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Ex-editors lose out as city TV licence awarded

A company partnered by a North-East regional daily has won the licence to run a local TV service in Newcastle.

Made in Tyne and Wear was named by media regulator Ofcom as the successful bidder for the city and the surrounding region today.

The company is a partnership with Trinity Mirror owned daily newspaper The Journal and aims to begin broadcasting by 1 March next year.

Among the unsuccessful bidders was Channel 8 TV, which was led by Paul Robertson, former editor of The Journal’s sister paper the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, and Rob Lawson, who recently stepped down as editor of the Sunderland Echo.

Ofcom praised both bids in a statement setting out the reasons for its decision today.

It said:  “Made in Tyne & Wear’s application and Channel 8’s application demonstrated the strongest and most relevant local links, which gave the committee confidence that these proposed services could meet the needs of the area.”

Ofcom also said that Made in Tyne & Wear was one of two bidders with the “most sustainable business plans.”

It concluded:  “Taking into account the above factors as a whole, Made in Tyne & Wear put forward the strongest application for award of the licence in the Newcastle coverage area.”

The company’s bid document pledged to ensure the “highest editorial values” in bringing news to the people of Tyne & Wear.

It said:  “Newsgathering, which is at the core of Made In Tyne & Wear is absolutely central to our partner, The Newcastle Journal. This core strength is demonstrated day in and day out through the publication of the city’s leading newspaper and the company operates with people who are steeped in news industry experience and their skills, professionalism, efficiency and reliability are second to none.

“The publication of audio-visual content over the Internet has been a central plank of the Journal’s parent company, Trinity Mirror’s publishing strategy for the past five years. During that time, more than 120 journalists across the regional media division have received formal training in video journalism.

“Made In Tyne & Wear will have its own team operating independently but subject to winning the licence the natural synergy with The Newcastle Journal is one that will be explored.”

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  • December 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    They have not lost out if they were putting any of their own money up.
    They have had a lucky escape.

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