ITV Central is to broadcast more news focusing specifically on the West Midlands region, under a new broadcast licence to be agreed with the Government.
The current news programmes, which focus on Midland-wide news bulletins taking in Nottingham, Leicester and Derby as well as the West Midlands, are to be replaced by programmes with a more local focus.
At the moment, the Central West region, which includes the West Midlands region of Birmingham, Coventry, the Black Country, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, receives just six minutes of dedicated coverage in the 30-minute news programme each evening.
The remaining 24 minutes covers the entire Central broadcast area, including the East Midlands.
Under the new proposals, the West and East Midlands will each receive 20 minutes of separate footage dedicated to their regions. Both programmes will be produced from Birmingham.
However, the remaining ten minutes of the broadcast will feature news footage which may be sourced from any part of England.
This could include news reports thought to be of interest to people in the region even if they referred to events which did not take place here.
In some cases, it would be followed with a report produced in the West Midlands with reactions from local people.
ITV Plc, which owns ITV Central, set out the plans in a submission to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, in the run-up to the renewal of its licenses to broadcast on Channel 3, the channel often known as ITV or ITV1, which expire on December 31 2014.
The broadcaster said that more local broadcasts would create programmes with “more interest and resonance for the audience”.
However, filling up only 20 minutes rather than half an hour with dedicated local news in the main evening programme would ensure there was no need to pad out the programme with “soft” news, the broadcaster said.