Trinity Mirror's Scottish IFNC bid rejected

Trinity Mirror is one of five bidders to have failed to move to the second stage in the process to pick three consortiums to run regional news pilots in Scotland, Wales and an English region.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said today that eight consortia had met the criteria to move through to the next stage of the selection process for the government’s independently funded news consortium scheme.

Trinity Mirror‘s bid, in partnership with MacMillan Media, to run the Scottish pilot was rejected by the DCMS along with four others. Trinity Mirror was the only one of the five to have gone public with its bid, the DCMS refused to name the other rejected bidders.

The DCMS’s independent selection panel selected three bids for the English region pilot, three for the Welsh pilot and two for Scotland.

The English pilot, which will be run in the Tyne Tees and Scottish Borders area, will be contested between a bid from regional publishers Johnston Press and Newsquest in collaboration with ITN, a bid from Northern Irish ITV franchise-holder UTV and a bid consortium made up of Trinity Mirror, the Press Association and the TV production company Ten Alps.

The opening to run the Scottish pilot will be fought between a consortium of newspaper groups DC Thomson, Herald & Times Group, Johnston Press and production company Tinopolis and a bid from Scottish ITV broadcaster STV, ITN and Bauer Radio.

In Wales, the three remaining bids are from Tinopolis, a collaboration between UTV and local newspaper publisher NWN Media and a consortium consisting of ITN, Northcliffe Media, Newsquest, Tindle Newspapers, and production company Boomerang.

Richard Hooper, chairman of the independent IFNC selection panel, said: “Let me be clear about what we are looking for: quality news reporting with a mix of local, regional and national (in the case of Wales and Scotland) audiences firmly in mind…

“…genuine innovation, not just business as usual; strong multiplatform applications working together across the web, local newspapers, local radio and television where appropriate, utilising each different medium’s special characteristics; and finally, a revenue generation model that aspires to longer term sustainability.”

The eight selected bidders will now be involved in ‘detailed dialogue’before the winners are announced in March.

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