30/09/2008

ITV Announces Plans To Cut 430 News Jobs

ITV has announced plans to cut 430 jobs from its regional news operation.

The broadcaster announced that it will have cut around 1,000 jobs by February next year.

The cuts will affect journalists and other broadcast staff.

John Cresswell, ITV Chief Operating Officer, said: "We are committed to a self-help, self-funding solution to securing ITV's future. In order to sustain our investment in UK content, we have to keep on top of our cost base."

The National Union of Journalists has warned that any attempt by ITV to force through the changes without "meaningful negotiations" would be met with "strong resistance" including possible strike action.

NUJ National Broadcasting Organiser Paul McLaughlin said: "Unless ITV meaningfully engages with unions over its plans for the future of regional news, industrial action seems inevitable. Any attempts to force through these massive cuts will be met with strong resistance."

Mr McLaughlin added: "Today's announcement just goes to show the crisis facing public service broadcasting. Viewers will doubtless be asking how a regulator required by parliament to maintain and strengthen public service broadcasting is allowing this to happen."

The planned cuts follow news that ITV is to be allowed to cut back on its public service broadcasting commitments.

The media watchdog Ofcom has suggested that the struggling commercial broadcaster's regional news services may be reduced.

The proposals are the second phase of Ofcom's ongoing review into how public service broadcasting will survive the digital switchover in 2012.

Regional news bulletins face cut-backs after the industry regulator backed plans to slash programming.

Ofcom says ITV can cut back on regional programming by up to half as it suffers an advertising slowdown.

The proposals come under the second phase of Ofcom's review into public service broadcasting, launched as the industry faces huge changes including increased competition and the digital switchover.

See: Plans For ITV To Reduce Public Service Broadcasts

(KMcA)

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