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Yorkshire quits bid for ITV channel

Yorkshire-Tyne Tees yesterday became the latest company to announce publicly it was bowing out of the bidding to help run the fifth ITV channel. Earlier this month the media and music group Chrysalis said it would not pursue an application.

Yorkshire said it could not discuss the reasons for its withdrawal, but it is thought that the likely strain on the company's balance sheet caused by a commitment to Channel 5 was a key factor. The company has only recently returned to profit.

The Yorkshire move came just a day after the resignation of its managing director, John Fairley, although a spokesman said the events were unconnected. It is likely to cast further doubt on the attractiveness of the new channel ahead of the 2 May deadline for bids.

The company was part of a consortium that included British Sky Broadcasting and Granada, the group that owns the north-west of England ITV contractor of the same name and LWT, the London weekend broadcaster. Neither has yet admitted to being involved in any Channel 5 consortium and neither would comment on Yorkshire's move.