ITV News Channel to close

Broadcaster ITV is to close its News Channel, it announced today.

Around 70 mostly editorial jobs are expected to go as a result, according to sources.

The National Union of Journalists condemned the move as an "absolute outrage".

Director of Television for ITV Simon Shaps said: "The question we have asked ourselves is what does news look like in five or 10 years' time?

"The answer is that it looks very different from the traditional 24-hour rolling news format that we are used to now.

"Increasingly, viewers will want news on demand via a variety of different platforms and we are investing in the technology and expertise to deliver that."

The News Channel is made by ITN. It is not yet known when it will close.

NUJ national broadcasting organiser Paul McLaughlin said: "This is an absolute outrage because in making this decision, ITV are basically signalling their intention to remove themselves as serious players in news coverage.

"It is a devastating blow for ITN staff in the run-up to Christmas, a real disaster.

"It just shows ITV are abandoning their commitment to news. They had consistently said they care about it but their actions speak far louder than words."

The NUJ would be holding an emergency meeting, Mr McLaughlin said.

"We are certainly not going to take this lying down," he added.

The demise of the channel leaves BBC News 24 and Sky News as the big players inthe British 24-hour news market.

ITV said it would make significant additional investment to expand its national and international newsgathering operations and increase "its focus on developing new media solutions".

It will introduce news bulletins on ITV2 and ITV3, and expand newsgathering in the north of the UK, with increased emphasis on sports news.

It said it would expand its news unit, including a "breaking news team" ready to broadcast open-ended news coverage if necessary.

ITV news and regions chief executive Clive Jones said: "News remains at the heart of ITV's public service commitment, which is why we need to safeguard its future health.

"By reinvesting this money in the flagship news shows and exploring new media opportunities, we will guarantee that the ITV News stays powerful and relevant in the digital age."

Staff were told the news at a half-hour meeting this morning with Mr Jones, andITN chief executive Mark Woods.

The channel, which launched in August 2000, has been losing millions of pounds.It is expected to close by the end of January or early February.

An ITV spokeswoman said it hoped to re-employ as many people as possible. Around 70 staff work on the channel.

Today's announcement will free up space on Freeview, where ITV is launching a children's channel in February.

The news channel's hours were cut on Freeview two months ago.

The channel has been fronted by a roster of presenters, including Alastair Stewart, who will continue working on ITV1's regional programme London Tonight and other news bulletins.

ITV said today's announcement would result in a £2 million investment in its news programming.

It is investing in newsgathering technology and creating a news bureau in Beijing.

Regional news will also be strengthened and broadband and mobile on-demand services are being developed.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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 Media

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Campaign Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency is currently ...

BI Analyst

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency in Central Lo...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little