ITN, the production company behind ITV News, is receiving numerous complaints about Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.
The controversial host, who sits alongside Susanna Reid, often sparks outrage with comments made during fiery debates. Disgruntled viewers are venting their anger towards Morgan by contacting ITN, however there is nothing that they can do as they don’t produce the breakfast show.
Viewers could be forgiven for thinking that Good Morning Britain is an ITN production given that the programme is saturated with ITV News branding.
ITN was founded in 1955 and currently produces news for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. ITV Plc are the biggest shareholders in the company with a 40% stake. 1999 saw the biggest change to the ITV network when News at Ten was axed and the ITN branding dropped in favour of ITV News.
Viewers have questioned in recent months how the presenters of Good Morning Britain are allowed to voice their opinions on air surrounded by ITV News branding. Television news is subject to strict rules set out by the media regulator Ofcom.
ATV Today understands that ITV Plc has responsibility for all news content that sits under the ITV News banner. The branding is used on all national news programmes, local news on ITV and Good Morning Britain.
The only programmes produced by ITN are the main national programmes, such as News at Ten and the regional ITV News London. Although Good Morning Britain uses the ITV News branding on-screen, its news team sits within ITV Daytime’s division.
Alastair Stewart stepped down from hosting duties at ITV News after a 40 year career with ITN following an incident on Twitter. The veteran broadcaster quoted Shakespeare to a black Twitter user which contained the words “angry ape.”
ITN refused to state the specifics leading to Stewart’s departure but the departure caused some to question how Piers Morgan remains on air despite making numerous controversial comments both on and off-air.
The Good Morning Britain presenters are not hired by ITN, so therefore do not have to follow the same code of conduct that would be expected by ITN presenters and journalists. That said, an ITV department within ITN and ITV Plc has ultimate responsibility for everything that sits under the ITV News brand.
Since the show launched in 2014, its use of the ITV News branding has quickly increased but as far as we understand, there is no current partnership with ITN and Good Morning Britain.
ATV Today contacted ITN for comment, who, after initially engaging with us, went silent.