ITN misses out as Johnston and Trinity snap up ITV news rights
Friday 26 March 2010
Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror have been named among the successful bidders to provide regional news for ITV, but ITN lost out.
The Culture Secretary, Ben Bradshaw, announced the preferred bidders for the three independently funded news consortia pilots yesterday.
The move is designed to provide sustainable local and regional news in the long term. The Government said it would offer the successful consortia £47m in funding over two years, which will come from the digital switchover surplus from the BBC licence fee.
The regional news strategy was a commitment from the Digital Britain White Paper, published in June. The procurement process started "at the back end of last year", a spokeswoman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said, and the shortlist was whittled down to eight.
The pilots will cover three regions across the UK. The Scottish News Consortium – comprising Johnston Press, the Herald and Times Group, the Beano publisher DC Thomson and Question Time producer Tinopolis – was named as the preferred bidder for Scotland.
Wales will be covered by UTV, which has teamed up with NWM Media, a regional publishing company. The Tyne Tees and Border regions of England will be covered by the News 3 consortium, made up of Trinity Mirror, the Press Association and Ten Alps, the TV production company backed by Bob Geldof.
A spokeswoman for ITN said the company was "disappointed" not to have been selected. "ITN remains totally committed to the importance of regional news and we hope these pilots are a step in the right direction to a longer-term solution for the nations and regions," she said.
Mr Bradshaw said the funding was a "massive commitment from this Government to help encourage the long-term sustainability of news in the nations, locally and in the regions". He hopes the pilots will be up and running by the end of the year.
There will now be a legal "standstill" of 10 days to allow challenges to the decision. ITV welcomed the completion of the first phase, but added there would be "no further steps taken until the election outcome is known and the position on future funding is clear".
The announcement was criticised by the shadow Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who said it was "ridiculous" for the process to continue so close to the election. "Why are they dangling public money in front of a struggling sector when the chances of this being the long-term solution is completely dependent on which party wins in May?" he said. The Tories have pledged to scrap the pilots if they win.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...