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Thursday, 13 December, 2001, 18:51 GMT
ITN accepts voluntary redundancies
ITN's digital technology was used on its 24-hour news
News provider ITN has accepted 75 applications for voluntary redundancy as it slashes its workforce.

ITN recently regained the ITV News contract but the competitive bidding meant it was forced to axe jobs.

It originally planned to cut 133 positions but this figure has now been fixed at 82.

A spokesman told BBC News Online that about 20 editorial staff had offered to take redundancy with the remainder coming from support, finance, marketing and human resources.

Trevor McDonald
Trevor McDonald: The face of ITV news
ITN won the contract by defeating a consortium backed by Sky and CBS News, which had promised to undercut ITN by more than 10m.

As a result, ITN was forced to reduce its own price from to 36m from 45m.

The job cuts have raised questions about the ability of ITN to continue providing quality broadcasts with less staff but the company is confident it can carry on delivering the goods.

It sees the new contract as the beginning of a new way of working, through the use of new digital technology, which allows journalists to work directly with news footage at their desks.

The system has been pioneered at its 24-hour operation, the ITN News Channel.

'Recession' Senior ITN executives said the move to a fully digital operation will help it maintain quality while reducing production costs.

But they conceded that "high-quality staff" will be leaving the company, adding they will take a proactive role in trying to find jobs for them.

The losses were "due to a number of factors, including the UK media recession, the increasingly competitive environment in which the company operates and ITN's reduced price for the ITV News contract".

Charting its past, present and digital future
See also:

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ITN's global expansion
08 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
ITV signs ITN for six years
30 Sep 01 | Business
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Digital TV's commercial woes
26 Jun 01 | Business
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