I am writing in response to Robert Beveridge’s article, “Here’s the local news, and it’s not looking good” (15 January). The premise of Professor Beveridge’s piece was that BBC licence fee monies would support the delivery of these new services. This is entirely inaccurate – STV will not receive any BBC licence monies in respect of local TV.
In addition, many of the positive aspects of the successful bids for GTV and ETV, including the vision we and our university partners hold for these services, were not addressed in the article and I welcome the chance to give Scotsman readers the full picture.
A key feature of the successful licence bids is that both will be commercially viable from the outset and will not access the funding provided through the BBC licence fee that is available to all the successful applicants who will deliver these services.
As a result, the content of both these new local channels will be exclusive, enabling GTV and ETV to be established from the outset as fully commercial business models.
The vision for GTV and ETV is to deliver unique content not available from other media providers, thus encouraging viewers to build a relationship with the new local channels, and our decision not to take the financial support available was taken on this basis. Another point of the article which should be clarified is that there is no formal arrangement between STV and the BBC to share studio facilities.
STV has its own dedicated production facilities in five locations across Scotland, including an extensive network of reporters and camera operators in the Highlands and Islands.
These new local TV channels are an important and timely addition to the media landscape in Scotland and will reflect and celebrate the cultural, political, sporting and other unique characteristics of Glasgow and Edinburgh and provide a new voice for local communities in their respective communities.
Director of Channels