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Consortium of media groups bids to make STV news

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A consortium of media groups has bid to make news bulletins for STV

An alliance of media organisations has announced it is bidding for a contract to supply Scottish news for STV and the internet.

The Scottish News Consortium wants to run one of three specially-funded pilot news services in the UK.

Commercial television firms say they can no longer afford to make the local bulletins, blaming falling advertising.

The UK government has invited applications from other groups to supply regional news.

In order to help it to survive, the Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw announced he wanted three independently-funded consortiums to produce news for selected ITV regions.

ITV and STV are struggling to cope with increased competition from digital channels and a massive downturn in advertising revenue during the recession.

To help ITV cope with a pre-tax loss of £105m in the the first half of 2009, the Department of Culture, Media & Sport invited bid to produce regional news in three ITV1 areas.

Weekly titles

The successful contender for Scotland would make bulletins for STV, the internet and other digital platforms.

The Scottish News Consortium, which has revealed its intention to bid, is made up of DC Thomson, the Herald and Times Group, Johnston Press and Tinopolis which produces the BBC's Question Time.

The group has a wide range of daily publications including the Scotsman, the Herald, the Press and Journal and the Courier, as well as several weekly titles such as the Sunday Post and the Southern Reporter.

The consortium faces rival bids involving STV, ITN, Bauer Radio and Trinity Mirror, which publishes the Daily Record.

The other pilot areas are Wales and the north-east of England.

The process of sifting applications will begin this week and the government expects to announce the winner of the Scottish bid by mid-March.



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