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Updated: Thursday 12 March 2009

BBC, ITV to share resources

BBC-ITV-MERGE

The BBC and ITV have today signed a memorandum of understanding that could – over the course of time – save ITV ?7 million per year.

The Memorandum states that ITV will co-locate with the BBC in eight main regional news centres in England and Wales, and plan to share a single studio and gallery at each location (except of Cardiff).

The BBC will charge ITV for the infrastructure and facilities it provides – which will include – dedicated edit suite, dedicated graphics facility, desk space and desktop editing capability. The charges made will enable ITV to make savings when compared to its current cost for running its regional news services.

ITV and BBC will also share and contribute to the raw picture material library, which the BBC and ITV would use for their news programmes. Exclusive stories and features would not be shared.

All necessary steps will be taken to maintain editorial independence. ITV will retain full responsibility for its journalist and editorial staff, camera crews and studio gallery directors.

BBC Deputy Director-General, Mark Byford, said: “The BBC and ITV will now continue our discussions around what would be an innovative and ground breaking proposal.”

ITV’s Chief Operating Officer, John Cresswell, said: “Plurality in regional news is an important part of PSB and we welcome this step in helping to support it.”

The project is likely to commence in 2010.