South Australian regional television station GTS4 celebrated its 40th anniversary on the weekend.
The station, based in Port Pirie and licenced to Spencer Gulf Telecasters, commenced operation on 1 March 1968. It was the second commercial regional channel in South Australia, after SES8 Mount Gambier which commenced two years earlier.
In 1974, GTS4 partnered with Broken Hill station BKN7 (which launched in August 1968) and both stations have broadcast a common schedule since then. In the early-’90s, both stations became part of the Central Television Network sales alliance, with other South Australian regional stations and Alice Springs-based Imparja, but were the only members to inherit the Central branding on-air.
By that stage, Central GTS-BKN, as it became known, featured predominantly a Seven Network schedule with some contributions from the other networks. In 2003, GTS-BKN which by then was owned by the Southern Cross Broadcasting group, was assigned a secondary television licence, permitting it to operate a second signal in its local coverage areas, and chose to align GTS-BKN as a solely Seven-fed outlet, and launched its second service as a Ten Network relay, Southern Cross Ten.
The original GTS-BKN stations were subsequently re-branded Southern Cross GTS-BKN. Both stations now cover a population of 131,000.
Southern Cross GTS-BKN and Southern Cross Ten are now part of the Macquarie Media Group following its acquisition of Southern Cross Broadcasting television stations and branding.
Source: Australian TV Archive