ITV confirms news channel axe

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ITV is to finally close its struggling news channel next month, the broadcaster has confirmed today.

The decision is the result of a "strategic review" planning the future of the network's news output for the next five years.

The station has been backed by a budget of £3.5 million and, although it has achieved acclaim in recent months, has failed to deliver respectable audiences and is forecast to continue its loss-making trend for several years.

The money saved will be invested in a number of ways, including the introduction of news bulletins on ITV2 and ITV3, the creation of a news bureau in Beijing and expanded newsgathering in the North of the UK.

Meanwhile, the news unit will be expanded to include a "breaking news team", ready to broadcast ongoing coverage in the event of a major news story. It is currently unknown how many jobs will be lost but as many as 70 are under threat from the closure of the news channel.

Simon Shaps, ITV's director of television, explained: “The question we have asked ourselves is what does news look like in five or ten years’ time? The answer is that it looks very different from the traditional 24 hour rolling news format that we are used to now. Increasingly viewers will want news on demand via a variety of different platforms and we are investing in the technology and expertise to deliver that.”
 
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