Stv Joins With ITN And Bauer Media To Announce Ifnc Bid
Broadcaster STV has today announced that it has formed a consortium with ITN and Bauer Media and will be bidding to run the Independently Funded News Consortia (IFNC) news pilot scheme in Scotland. The consortium will be known as the Scottish News Network.
The established media companies will pitch for public funding for the IFNC pilot, the initiative which was announced in the Digital Britain White Paper earlier this year.
The Scottish News Network proposes to provide extensive newsgathering and production resources to provide national, Scotland-wide and local content, across multi-platforms.
STV is the current provider of the Channel 3 service in Scotland and is one of the UK's top performing news regions. STV News at Six is watched by around 400,000 viewers each evening and reaches 1.6m people per month.
ITN is the UK's leading supplier of independent broadcast news, producing news bulletins for both ITV and Channel 4. It has 55 years' experience of competing with the BBC to provide high-quality, impartial news and analysis which reaches more than 10 million viewers and users every day.
Bauer Media stations across Scotland attract around 1.7 million people, more than 40% of the national listening audience, every week.
The partner organisations forming the consortium have universal distribution within their respective licence areas and reach on average 98% of the Scottish audience every week. The vast scale of their reach and scale would ensure true plurality aside from the BBC and consumer choice of news provision in Scotland.
Rob Woodward, Chief Executive of STV Group plc said: 'As the current provider of television news on the Channel 3 Network in Scotland, we believe that our track record in production and innovation, our strong ratings for our news service, combined with the additional expertise from ITN and Bauer will result in a compelling and exciting proposition. We are delighted to launch this strategic partnership with these highly regarded, complementary media organisations. Our consortium will create a wide-reaching new delivery model, helping to ensure the continuation of a well-funded, comprehensive and high quality news service on Channel 3 in Scotland.'
John Hardie, Chief Executive Officer of ITN, said: 'We're proud to be working on this unique pilot with partners who have a rich journalistic heritage in the nation. ITN's experience and technological capabilities mean that together we will offer the most comprehensive independent news service Scotland has ever enjoyed."
Graham Bryce, Managing Director for Bauer Radio Scotland said: "As Scotland's number one commercial radio operator, Bauer Media reaches around 1.7m people on air and on line every week with must have news, sport and entertainment. The expertise of our Award-winning local reporters and sports journalists is reflected in the calibre and extent of our existing coverage.'
'Harnessing our existing strength as a trusted news source and coming together with leading TV broadcasters STV and ITN to bid for the IFNC news pilot scheme will enable us all to develop an innovative, multi-platform approach to news gathering, production and broadcast in Scotland that I have no doubt will significantly benefit listeners and viewers across the country.'