ITN demands licence cash

By David Rose

ITN is demanding that the BBC should give up some of its £2bn a year
licence fee revenue to fund regional news amid concerns that ITV News
will be forced to sanction cutbacks.

Mark Wood, ITN’s chief executive, sought the backing of peers for an
approach to Media Secretary Tessa Jowell to set a new limit on the
licence fee for the BBC and to allocate the rest to public service
broadcasting by other broadcasters.

He told a peers committee
reviewing the renewal of the BBC charter that ITV chief executive
Charles Allen had already raised a question mark over whether it could
continue with regional news and current affairs at existing levels when
the switchover to digital TV takes place in three years time.

Wood told peers the BBC was “more than adequately funded”, as its coverage of the US presidential election showed.

“The BBC sent five times as many people to the States as we did,” he said.

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