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Publisher announces third bid for TV news project

Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has announced its latest bid for a regional TV news pilot project.

The company has joined up with Macmillan Media to form a consortium hoping to secure the Independently Funded News Consortia licence to provide news for Scotland.

It will be doing battle with a consortium featuring newspaper publishers Newsquest, DC Thomson and Johnston Press which announced their bid with STV in September.

Proposals to launch three pilot TV news projects for Wales, Scotland and North East England were outlined in the Digital Britain report with the eventual aim of them taking over the running of all Channel 3 regional news services from 2013.

Bids for pilot projects are currently being accepted with the licences due to be handed out in March.

Macmillan Media is an independent production company supplying broadcast news for terrestrial television in the UK while Trinity Mirror’s titles in Scotland include the Daily Record, Paisley Daily Express and Stirling Observer.

Bulletins for south of Scotland news would be produced entirely in Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders, where Trinity Mirror also owns the Dumfries and Galloway Standard. At present the service comes from Gateshead.

The new service will have its own companion website and provide open access and multimedia training for community groups.

This latest news completes a trio for bids for Trinity Mirror, following its recent announcements that it would be battling for the North East and Wales schemes, regions where it owns several daily and weekly news papers.

Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey said: “This will give communities in the south of Scotland back their voice on TV.

“With our partners Macmillan Media, we aim to deliver an enhanced, low-cost model for the local TV news of the future.”

Michael Macmillan, owner of Macmillan Media, has worked in broadcast journalism for the past 30 years with ITN and the BBC.

He said: “Our combination of multimedia journalism skills will deliver the TV news service that the south of Scotland demands and deserves.”