STV on providing news service “relevant for Scotland”

STV have told ATV Today that they are continually looking at ways to deliver a “commercially sustainable news service relevant for Scotland”.

STV has been in the news over the past year for opting out more from network ITV programming for which it has come into criticism for. There was talk of possibly opting out of ITV News programmes and adopt an STV News Hour covering a mixture of Scottish, UK and International news, although this idea seems to have fizzled out. STV told us “STV remains committed to finding a solution to enable delivery of a commercially sustainable news service relevant for Scotland as a devolved nation.”

STV’s news service reaches over 1.5m people each week and during 2010 has consistently achieved audience share of 25%. STV added “Our current news service delivers high quality news at a national, regional and local level and we have identified a number of operating models which would enable us to continue to deliver this highly valued service to our audiences.”

The launch of STV Local in September, with the introduction of six hyper local news websites has been a success. Rob Woodward, STV’s Chief Executive said at the time “Over the next 18 months, we intend to roll out the pilot service to the vast majority of the Scottish population. This is entirely an STV- funded, ad-supported initiative for our audience, and it’s a logical progression from our strategy on air.”

With regards to more ultra local news programming on STV, a spokesperson told us “During 2007, we introduced micro-regional bulletins into our daily news coverage providing our viewers across Scotland with a daily local news service from our regional news centres located across Scotland. This feature of our news programmes is often the most highly watched and demonstrated the appetite for relevant and high quality local news content.”