Sudden switch-off for Sky Tyne and Wear local news website - 15 jobs at risk

Sky News has shut its Tyne and Wear local news service with no advance notice, Press Gazette has learned.

The 15 journalists working on the project are now facing possible redundancy.

The regional experiment launched in February 2012  covering news and sport in the North East region.

It is understood that those journalists have now entered into a redundancy process with the company.

According to a Sky News spokesman: “We hugely value the interest that people have shown in Sky Tyne and Wear. We set up the website and mobile app as a pilot project and through it we’ve learned a great deal about local news and sport.

“Now the pilot is at an end, we’d like to thank the editorial team whose hard work has contributed so much to the success of the project. The North East remains an important region for Sky, with 700 of our employees based in Newcastle.”

A statement on the service’s website added:  “It’s been a great couple of years with many memorable moments which we have shared together. We are genuinely sorry to be signing off.”

The company said it would continue to cover the region with its existing Sky News and Sky Sports channels.

At the time of its launch, Sky News said reporters would cover local news in the region as well as Newcastle United, Sunderland as well as non-league football and other sports.

Visitors to the site are directed to a message detailing the closure even if they are following links to archived stories.

Writing about  the Sky Tyne and Wear project in a book this year Simon Buck and James Marley of Sky said: "We believe we have broken the mould, creating something original and compelling which will provide a benchmark for ‘local’ journalism in the future".

The last update on the Sky Tyne and Wear Twitter feed was on Monday 9 December at 5.21pm. 

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