I don't know why ITV keep up the pretence that they are interested in news and current affairs, and especially regional news coverage. Let's take the Anglia TV region, the one I know best. It covers a massive area of ten counties, all the way from Norfolk and Lincolnshire across to Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire, Northants and down through Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Essex. Up until now the east and west of the region have had separate half hour news programmes. These will now be abolished, with a combined programme taking their place. Much of the regional programming will be prerecorded rather than live. ITV are seeking to save a third of its £120 million regional budget.
I well remember the days when Anglia TV produced some of the best programmes on the ITV network - Survival, Tales of the Unexpected, Sale of the Century (!), Cross Question, Farming Diary, The Chief, Bygones. Those days are long gone.
I suspect the time will come very soon when regional terrestrial TV will cease, and a whole host of low budget internet TV stations will spring up and take their place. Perhaps the Conservatives should be looking at using some of the BBC licence fee to encourage such initiatives.