Border Television's regional news service began on 1 September 1961 from studios at Harraby, City of Carlisle. Initially producing short evening bulletins and a topical magazine programme called Focus, Lookaround would become the station's flagship daily programme later on in the decade. Shorter bulletins were known as Border News. Meanwhile, the ITV Tyne Tees region had its own wholly separate news services.
In September 2007, ITV plc announced that ITV Border news operations would be merged with ITV Tyne Tees, subject to Ofcom approval.
On 24 April 2008 a campaign to save the ITV Border news operation arrived in London with a petition of 9000 signed by viewers. This was ahead of MPs meeting with industry regulator Ofcom.
On 26 September 2008, OFCOM (the Office of Communications, the UK's broadcasting regulator) authorised ITV's plans to save £40m a year by making regional programming cutbacks. These include axing mid-morning bulletins on weekdays and lunchtime bulletins at weekends, plus merging a number of regions and halving the number of non-news regional programmes.
On 30 September 2008, it was announced the number of ITV Border employees would be slashed from 64 to 13.
As part of the merger, six district reporters were appointed - woking from home unless based in Edinburgh or Carlisle. The district reporters announced were Hannah Lomas in Carlisle, Lee Madan in Selkirk, Stuart Pollitt in Whitehaven, Victoria Hoe in Kendal, Olivia Richwald in Dumfries and Kathryn Samson in Edinburgh.
Following a survey of Isle of Man viewers in autumn 2008, coverage of the Isle of Man was transferred from ITV Border to ITV Granada in July 2009.
ITV Tyne Tees & Border was formed on 25 February 2009, with Lookaround and North East Tonight titles retained for the 6pm programme and late bulletin each weekday, whilst shorter bulletins are known simply as Tyne Tees & Border News.
The remaining sub-regional elements are:
- The opening 15 minutes of the main 6pm programme.
- Full late night bulletins on weeknights, following ITV News at Ten.
- Localised weather forecasts.
Both sub-regional editions utilise exactly the same presenter(s) and studio/set, therefore one of the two opt-outs - depending on the day's news - is pre-recorded 'as live' shortly before broadcast. The pan-regional latter half of the 6pm programme largely or entirely avoids mentioning any particular programme name either visually or verbally, given that the first half goes out under different names in the respective Border or Tyne Tees parts of the region.
Lookaround is produced and broadcast from the existing ITV Tyne Tees studios at The Watermark, Gateshead with Border reporters also based at bureaux in Carlisle and Edinburgh.
On Monday 14 January 2013, the news service was relaunched and rebranded as ITV News Lookaround for the weekday 6pm and 10.30pm Border bulletins, and ITV News Tyne Tees & Border for all other bulletins.
Read more about this topic: Lookaround
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