Channel 4 is considering plans to launch a regional news service.
The broadcaster is in the early stages of discussing the idea, which would boost its public service credentials and chances of receiving public funding.
If it goes ahead, the news bulletins could launch online, on More 4, or on the flagship channel. Any output would be designed to supplement ITV’s regional news, after the commercial broadcaster announced cutbacks.
A Channel 4 spokesman said: “We are in general dialogue with Ofcom, the Government and other interested parties about maintaining competition with the BBC across a number of key public service genres.”
ITV announced last September that it planned to slash its £120 million regional programming budget by a third to boost in-house programme production.
It wanted to cut its 17 regional news bulletins to nine, a move which unions said would lead to hundreds of job losses. It has since proposed 18 sub-regional services under the nine news regions.