breakfast station's emotional champagne closing-down party last Thursday. Its executives do not have a particularly inflated view of the value of the archives. They think it may be 20 years before some of its golden moments - notably Roland Rat, rescuer of the sinking ship - come to be valued as period pieces.

The company, as it winds down, is likely to give its archives to an outside operator for safekeeping. One irony of the station's demise, and its replacement by a company offering a virtual carbon copy of its programming, is that in 1987 Britain was the host country for a European-wide conference on breakfast television and how to do it, with TV-am held up as the pioneer of the new genre.

But in an era when the highest bid is what matters, such plaudits carry negligible weight.