STV says decision to axe presenters not affected by petition

STV has axed two of the three presenters on its flagship sports show –
Scotsport.

However an STV spokeswoman said that the decision not to renew the
contracts of Julyan Sinclair and Sarah O'Flaherty was not influenced by an
online petition signed by thousands of football fans calling for the pair
to go.

And contrary to reports of poor audience ratings for Scotsport, she said
that STV was delighted with figures of between 200,000 and 300,000 which
constantly was ahead of network audience figures.

She said the decision had been taken purely because it was felt the
programme would be enhanced with a single presenter format.

Anchorman Jim Delahunt who, for nine years, has fronted the programme –
believed to be the world's longest running soccer show – will now present
the show on his own.

Sinclair and O'Flaherty have been the subject of criticism from viewers and
the media during their two-year stint on the sports show, and last season
more than 7,000 football fans signed an online petition calling for the duo
to be dumped.

Sinclair has been at STV since 1999 and will now focus on arts and
entertainment, for which he won a Bafta in 2002.

O'Flaherty began her career
with RTE Sport in Ireland.

STV's head of sport Henry Eagles said: "We decided to alter the format of
the programme for the new series. It lends itself better to a single
presenterled show.

"We have been delighted with the work that Julyan and Sarah have done for us
over the past two years and we are obviously sad to see them go."

The new-look Scotsport will coincide with STV moving to new headquarters at
Pacific Quay, Glasgow, this month.

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