ITV News West Country
|ITV News West Country|
|Also known as||Good Morning West Country|
|Presented by||Ian Axton
|Country of origin||England, UK|
|Executive producer(s)||Sarah Norman
(Head of News)
|Running time||30 minutes (main 18:00 show)|
|Production company(s)||ITV West Country|
|Original channel||ITV West
|Picture format||576i (SDTV 16:9)|
|Original release||16 February 2009– present|
|Preceded by||The West Tonight,
|Related shows||ITV News,
BBC Points West,
The nightly regional news programme was launched on 16 February 2009 as The West Country Tonight, following the merger of two regional news services - The West Tonight (ITV West) and Westcountry Live (ITV Westcountry).
ITV News West Country is broadcast from the ITV West Country studios in Bristol with reporters and camera crews also based in newsrooms at Plymouth, Exeter, Truro, Taunton, and Gloucester.
When the programme first launched, it was presented by ITV West presenters Lisa Aziz and Steve Scott (formerly of The West Tonight). However, Aziz was suspended in June 2009 from her position and officially left ITV West in February 2010 with former Westcountry Live freelancer Vanessa Cuddeford taking over. Scott left his position to become Sports Editor for ITV News in May 2010, and was replaced by former Meridian Tonight presenter Ian Axton.
Bristol-based district correspondent Cordelia Lynch became a stand-in main presenter for Cuddeford from May 2012 when she went on maternity leave. Both Cuddeford and Lynch announced their departures from ITV West Country a year later. Kylie Pentelow of BBC East Midlands Today replaced Cuddeford from July 2013.
ITV News West Country airs on ITV West and ITV Westcountry seven days a week. On weekdays, a four-minute lunchtime bulletin airs at 1.55pm, followed by the main half-hour programme at 6pm and an eight-minute late bulletin at 10.30pm following ITV News at Ten. At weekends, two 5-minute editions of ITV News West Country are broadcast - one later on Saturday afternoons and another on Sunday evenings.
On weekday mornings, Good Morning West Country airs short bulletins within Good Morning Britain at approximately 6.05am, 7.05am and 8.05am.
As part of The West Country Tonight's launch in February 2009, two opt-out services for the ITV West and ITV Westcountry regions were retained, incorporating the first half of the main evening programme on weeknights at 6pm, the full late bulletins after News at Ten on weeknights and sports news on Mondays and Fridays. These are known as East and West respectively.
On Monday 5 September 2011, separate weekday daytime bulletins for the two regions (at breakfast and lunchtime) were reintroduced. On 23 July 2013, proposals for a more localised Channel 3 news service were approved. ITV News West Country extended the East and West opt-out services to at least 20 minutes of the 6pm programme, in addition to separate weekend bulletins for the two sub-regions, effectively restoring full services for the two areas. The changes came into effect from Monday 16 September 2013. Both sub-regional services utilise the same presenter(s) and studio/set in Bristol, therefore one of the two opt-outs - depending on the day's news - is pre-recorded 'as live' shortly before transmission.
- Digital Spy - Ofcom 'to allow' ITV regional news cuts
- BBC News - ITV to merge regional newsrooms
- Your Westcountry news from Bristol, Western Morning News, 27 January 2009
- Seventeen regions into nine: How the updated ITV local news services will run Caitlin Fitzsimmons, The Guardian, 17 February 2009
- OFCOM sets out licence terms for ITV, STV, UTV and Channel 5, OFCOM, 23 July 2013