Insolvency forces Solent TV to close down

Solent TV, the ultra-local digital TV station for the Isle of Wight, has closed down.

The channel’s 12 full-time staff have been made redundant with immediate effect after the company which operates the channel became insolvent.

Solent TV had broadcast to the island since October 2002, and expanded onto Sky Digital in January this year. It ceased broadcasting last night (Thursday).

In a statement on its website, Solent TV management said: “All the team here would like to say a massive thank you to all our viewers for their kind messages of support over the past five years.”

Since its launch, the station – which was backed by a charity, Island Volunteers, and funded by sponsorship and advertising – has become a hit on the Isle of Wight with its mix of local news, sport and features.

In an interview with Press Gazette earlier this year, Solent TV chief executive Linda Ovnik said: “We have not received as much as a 10p piece in public funding. We are self-sufficient and when we make money – and I plan to make bucket loads – it will be ploughed into community projects.”

The channel, believed to be one of the UK’s smallest TV stations, faced competition from ITV Meridian and established regional papers, The News in Portsmouth and the Southern Daily Echo.

Solent TV’s sister organisations, Island Volunteers, Community Solutions and DV Media, are also ceasing to trade.

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