ITN moots Reuters radio news stake

Independent Television News is considering taking a 25 per cent stake in Reuters-owned London News Radio.

Radio industry sources suggest such a deal would be a “logical” step. London News Radio enjoyed a troubled launch with lower than anticipated listening prompting early management and programming changes.

“Reuters has been disappointed with the performance of both its London stations,” one industry source claims. “A closer alliance with ITN could also see Reuters taking a stake in ITN.”

New investors in ITN are expected as a result of major shareholders Carlton and Granada being forced to reduce their 36 per cent stake to 20 per cent, in the light of the Government’s recent cross-media ownership proposals.

MAI and Reuters have been tipped as likely shareholders.

However, speculation that such a move would automatically precipitate a merger between Reuters’ news service – Reuters Radio News – is being dismissed.

“There is a widely-held belief that IRN is a subsidiary of ITN. It’s not,” says IRN managing director John Perkins. ITN has a contract to supply IRN with news. It is also a minority shareholder in the radio news supply service, he explains.

Broadcasting, page 32

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