STV 2 Shutting down at the end of June

Categories: Miscellaneous 2 Comments

Sadly, STV is to close its second channel as part of a reorganisation that will result in the loss of 59 jobs.

The broadcaster said the loss-making STV2 would close at the end of June, with investment shifting to its main channel and online streaming.

While 25 jobs will go at STV2, a further 34 will also be lost as part of changes to news output.

STV said the reorganisation of services would result in savings to the company of about £2m a year.

The announcement was made as part of a three-year strategic review by new chief executive, Simon Pitts.

Anticipated competition

He said there would be renewed focus on online streaming, with a new ad-free subscription version of the STV Player launched for the first time.

The company also said it planned to invest £15m in new original content over the next three years.

Mr Pitts said the decision to axe STV2 was in part driven by anticipated competition from BBC Scotland’s new channel, which will begin broadcasting next year.

The announcement comes after STV revealed its pre-tax profit had slipped slightly from £18.3m in 2016 to £18m last year.

STV2 was launched in 2017, bringing together the company’s local TV stations for Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as proposed local stations for Ayr, Aberdeen and Dundee.

However, over the 12-month period, the channel lost £800,000.

Mr Pitts said: “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.”

He added: “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.”

STV’s main business is the Channel 3 service for central and northern Scotland – it is the only part of the network that is not owned by ITVplc.

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2 comments on this post

  1. David Heath says:

    Unfortunate for the people who will lose their jobs and my sympathies to them, but whilst I don’t know what these STV offerings were like, then in general Local TV has a very poor record in the UK, and that goes right back to the early 1970’s, when I first heard it talked of and trialled.

    Local TV is a concept that surfaces every decade or so, is given a try, and then eventually dies. Only to be tried again as the cycle repeats.

    I well remember the BBC’s Local TV initiative (about 14 years ago??) as I was living in the Midlands at the time. The Birmingham offering became must-watch viewing for a friend in the industry – for all the wrong reasons. It was dire. Really, really awful. My own memory is of a report on the problems of people urinating in Birmingham bus shelters…… Mercifully, the BBC put it out of it’s misery quite quickly.

    This time round, it was Jeremy Hunt as Culture Secretary who was the driving force – and who used millions of pounds of licence fee payers money, diverted from the BBC, to do it.

    Even so, the results have hardly been stellar, and if even STV, even operating a grouping of stations (with hence economies of scale) can’t make a go, it’s hard to believe the “true” local stations can survive after the BBC subsidy runs out. Even in London, the “local” station seems to survive largely by running old (1930’s) films and repeats from mainstream channels, and got Ofcom to allow a large reduction in it’s local programming….. which rather defeats the whole point?

    Personally, I just can’t see the economics of a local TV broadcast *CHANNEL*. Not when local needs can be far better met by local internet sites (which may include video reports).

  2. Allen McLaughlin says:

    STV will also close ENG camera operator jobs in all of it’s bases, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, leaving just one or two staff covering these large catchment areas. Journalists will be made to shoot and edit their own reports using modified iPhone equipment instead.

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