Regional publishers win local TV news contracts

LONDON - Consortia involving regional publishers Johnston Press, Newsquest, the Press Association, Trinity Mirror, and Northern Irish broadcaster UTV, have been awarded the controversial regional news contracts for channel three, currently held by ITV.

Ben Bradshaw: revealed preferred bidders for IFNCs
Ben Bradshaw: revealed preferred bidders for IFNCs

The Government announced its preferred bidders for the three independently funded news consortia (IFNC) pilots in Scotland, Wales and the Tyne Tees/Border region in England.

In Scotland, the preferred bidder is the Scottish News Consortium comprising Johnston Press, Newsquest, DC Thomson and independent TV production company Tinopolis.

In Wales, regional news will be produced by UTV, the channel three licence holder in Northern Ireland, working with regional publisher NWN media.

The preferred bidder in the Tyne Tees/Border region is News 3, which includes publisher Trinity Mirror, wire service Press Association, and the independent TV production company Ten Alps.

The government proposed that IFNCs could deliver regional TV news after ITV said it would not be able to afford to continue to produce regional news after the digital TV switchover is completed.

The initial pilots will run for two years and will produce news content across the web, mobile, and other new platforms, along with the television slot currently occupied by ITV and STV regional news, and will be paid for by £47m of surplus money from the digital switchover fund.

Labour culture secretary Ben Bradshaw said: "The funding available to these consortia represents a massive commitment from this government to help encourage the long-term sustainability of news in the nation, locally and in the regions. I hope this focussed work will now continue with everyone working together to ensure these pilots are up and running by the end of the year."

A spokesman from the department for culture, media and sport confirmed that following a 10-day legal standstill, detailed contact negotiations will be entered into with each of the winning bids, with a view to finalising the deal in April or May.

Should a general election be called before the contacts are finalised, the negotiations will be put on hold until after the election.

This is a significant caveat, because the Conservative Party has been vocal in its opposition to the plans and in its intention to "legally unpick them" if it wins the election.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

PHD co-founder Jonathan Durden reflects 25 years on

PHD co-founder Jonathan Durden reflects 25 years on

Who knew that a global phenomenon could be spawned from such humble beginnings? PHD co-founder Jonathan Durden takes a trip down memory lane.

Share
Friday's lesson? We should all be more unprofessional

Friday's lesson? We should all be more unprofessional

What kind of time is 18:05 to you? Home time? Carry on working time? Bloody big glass of wine time? At Brand Republic we know it's often time to recoup, when the day's meetings are over and you can catch up on the most important developments of the day. Our 18:05 digest brings you the five things you need to know at the end of every day. Whether it's the top news stories, what's trending on social, what the wider media is saying or irreverent inspiration for your journey home - we've got it covered. And don't worry, we'll keep it short.

Share
#MediaWeek30 set for bumper issue and party on 29 April

#MediaWeek30 set for bumper issue and party on 29 April

Media Week's 30th celebrations are taking shape, offering the chance for the UK's vibrant commercial media businesses to get involved.

Share

Get news by email