ITV jobs at risk under Ofcom plan

Announced proposals cut commitments

LONDON — Hundreds of jobs are at risk at Blighty’s commercial broadcaster ITV as regulator Ofcom announced proposals to dramatically cut its public service commitments, including regional news shows.

A union official denounced Ofcom, which published the second phase of its public service broadcasting review on Thursday, as a “failed” regulator.

But investors reacted favorably to the plan. ITV’s stock price surged by 8% in early trading to 46p subsequently falling back to 44.5p.

ITV stands to save an estimated £40 million ($74 million) a year by scaling back local news shows.

The regulator described the move as “a credible means to sustain quality national and regional news services on ITV1,” but unions were scathing.

Luke Crawley, assistant general secretary at U.K. technicians’ union Bectu, warned that between 300-400 jobs could be lost.

National Union of Journalists general secretary Jeremy Dear said Ofcom had merely rubber-stamped ITV’s proposals.

He said: “It is failing in its duty to protect public service broadcasting. It is failing to guarantee a future for diverse regional news. It is failing to adequately represent the interests of citizens.”

But Ofcom, announcing an extra $435 million of public funding was needed by 2012 to ensure the BBC did not end up as the U.K.’s sole pubcaster, insisted it was committed to maintaining plurality in the provision of public service broadcasting.

In a statement ITV said: “We have consistently argued that the regulatory costs and commercial benefits of holding the ITV licenses need to be re-balanced between now and analog switch off in 2012.

“We welcome Ofcom’s acknowledgement of the need to strike the right balance between these costs and benefits, which is reflected in its proposals for ITV’s regional news services and regional non-news programs.”

More TV

  • Arrested Development Season 5 review

    TV Review: 'Arrested Development' Season 5 on Netflix

    LONDON — Hundreds of jobs are at risk at Blighty’s commercial broadcaster ITV as regulator Ofcom announced proposals to dramatically cut its public service commitments, including regional news shows. A union official denounced Ofcom, which published the second phase of its public service broadcasting review on Thursday, as a “failed” regulator. But investors reacted favorably […]

  • Showtime Executive, Gary Garfinkle.Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS©2012

    Gary Garfinkel, Co-Head of Content Acquisitions at Showtime, Dies at 55

    LONDON — Hundreds of jobs are at risk at Blighty’s commercial broadcaster ITV as regulator Ofcom announced proposals to dramatically cut its public service commitments, including regional news shows. A union official denounced Ofcom, which published the second phase of its public service broadcasting review on Thursday, as a “failed” regulator. But investors reacted favorably […]

  • KIM POSSIBLE - The cast of

    'Kim Possible' Disney Channel Movie Casts Its Dr. Drakken, Shego, Other Key Characters

    LONDON — Hundreds of jobs are at risk at Blighty’s commercial broadcaster ITV as regulator Ofcom announced proposals to dramatically cut its public service commitments, including regional news shows. A union official denounced Ofcom, which published the second phase of its public service broadcasting review on Thursday, as a “failed” regulator. But investors reacted favorably […]

  • Ted Danson Remote Controlled Podcast

    Remote Controlled: 'The Good Place' Star Ted Danson on His 'Delicious' Role

    LONDON — Hundreds of jobs are at risk at Blighty’s commercial broadcaster ITV as regulator Ofcom announced proposals to dramatically cut its public service commitments, including regional news shows. A union official denounced Ofcom, which published the second phase of its public service broadcasting review on Thursday, as a “failed” regulator. But investors reacted favorably […]

  • Josh Holloway Colony

    Josh Holloway on Season 3 of 'Colony' in Trump Era: 'It's Scary, the Parallels of This Show'

    LONDON — Hundreds of jobs are at risk at Blighty’s commercial broadcaster ITV as regulator Ofcom announced proposals to dramatically cut its public service commitments, including regional news shows. A union official denounced Ofcom, which published the second phase of its public service broadcasting review on Thursday, as a “failed” regulator. But investors reacted favorably […]

  • Mick Betancourt Joins Syfy's 'Deadly Class'

    Mick Betancourt Joins Syfy's 'Deadly Class' in Showrunner Switch

    LONDON — Hundreds of jobs are at risk at Blighty’s commercial broadcaster ITV as regulator Ofcom announced proposals to dramatically cut its public service commitments, including regional news shows. A union official denounced Ofcom, which published the second phase of its public service broadcasting review on Thursday, as a “failed” regulator. But investors reacted favorably […]

  • george shapiro First Time in Variety

    Veteran Talent Manager George Shapiro Looks Back on Early Career

    LONDON — Hundreds of jobs are at risk at Blighty’s commercial broadcaster ITV as regulator Ofcom announced proposals to dramatically cut its public service commitments, including regional news shows. A union official denounced Ofcom, which published the second phase of its public service broadcasting review on Thursday, as a “failed” regulator. But investors reacted favorably […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content