Jobs to go after takeover of London News Network

LNN’s flagship programme London Tonight

ITN has set up a voluntary redundancy scheme for journalists at London News Network following its its takeover of the capital’s ITV news service last Friday.

ITN is understood to be looking to shed up to 40 jobs from both ITN and LNN as it gears up to providing London’s independent news service in addition to its national bulletins on ITV news.

ITN has already begun consultation with journalists following the takeover announcement.

“Where we can, we intend to place any LNN staff into existing job vacancies at ITN,” a spokeswoman told Press Gazette. “We’re doing everything we can to keep that number as low as we possibly can but, yes, there inevitably will be some job losses.”

ITN’s takeover of LNN – owned by Carlton and London Weekend Television- is seen by industry insiders as the blueprint for ITV News’s strategy to further integrate regional and networks news bulletins.

However, the NUJ has consistently voiced fears that the quality of regional news could be compromised, particularly in London, where national news could dominate the news agenda. It has raised concerns of an “increasing commercialisation of news”.

However, the ITN spokeswoman said the new London news service would “broaden the agenda” to include community issues not currently accounted for. “The programmes will have more feedback, more detailed discussions and more political and financial news,” she said.

Mark Wood, chief executive of ITN, said the new service would provide “outstanding regional news programmes that reflect the lives and interests of people living in the capital, made in London for Londoners”.

“The London news service can plug into the extensive newsgathering and production resources of ITN. And it will strengthen ITN’s position, adding a fifth major TV news contract to our business. We look forward to welcoming LNN staff into our organisation”.

The service will retain a separate “London identity” and be produced by a dedicated team but will be based at ITN’s headquarters in Grays Inn Road. It will provide news coverage for both the Carlton and LWT franchises.

By Wale Azeez

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