May 16 Launch for STV News Pilot for Edinburgh

A news pilot that will see STV's early evening news bulletin for central Scotland split for its full 30 minutes, between Edinburgh and Glasgow, is to launch on the 16th of next month.

At the company's annual general meeting today, the announcement was made by chair, Richard Findlay. Currently, STV News in central Scotland is operated out of Glasgow, with Edinburgh viewers provided a few minutes opt-out, midway through the programme. STV provides a similar north-south opt-out in its Aberdeen-based news output, from 6pm.

Last month, as reported on allmediascotland, STV unveiled its Edinburgh reporting team: Juliet Dunlop and Caroline Henderson.

In a statement, Findlay also told shareholders that there is no update on legal proceeding being taken by ITV against STV and vice versa.

He said: “As stated at our Preliminary Results in late February, we have made a positive start to 2011. Overall, trading and digital business growth is in line with the Board's expectations for the current financial year.

“The airtime market has continued to improve in Q1 with revenues up nine per cent year-on-year. STV national television airtime revenues were up 11 per cent in Q1, however, in line with the slower pace of regional economic recovery, the regional television market continues to lag, down ten per cent on last year.

“Looking ahead, the outlook is for STV's revenue to be in line with the national market trends across the first five months of the year. The total television advertising market is forecast to be up seven per cent in April, with the outlook for May at down seven per cent, reflecting the pre-World Cup effect on May last year which was up 23 per cent. The regional market is being impacted by the Scottish Election and is expected to be down 19 per cent in April and down ten per cent in May.

“STV Local's roll-out continues with the successful launch of five further sites delivered during the first four months of the year, taking the total number to 21 sites.

“It is also confirmed today that our news pilot, announced earlier this year, will launch on 16 May 2011. This service will make STV News the most local television news service in the UK and will provide an enhanced locally focused news service across all platforms, including STV Local.

“Finally, there is no update on the status of the litigation with ITV plc/ITV Network since our Preliminary Results announcement in February.”