Viewers fight to save ITV Central News

Staff at ITV Central News (South) have been inundated with complaints from viewers following the announcement of changes to the region's news programmes, according to the NUJ.

The NUJ said that the viewers believed that the move was simply a cost-cutting measure on the part of ITV and many were angered that there had been no consultation with the public over the proposals.

Some viewers have set up a website, savecentralnews.com, in protest.

Paul McLaughlin, NUJ broadcast organiser, said: "It is unacceptable that Ofcom has agreed this new service without any consultation with viewers.

This flies in the face of its responsibility to safeguard public service broadcasting in the UK.

"We will be negotiating with ITV over these changes, however, viewers who care about this service should ask Ofcom to call a halt to these changes."

Many staff, including presenters, will have to move to ITV Meridian's Southampton offices in Whitely, while viewers in Gloucestershire will have to switch to ITV West in Bristol, and Herefordshire will watch Central News West in Birmingham.

ITV is planning to replace the Central South and Meridian West regions with a new Thames Valley Service by the end of the year, with the loss of at least 40 jobs.

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