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ITV to axe more jobs at Northern Irish station

More of UTV's workforce are facing redundancy following ITV's takeover of the Channel 3 station for Northern Ireland earlier this year.

The redundancies are a result of a centralisation of duties within the ITV network and the sale of UTV Ireland to Virgin Media.

In a statement issued today by UTV to media outlets, the broadcaster confirmed it had updated staff on the plans. It added:
"The workforce is currently 138 in UTV Belfast. From today 43 roles at at risk of redundancy - that's 27 new roles put at risk today on top of the 16 in playout that were already at risk from July. There are 8 redeployment opportunities so that's potentially 35 job losses - so potentially a 25% decrease in workforce."

ITV has this month made further changes to UTV's output, having axed UTV's late evening current affairs programme UTV Live Tonight in a move that will enable ITV to harmonise UTV's late schedule with the main ITV network. This follows reports last month that indicated ITV is plotting at giving News at Ten a more flexible timeslot. Staff fear that UTV will be downsized to little more than a small news gathering and production centre, in line with other ITV regional news centres.

Earlier this week, the new UTV logo (pictured above), which brings its branding into line with the main ITV channel 3 service was spotted making a premature early morning appearance on-screen.