Thursday, 19 February 2015

BBC News: STV plans revamp of STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh

Story thanks to BBC Scotland:
STV is to revamp its local television stations for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The stations' broadcasting hours are being extended significantly but many programmes will be shown at the same time on both stations.

The duration of their flagship local magazine shows will be cut but there will be extended local news coverage.

STV says the stations have performed in line with its expectations.

STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh are part of a growing chain of local TV stations in the UK.

STV was the only major broadcaster to apply for local TV licences - the rest all went to brand new companies, and some have failed to get on the air.

The company - which runs the stations in conjunction with Glasgow Caledonian and Napier Universities - has always insisted the stations were not a backdoor "STV2".

However sceptics, who were surprised to see an established broadcaster get the local licences, may see the changes as a move in that direction.

STV could point to the remaining local programming aimed purely at each area, the news, and opportunities for local advertisers as evidence to the contrary.

Sceptics in the industry across the UK have questioned how big the demand for local TV really is and whether it will ever prove commercially viable.

The new schedule will see both STV Glasgow and STV Edinburgh on air from 07:00 on weekdays and 09:00 at the weekend.

At present they start broadcasting in the middle of the afternoon.

In the morning they will show children's programmes from STV's archives.

There will also be hourly local news bulletins from midday onwards, with 30-minute bulletins at 18:00, 20:00 and 22:00.

The nightly magazine shows - the Riverside Show in Glasgow and the Fountainbridge Show in Edinburgh - will normally last one hour instead of 90 minutes.

But a range of new local programmes covering topics such as history, cookery and music will be shown at 20:30.

Bobby Hain, director of channels at STV, said: "City TV is a long-term commitment for STV and the enhanced schedules that will be launched in early March support our strategy to deliver relevant content to consumers across Scotland.

"Both city TV channels have delivered in line with expectations since launch and the extended hours and enhanced news offering allows us to align the schedules on both channels so we offer the best possible service for our audiences."