ITV has announced its evening news programme will extend to an hour-long programme from March to create more focus on reporting from outside of London.
ITV’s 30 minute 6.30pm national and international news slot will extend to an hour-long programme, which will be presented by Mary Nightingale and aim to build up on-the-ground reporting from outside of London.
The broadcaster told Prolific North that there will be no change to the regional news slots, which are broadcast across the UK from 6-6.30pm.
For the extended programme, ITV said it is planning to hire 27 new journalists, producers and multi-skilled camera operators/video editors across Wales, Scotland and the North of England.
Alongside general correspondents, the broadcaster will also appoint a new Social Affairs reporter based in the North of England.
The broadcaster has also announced changes to its soap scheduling, with Coronation Street set to move to three hour-long episodes, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm, and Emmerdale will move to a 7.30pm slot.
Kevin Lygo, Managing Director of Media and Entertainment at ITV, said: “We are very excited to be announcing this investment in what is an important public service strength of ITV – high-quality, impartial, trusted broadcast journalism – at a time when it could not be more important.”
ITV’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Michael Jermey added: “The expansion of the network evening news programme and the investment in new roles is an enormous vote of confidence in ITV News’ journalism, which has continued to deliver strong exclusives and insightful reporting year after year, with 2022 so far being no exception.
“ITV’s news on television and digital platforms informs millions of people every day. It sits alongside strong current affairs output such as the Tonight programme, Peston, The Martin Lewis Money Show and the Bafta and Emmy award winning Exposure strand. ITV’s impartial, independent journalism makes an enormous contribution to public service broadcasting in the UK”.
Industry body National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has been contacted for comment on the new changes.