DCMS considers bids for pilot regional TV news bulletins

LONDON - The Department of Culture, Media and Sport will this week start whittling down the applications for the right to produce regional news bulletins on ITV, with a final decision expected as early as March.

Ben Bradshaw, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Ben Bradshaw, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Trinity Mirror, Bauer Radio and Johnston Press are among the media companies bidding for the right to produce regional news bulletins that ITV can no longer afford to produce itself.

Three pilot news services in the north-east of England, Scotland and Wales are up for bid. 

Scottish newspaper publishers including DC Thomson and Johnston Press are expected to announce they are joining up with Mentorn, which produces BBC 1's Question Time, to bid for the Scottish pilot.

The consortium will face rival bids from STV, holder of the Scottish ITV licence, ITN, Trinity Mirror, the Press Association and web production company Ten Alps.

The schemes are set to be up and running by the end of this year and will be expanded to a full roll-out to the rest of the UK by 2013. To help meet the cost of providing the services, they will be awarded BBC licence fee money.

The Government believes more localised services can be offered under the new arrangement.

The DCMS was unavailable for comment.

 

 

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