STV in plan to launch 300 local websites

STV is set to launch 300 local news and listings websites across the towns and cities of Scotland by the end of the year.

The broadcaster will issue a phased rollout of the sites, to be called STV Local, to serve communities across Scotland.

Each site will be a mix of news and local listings with the broadcaster aiming to fill the sites with content provided by members of each community.

Rob Woodward, chief executive of STV Group, outlined the plan at the RTS Convention in Cambridge today.

He told Press Gazette: “Every significant town and the cities will have a dedicated STV Local website. It’s in beta at the moment but we are going to role it out between now and Christmas.

“It will be consumer led, providing listings from local restaurants to events but we will also have a news facility to inject very localised coverage.

“The expectation is the local community will help bring it all to life. Ultimately, the reason we are doing it is because we believe in the local advertising market.”

Woodward also detailed the broadcaster’s proposal to do away with ITV1’s 6.30pm national news bulletin and create an hour-long integrated news programme for Scotland.

STV wants to create a six o’clock news programme for Scotland incorporating international, UK-wide, Scottish and local news.

Woodward said the scheme, which was at an early stage, was aimed at offering greater more relevant consumer choice.

He said: “We would have more local coverage, including new local coverage in the North of Scotland and an additional coverage in the Borders, so we are looking at six different regions.

“We would increase the air-time given to each of those regions to a ten minute bulletin from the existing five minutes, but the important thing is that we are doing it on an integrated basis.”

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