Scottish broadcaster STV is shutting down its STV2 channel at the end of June, with content investment shifting to the STV main channel and STV Player.
STV said the decision to close the loss-making channel reflects the “challenging economics of local television and anticipated new competition from BBC Scotland.” The closure will result in savings of £1 million per annum and reduction of 25 jobs.
Plans are to use cost savings plus other redirected content spend to allocate £15 million for new investments over the next three years. The majority of this will be spent on new original content, with a focus on formats and returnable series.
Simon Pitts, STV’s chief executive, said: “This is a positive vision for STV that will re-establish the company as a creative force in Scotland and beyond. We will invest in creative talent, new original programming and digital to ensure STV becomes Scotland’s home of news and entertainment and delivers long-term value for advertisers, shareholders and viewers alike.
“Our de-risked broadcast business is resilient and provides the engine room for STV’s growth. We will use our unique marketing platform to showcase new formats from STV Productions, drive viewing to STV Player and get even closer to advertisers through the launch of our new Growth Fund for Scottish business.
“News is fundamental to the STV brand and we remain committed to offering the best news service in Scotland. However, given how quickly news consumption is changing it is vital that STV evolves to stay competitive, and we are therefore launching a comprehensive change program, STV News 2020, that will see us invest in skills, technology and digital as well as delivering cost savings.
“As a result of the challenging economics of local television and anticipated increased competition from BBC Scotland, we have taken the difficult decision to close our loss-making STV2 channel to focus our future content investment on STV and the STV Player. I’d like to thank the STV2 team for everything they have achieved over the last four years.
“We have ambitious growth plans for STV Productions which is well placed to take advantage of the surge in demand for new programming from the Nations and Regions. We will exploit STV’s unique producer-broadcaster status to attract the best creative talent and showcase new formats and ideas for the U.K. and international markets.
“The STV of 2020 will have creativity as its heart, working in partnership to drive the Scottish economy and showcase Scotland to the world.”