By James Welsh, International Editor
Ofcom 'to allow' ITV regional news cuts
Ofcom will allow ITV to reduce its regional news commitments as part
of a package of reforms to the UK's public service broadcasting
regulatory framework, according to a document leaked to The Guardian
The regulator, which prepared the document for the second phase of its
public service broadcasting review, will allow ITV to proceed with
plans to cut regional news in "sub-regions", and also reduce its
current affairs and out-of-London production quotas. It will not,
however, be allowed to merge Border and Westcountry with neighbouring
Channel 3 franchises.
Other plans outlined in the document include breaking the direct link
between the television licence fee and the BBC, by sharing "excess"
fee monies after digital switchover to other broadcasters such as
Channel 4 starting in 2012.
An Ofcom spokesperson denied that any decision "has been made yet with
regards to ITV's request to reduce its regional news production".