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Question mark over 34 jobs as IRN splits with ITN

By Rachael Gallagher

Independent Radio News (IRN) has dropped ITN as its news supplier in favour of Sky News, making Sky News the major provider of national news for commercial radio in Britain.

The new three-year contract starts in March 2009 when the agreement with ITN – which has been in place for 16 years – expires.

IRN, which launched in 1973, supplies news to 250 stations in the UK. Its majority shareholder, GCap Media, was bought by Global Radio for £375m in March this year.

ITN is understood to have called a meeting with Sky later this week to discuss transferring some or all of the 34 radio journalists working on the service to Sky News Radio.

IRN managing director John Perkins said: “It has been a difficult decision, but follows a detailed review of the company’s news supply arrangements. I would like to thank ITN for the excellent service it has provided over the past 16 years.”

ITN chief executive Mark Wood said the company was disappointed with the decision. He said: ‘We have delivered an award winning news service to IRN for 16 years thanks to the dedicated team of journalists working in our radio department.

‘We are clearly very disappointed not to be selected as preferred supplier. ITN’s proposal was for a continued high quality, tightly costed, service that our client stations have come to expect from us.”

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Sky News is already a major provider of national news for commercial radio stations in the UK with clients including TalkSport and LBC.

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