Report: ITN to take over Channel 5 News contract

ITN could be set to provide Channel 5’s news content again after the broadcaster reportedly agreed a deal to cancel its contract with Sky News.

According to The Guardian, Channel 5 owner Richard Desmond has been in talks with Sky News about ending its £9m-a-year contract for more than a year, and his company Northern & Shell is now ‘in the final stages of discussions over a new deal’with ITN.

The current contract is not due to expire until 2012.The Guardian reports:

The mogul, who bought Channel 5 for £103.5m in July 2010, has looked to cut costs at the broadcaster and increase its coverage of celebrity news, as part of a cross-promotion strategy with his stable of newspapers and magazines.

Northern & Shell indicated in November last year that it wanted to wriggle out of its contract with Sky News, which has produced 5 News since 2005, but executives were put off by the prospect of having to pay a hefty cancellation fee.

Now, however, the two sides are thought to have agreed to a mutual termination of the deal that will not involve Sky receiving any compensation.

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