STV have annouced the closure of STV2 as they refocus the prodction and broadcast company.

STV’s Glasgow HQ

“This is a positive vision for STV that will re-establish the company as a creative force in Scotland and beyond. We will invest in creative talent, new original programming and digital to ensure STV becomes Scotland’s home of news and entertainment and delivers long-term value for advertisers, shareholders and viewers alike. Our de-risked broadcast business is resilient and provides the engine room for STV’s growth. We will use our unique marketing platform to showcase new formats from STV Productions, drive viewing to STV Player and get even closer to advertisers through the launch of our new Growth Fund for Scottish business.” – Simon Pitts, STV Chief Executive

STV today announced a three year growth strategy aiming to establish the producer-broadcaster as ‘Scotland’s home of news and entertainment’. The new strategy will bring changes to STV’s management, culture and organisation and will be delivered through 3 strategic objectives the company note. Firstly they aim to maximise the value of STV’s broadcast business by delivering high quality, cost-effective news and entertainment.

Some suggesting to make the broadcasting side an appealing future propostion for ITVplc to perchase the last remaining independent Channel 3 broadcaster. ITV has bought-up all the English regions such as Tyne Tees, Central and LWT as well as Welsh station HTV and more recently Northen Ireland’s UTV. All, except UTV, branded as a national ITV service. The boost to STV’s main network would maximise profit for the shareholders if, or more when, the company sell out to ITV.

STV News Tonight, was the first national Scottish news programme for Scotland, airing on STV2.

“News is fundamental to the STV brand and we remain committed to offering the best news service in Scotland. However, given how quickly news consumption is changing it is vital that STV evolves to stay competitive, and we are therefore launching a comprehensive change programme – STV News 2020 – that will see us invest in skills, technology and digital as well as delivering cost savings. As a result of the challenging economics of local television and anticipated increased competition from BBC Scotland, we have taken the difficult decision to close our loss-making STV2 channel to focus our future content investment on STV and the STV Player. – – Simon Pitts, STV Chief Executive

The second objective STV state is to drive digital growth through the STV Player by creating an STV for Everyone while finally they aim to build STV Productions into a world-class independent production company, this arm may remain independent of any ITV purchase; such as Thames Television survived as a production house after ceasing to be an ITV broadcaster.

A new organisational structure will mirror the objectives, creating three distinct divisions across Broadcast, Digital and Production, each with its own Managing Director, P&L and KPIs. Bobby Hain will be Managing Director of Broadcast while recruitment processes are underway for the other two MDs who will be part of a new, leaner management team focused on delivering the strategy.

STV2 presenters – Ewen Cameron, Hayley Matthews, Jennifer Reoch and David Farrell.

STV’s Broadcast business remains strong, the company have said, adding that it is likely to outperform the ITV Network due to a favourable deal with ITV which insulates STV from both declines in the national advertising market and increases in the ITV programme budget. However reflecting the challenging economics of local television and anticipated new competition from BBC Scotland, their loss-making STV2 channel will close at the end of June 2018, with content investment shifting to the STV main channel and STV Player. This will result in savings of £1m per annum and a headcount reduction of 25.

The focus moves to STV Productions with the ambition to become one of the UK’s leading production companies, with bases in Glasgow and London. Under new leadership, they will reposition and rebrand STV Productions to focus exclusively on developing returning series for both terrestrial and SVOD players. The news, especially the closure of STV2 and the job losses was met with a walk-out at the STV Glasgow base, including several on-screen personalities taking to the picket line.

“I’d like to thank the STV2 team for everything they have achieved over the last 4 years. We have ambitious growth plans for STV Productions which is well placed to take advantage of the surge in demand for new programming from the Nations and Regions. We will exploit STV’s unique producer-broadcaster status to attract the best creative talent and showcase new formats and ideas for the UK and international markets. The STV of 2020 will have creativity as its heart, working in partnership to drive the Scottish economy and showcase Scotland to the world.” – Simon Pitts, STV Chief Executive

Repeats of 1980s soap opera Take The High Road was one of the highlights of STV2.
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