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STV's online local news staff face prospect of redundancies

It is understood that staff across a number of regional STV newsrooms face the prospect of redundancy as the Scottish media company implements cost saving strategies.

Sources have told The Drum that online local news staff at STV Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee are likely to be affected by the job losses.

It is also understood that STV Aberdeen’s Kris Gilmartin will leave his position as online editor to head a small team producing features as part of a new product launch heavily centred around news, weather and shows following the cuts. This smaller team will cover the positions lost in the other editorial teams.

A number of new online roles will also be created and made available for application to those affected by the redundancy process, it is also believed.

The Drum reached out to STV for comment on reports of the redundancies. A spokesman for STV said that “we cannot comment on such matters”.

Only last week the company predicted that it would break even for its local Glasgow TV station STV by end of year.

STV Glasgow launched in May 2014 followed by STV Edinburgh in January 2015. The start-up cost for both contributed towards a 7 per cent decline in pre-tax profits however the company has hailed the channels' success and claimed that they have reached an average 900,000 viewers each month - more than 30 per cent of viewers within their broadcast area.

The company has also secured licences for Ayr, Aberdeen and Dundee and has stated that it plans to start broadcasting in these areas by 2017 at the latest.

STV Edinburgh released the final figures for its coverage of the Edinburgh Fringe which revealed 800,000 viewers across the UK watched the channel in August. Of that number 600,000 were in Scotland and 200,000 of the viewers were located across the rest of the UK thanks to local television networks in England and Northern Ireland licensing the coverage.

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