UTV bids for 'Wales Live' pilot project

Published Wednesday, 09 December 2009
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UTV has teamed up with Welsh news publisher NWN Media to apply for the Government's recently announced Independently Funded News Consortium pilot project in Wales.

Three IFNCs are being created by the Government in Wales, Scotland and the Tyne Tees and Border area to develop sustainable multi-platform regional news.

As well as broadcasting on the regional news slots on Channel 3 (ITV and STV), the consortia will be expected to provide increased local news using multi-media technology.

The UTV and NWN Media partnership aims to create a dynamic cross-platform news force for Wales, delivering content for television, radio, newspaper and online services branded as 'Wales Live'.

"We believe the 'Wales Live' partnership which we are forming with NWN Media will deliver highly successful cross-platform content to the whole of Wales", UTV Television Managing Director, Michael Wilson, said.

"We want to hear what local people want from this pilot so we've set up a new website www.waleslive.tv to get this valuable feedback to shape our proposed service."

David Faulkner, Managing Director, NWN Media said the partners already had an unrivalled standard of journalism and of high quality production and offer comprehensive coverage.

"Our daily and weekly print titles already have a reputation for excellent grass roots content and a genuine local relevance in the towns and villages they serve", he said.

"We believe in a modern multi-platform journalism that can keep those communities informed but also one that reflects the character and tradition of those communities.

"This partnership will reflect this ethos while at the same time offering content of unrivalled depth and range across all media."

NWN Media are an independently owned Welsh company with a portfolio of daily, weekly and monthly publications as well as a dynamic online presence.

"Currently our titles reach an audience in excess of one million weekly and our £16m press facility in Wales offers cutting edge print industry services. Quality and credibility are central to our delivery of news content whatever the medium", Mr Faulkner said.

"The new 'Wales Live' partnership is an outstanding opportunity to develop this proven approach on a wider canvass offering an exciting new media environment in Wales."

This Autumn, UTV celebrated 50 years of broadcasting in Northern Ireland.

"UTV's pedigree in regional news production is second to none", Mr Wilson said.

According to industry figures, UTV Live is the most watched regional news in the whole of the UK with a 35.6% share, more than double that of ITV Wales News which currently delivers a share of 17%.

"UTV also has direct experience on the ground in Wales as our sister company UTV Media (GB) owns and operates two successful radio stations in the Swansea area: The Wave and Swansea Sound," Mr Wilson added.

© UTV News
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