In a move which will suprise some and disappoint others, the consortium headed by Ulster Television have been chosen as the preferred bidders to run the ITV news service in Wales. Whether they actually get to deliver the service depends on the Government and the result of the General Election (the Conservatives have said they will scrap all plans for independent news consortia, as they are called).
UTV’s bid, in partnership with North Wales Newspapers and Swansea Sound radio (which UTV own), was one of three to go through to the final round. Tinopolis of Llanelli were second and the inside bid from the existing ITV news team (with a large number of other media groups) didn’t get a look in.
For an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the three bids as they were presented to the Welsh public, see our post on 3 February.
So how does it come about that an independent TV company like Ulster can run a succesful news service at home and offer to do the same for Wales? Why didn’t they get swallowed up and emasculated by Granada and Carlton and diluted in what is now ITV? We had a strong local TV company like that once upon a time – it was called HTV.