Unions act on ITV merger

ITV unions have called on Carlton and Granada to open talks on their newly-announced merger.

On behalf of BECTU, NUJ, and Amicus, Gerry Morrissey, BECTU's Assistant General Secretary, has called on the companies to convene urgent meetings on the implications of the merger - particularly the impact on staff, and the future of regional programming.

"We welcome today's announcement in that it ends the long period of uncertainty experienced by our members in ITV", said Morrissey. He went on to welcome the statement by Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State, who had said that: "A stronger ITV will be better able to invest in and provide programming of high quality, including regional programmes."

BECTU succeeded in winning commitments in the Communications Act to protect regional television production, both for the regions and for the network. "We intend to ensure that these hard-won commitments will be reflected in the merged company", said Morrissey, "and we are pleased that we have the support of government in this objective."

7 October 2003