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Sturgeon: ITV takeover of Scottish network would prompt opposition

AN ITV takeover of Scottish TV network STV would be “opposed and resisted,” Nicola Sturgeon said today.

The First Minister weighed into the debate after the broadcaster announced 59 job losses and the closure of its recently launched STV2 channel.

The National Union of Journalists is now balloting for strike action at the broadcaster. NUJ organiser John Toner said the cuts “will lead to a massive reduction in the breadth and depth of news coverage viewers in Scotland currently enjoy.”

STV takes the number three channel slot in Scotland and broadcasts many ITV programmes, but is separate to the London-based independent channel.

At First Minister’s Questions yesterday, the SNP’s Joan McAlpine voiced fears that the move was designed to “prepare the channel for sale to ITV, which would be an absolute disaster for Scottish broadcasting.”

Ms Sturgeon said she was not aware of any such plans, but added: “That is not a move I would wish to see and I think that move would be opposed and resisted by very many people across the country.

“I am very disappointed and concerned that STV is cutting jobs and closing its second channel only a year after that channel was launched.”

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