Fife MSP calls for STV to re-think job cuts and station closure

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A Fife MSP has hit out at STV’s decision to axe the east coast edition of its flagship News at Six.

It came as part of a package of cuts which will see 34 jobs go, and the closure of STV2 next month with the loss of a further 25 posts.

Claire Baker, who represents Mid-Scotland and Fife, is also Scottish Labour’s spokesperson on culture.

She said: “This is a devastating blow for staff at STV and for the wider creative and media industry.

“STV have been rightly lauded for its local and national news and politics coverage.

“Previously issues that may not have made a national news bulletin, but are important to the Kingdom, have been given the time and respect they deserve. These redundancies risk undermining that.

“With the rise of fake news, the impact of Brexit, and important new powers now at Holyrood, we need to ensure a strong and independent news sector to deliver the facts and hold politicians and power to account.

“It will stick in the craw for many that the news was delivered as part of cost cutting measures from a CEO who was awarded a ‘golden hello’ of over £800,000.’’

Ms Baker added: ““At a time when BBC is launching a new channel and Glasgow is making a strong bid to be the new headquarters for Channel 4, we should be looking to build our media capacity in Scotland not diminish it.

“STV must think again about axing the east coast news and ensure that the station can continue to deliver a news service that the whole of Scotland deserves.”