BR Video: Public comes out in support of local news

LONDON - ITV could face a backlash as it prepares to cut local news as the public voice concern about the broadcaster's plans, insisting that local news is a vital service according to the latest Brand Republic video -- watch it here.

Brand Republic took to the streets and found that the public are not happy with ITV's plans because they believe that it is important for people to know what is happening in their local area.

ITV has revealed that it is cutting 1,000 jobs across the company including 430 in news to reduce costs as advertising revenue slows.

The broadcaster is expected to reinvest the savings to improve its programming line-up with a focus on more high quality dramas such as the recently aired 'Lost in Austen'.

As part of the second phase of its public service broadcasting review, media regulator Ofcom gave ITV the go ahead to drop some regional news bulletins, reduce non-news regional programming by half and cut back on its current affairs shows.

ITV plans to achieve annual cost savings of £40m from 2009 by reducing its regional news delivery in England and the Scottish borders from 17 separate main programmes to nine.

The broadcast unions have threatened to strike over the proposed job losses.

In another attempt to combat the downturn in advertising, ITV is trialling new overlay ad technology, which will allow ads to be embedded into blank space during TV programmes.

This will mean that there is no escape for viewers who usually fast forward through the ads.

The technology is currently being tested during local news footage on ITV's website but, if successful, the broadcaster plans to transfer it to the television screen.