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STV axes channel, cuts jobs

Scottish broadcaster STV is axing one of its channels, revamping its on-demand service and cutting  59 jobs after agreeing a deal to sell part of its operation.

Simon Pitts

STV2, which was only launched in 2017 and operates in five Scottish cities, will be closed with the loss of 25 jobs. A deal has been lined up to sell STV’s local TV interests to UK media group That’s Media.

A further 34 positions will go from its STV News operation as the broadcaster looks to save £2m (US$2.7m) a year.

STV is looking to refocus its efforts on flagship network STV and on -demand service STV Player, with a new advertising-free subscription version in the works. It has also pledged to self-fund a £15m investment in original content.

The changes were outlined in its three-year growth plan unveiled today, with the broadcaster aiming to secure more than a third of its profits away from linear TV by 2020.

“As a result of the challenging economics of local television and anticipated increased competition from BBC Scotland, we have taken the difficult decision to close our loss-making STV2 channel to focus our future content investment on STV and the STV Player,” said recently appointed CEO Simon Pitts.

He joined STV last year to replace Rob Woodward, having previously worked across online operations at UK commercial broadcaster ITV.

Pitts added: “News is fundamental to the STV brand and we remain committed to offering the best news service in Scotland.

“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.”

Last month, Alan Clements, MD of production arm STV Productions, said he would be leaving the company, having been behind shows including Antiques Road Trip, Catchphrase and BBC drama The Thriller.








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