Head of Sky News questions ITV's commitment to news

The head of Sky News has accused ITV of downgrading its commitment to news in recent years.

John Ryley (pictured, Reuters) has said that Sky News and the BBC have established themselves as the main news broadcasters in the UK, criticising ITV coverage of the Diamond Jubilee and Margaret Thatcher's funeral.

He said in an interview with The Independent: “I strongly believe Sky News, along with the BBC, are the two main news broadcasters in this country. At significant moments in recent years, ITV has ducked out of things.”

Ryley also revealed in the interview plans for expansion in the United States. 

He said that Sky News has 500,000 subscribers via Apple TV and streaming platform Roku and the channel is in talks with several media companies in the US to embed a round-up of the big American and international news on their websites.

He said: “We are in discussions with other American-based organisations about becoming partners, which would give us increased eyeballs in the States.”

In the interview, Ryley also revealed his hopes that Adam Boulton’s new weekday evening show will be a competitor to the BBC’s Newsnight and Channel 4 News, pointing out: “It’s two hours long and has a bigger canvas.”

He told The Independent he wants the programme to help define Sky News as more than a rolling news channel, and said he would like the journalists working on it – including Ed Conway, Afua Hirsch, Sam Kiley, Tim Marshall and Paul Kelso – will be “deployed to deliver exclusive stories for that show”.

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