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ITV chapel rejects regional cuts

17 September 2007

NUJ representatives at ITV will fight to protect regional news services at the station by any means necessary, including strike action.

An emergency meeting of ITV chapel reps passed a resolution deploring ITV's proposals to slash regional news and urged the regulator Ofcom to reject them.

The NUJ resolution said:

"The plan to cut the local news budget by £40 million will lead to the loss of many hundreds of jobs. It also signals the death of much-loved regional news programmes across the country which have been part of the fabric of viewers' lives for decades. ITV's plans, if unchallenged, would betray their loyal viewers and our members."

The NUJ believes there are alternative ways of raising sufficient funds without sacrificing regional news and jobs – the union will deliver its proposals to ITV management in planned talks during the coming weeks.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary, said:

"One of our reps at ITV called this 'a punch in the guts' and they are right – that is exactly what it is.
"NUJ members are furious about these proposals to scrap half of ITV's regional new programming. It shows a breathtaking disregard for the broadcaster's public service commitment and an arrogant disregard for communities that will lose their local news.
"We will do everything in our power to block these moves. However, if services are cut or jobs axed we will immediately urge a ballot for strike action."

Tags: , ITV, cuts, broadcasting, news, television, regional media