Isle of Man moves ITV news region

THE Isle of Man is on the move.

By the end of the year the Island's news will be covered by ITV's Granada news service instead of being part of the Border region.

ITV first revealed its cost-cutting plan to overhaul regional news coverage in September 2007.

Among the proposals, which needed the approval of regulator Ofcom, was the merging of the Border and Tyne Tees regions.

Members of the Manx public, Tynwald and the Celtic League were against the merger and suggested it was time the Island moved regions and receive its news from Granada in the North West.

ITV and Ofcom have agreed to the change in regional news coverage for the Island, it was announced on Wednesday.

But for technical reasons the switch will not take place until towards the end of the year.

Dr Carmel McLaughlin, director of the Island's Communications Commission, explained: 'Plans are well advanced for digital switchover.

On June 18, BBC2 analogue transmissions from the Island's transmitters will be turned off and replaced by digital transmissions.

'Digital switchover will not begin in the North West of England until November 2009. To avoid confusion, switchover will proceed as planned in the summer and we will continue to receive the ITV Border regional service which will provide viewers with information about the switchover process.

'For this, and other technical reasons, the Isle of Man transmitters are unlikely to switch to Granada until that region goes digital at the end of the year.'

The Communications Commission received 120 responses in a survey about ITV news coverage.

The majority – 77 per cent – favoured moving to Granada and only 17 per cent wanted to stay with Border.

Communications Commission chairman Adrian Earnshaw said: 'On behalf of the commission, we welcome the agreement to switch the Isle of Man transmitters to Granada.

'The commission, Tynwald and the great majority of respondents to our consultation agreed that the Island would be better served by being part of the ITV Granada region due to our cultural, economic and social links with the North West of England.'

Details of how much coverage the Island will receive from Granada or if a reporter will be based here have not been released.

Until December, Border had a reporter based in the Island.

Since Paul Moulton's departure, to work for the BBC, Tromode firm Greenlight Television has filmed Manx news with big stories covered by reporters sent from Carlisle.

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