Anger at jobs axe as STV shuts channel

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 17, 2018

The closure of STV2, which was launched last spring following a merger of local and city digital services around Scotland, will mean the end of STV News Tonight, its flagship 7pm nightly news programme anchored from Glasgow by Halla Mohieddeen, with 25 jobs affected.

Scottish broadcaster STV is shutting down its STV2 channel at the end of June, with content investment shifting to the STV main channel and STV Player.

The withdrawal marks a broader shift toward online content at the broadcaster which has just published its three-year growth plan that sets out how it intends to draw over a third of profits from beyond linear TV advertising by 2020.

STV announced this morning a swathe of cuts to staff which will allow them to move forward as Scotland's home of news and entertainment.

Bobby Hain will be appointed Managing Director of Broadcast and two other Managing Directors for the Digital and Production divisions will be recruited shortly to a "leaner management team".

"More under 55s browse STV news online than watch our regular bulletins", it said.

STV is to close its loss-making STV2 channel as part of a major three-year restructuring plan that will result in 59 job losses.

In April, Alan Clements, the head of STV Productions, announced that he was leaving the company after a decade. "We also find it freakish that the Edinburgh edition of STV News at Six will cease and will be replaced with a 10-minute opt".

Mr Pitts described the resturcutre as a "positive vision" that would "reestablish the company as a creative force in Scotland and beyond". "The NUJ will work with STV management to try to reduce the number of redundancies required, and we are resolved that compulsory redundancies will be strongly opposed".

STV said its growth strategy aims to establish the producer-broadcaster as Scotland's "home of news and entertainment". However, given how quickly news consumption is changing it is vital that STV evolves to stay competitive, and we are therefore launching a comprehensive change programme - STV News 2020 - that will see us invest in skills, technology and digital as well as delivering cost savings.

He thanked the STV2 team for everything they had achieved. We will use our unique marketing platform to showcase new formats from STV Productions, drive viewing to STV Player and get even closer to advertisers through the launch of our new Growth Fund for Scottish business.

The formats unit will focus on ideas for the United Kingdom and worldwide markets, with pilots airing on STV.

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