ITV local and regional news could be the biggest casualty if a number of the scenarios recommmended in the Ofcom report into public service broadcasting are implemented, according to MediaGuardian columnist Steve Hewlett.
Hewlett points out that three out of four future proposals for public service broadcasting do not include ITV at all – which would mean local news in the nations and regions would have to come from other sources such as local newspaper groups, radio stations or community enterprises.
The gifted spectrum estimated to be worth £45m and freed up by the withdrawal of ITV from its PSB responsibilities and benefits could be granted to these projects.
Ofcom also warned that ITV Wales could not survive as a public service broadcaster without funding from the Welsh Assembly or Whitehall, a scenario that the Western Mail said Wales “could not afford to let happen”. “A strong, questioning, independent broadcast media is part of that [Welsh] nationhood,” Rhodri Evans, writing in the newspaper, said.