Yorkshire switches off Tyne Tees operations

Yorkshire-Tyne Tees, the UK's fourth largest independent television group, is to close down virtually all the Tyne Tees operations - in possible contravention of the terms of Tyne Tees' successful ITV licence applications and undertakings given by the companies when they merged last year.

The plan was drawn up by Alan Hardy, the deputy managing director of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees, and approved at a board meeting last week. The first casualty came on Friday, when Ian Ritchie, the managing director of Tyne-Tees, resigned.

His resignation followed months of battles with Clive Leach, the managing director of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees, over the future of the company. 'Clive has been consistent about what he wants and why, but Ian thought he could make him see sense,' said one Tyne Tees insider.

Three non-executive directors of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees and two directors of Tyne Tees are understood to be considering their positions. Senior staff at Tyne Tees' Newcastle offices have also said they may resign.

In addition, Yorkshire-Tyne Tees runs the risk that the Independent Television Commission, which regulates commercial television, may review Tyne-Tees' ITV licence and could even revoke it.

Yorkshire-Tyne Tees has been told by David Glencross, chief executive of the ITC, that he will take no action until the plans are implemented, but if there is a significant change to programme quality the ITC may intervene.

A number of senior figures from Tyne Tees are also sounding out local politicians, including two senior Labour MPs, Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, to see if they can intervene. 'The row over Tyne Tees is going to make Anne Clywd's challenge to Granada's licence sound like a storm in a teacup,' said a source close to the group.

Granada TV, which unsuccessfully bid against Tyne-Tees for the North-East franchise, is believed to be interested in picking up the pieces if the franchise is taken away from Yorkshire-Tyne Tees.

Mr Hardy's plan involves transferring all the operations of Tyne Tees' studios in City Road, Newcastle - apart from the making of local news programmes - to the group's headquarters in Leeds. This would involve the loss of up to 100 jobs, on top of the 300 redundancies implemented by Yorkshire-Tyne Tees last autumn.

The plan will end Tyne Tees' position as a separate company. Mr Hardy has also proposed that the City Road studios be closed and a smaller site in Newcastle be found. However, this has not yet been agreed.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own