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Nearly 60 jobs to go at STV as broadcaster closes down STV2

Wednesday May 16th 2018 at 11:10 AM

STV is to close down its loss-making STV2 channel at the end of next month, after only 14 months on air.

A total of 59 jobs are to be cut at the company.

The broadcaster says the shutdown – and staffing cuts in its news operation – should save £2 million a year.

Local TV assets are being sold to That’s Media – a company which runs 14 affiliated stations south of the border.

STV says it’s redirecting funding and effort towards new content for STV1 and its online player.

The firm has announced plans to launch an ad-free version of STV player, based on subscription.

Simon Pitts, STV Chief Executive, said: “This is a positive vision for STV that will re-establish the company as a creative force in Scotland and beyond.

“We will invest in creative talent, new original programming and digital to ensure STV becomes Scotland’s home of news and entertainment and delivers long-term value for advertisers, shareholders and viewers alike.

“News is fundamental to the STV brand and we remain committed to offering the best news service in Scotland.

“However, given how quickly news consumption is changing it is vital that STV evolves to stay competitive, and we are therefore launching a comprehensive change programme – STV News 2020 – that will see us invest in skills, technology and digital as well as delivering cost savings.

“As a result of the challenging economics of local television and anticipated increased competition from BBC Scotland, we have taken the difficult decision to close our loss-making STV2 channel to focus our future content investment on STV and the STV Player.

“I’d like to thank the STV2 team for everything they have achieved over the last four years.”

Reaction: a devastating blow

Scottish Labour’s culture spokesperson Claire Baker MSP said: “This is a devastating blow for staff at STV and the wider creative and media industry.
“It will stick in the craw for many that the news was delivered as part of cost cutting measures from a CEO that was awarded a ‘golden hello’ of over £800,000.
“At a time when BBC is launching a new channel and Glasgow is making a strong bid to be the new headquarters for Channel 4, we should be looking to build our media capacity in Scotland not diminish it.
“At the same time we need a strong and independent news sector to hold the Governments at Westminster and Holyrood to account and scrutinise Brexit for Scottish viewers.
“STV have been lauded for its local and national news and politics coverage, these redundancies risk undermining that.”


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