The tit-for-tat battle to run regional ITV news in the North-East and Borders has taken a fresh twist after another leading university joined the fray.
The ITN-led bid, which also includes radio stations Metro, TFM and CFM, already had the backing of Sunderland University.
Michael Lavery, of Durham University, said: “We are delighted to back the ITN-led bid to deliver informative, engaging and dynamic news coverage.
“The consortium shares our vision for thought-provoking and pithy engagement with the public through an increasing number of media channels.”
The government has included plans for three regional news pilots in its Digital Economy Bill currently before Parliament.
However the Tories have vowed to scrap the plans if they win the election even though many in the industry see them as a potential lifeline both for regional newspapers publishers and for regional ITV newsrooms.
Great North News has also launched a dedicated website, greatnorthnews.co.uk, which offers the public an opportunity to have their say and play a part in shaping the future news service.
Launching the bid last month, Newsquest North-East managing director David Coates said: “This is a great opportunity for our company to extend its journalistic reputation, built up over 140 years.”
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