by a Newsnet reporter
STV has announced that later this year it will start broadcasting a new half hour long Scottish current affairs programme.
Called Scotland Tonight, the programme will be broadcast at 10.30pm Monday to Thursday, immediately after the main ITN news and before rival BBC Scotland’s Newsnight Scotland.
In a statement the company said that the new programme would cover news, politics and current affairs and promised that the programme would be produced and presented from STV’s news centres in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen “with a dedicated team of journalists delivering engaging reports and features from all corners of the country”.
The programme intends to incorporate local news bulletins with the top stories from across the country. In what may raise fears at the increasing ‘tabloidisation’ of television news reporting, the programme also intends to cover entertainment news and sport. The programme will also feature special guests and interviews.
Gordon Macmillan, Head of News at STV, said: “Scotland Tonight is a fresh and exciting new offering from STV, providing viewers with a round-up of all the big issues as well as in-depth analysis and discussion, four nights a week.
“We know that there is a real appetite for local news in Scotland and we will continue to serve our audience by delivering more local content as part of Scotland Tonight, STV News at Six and our growing network of hyper-local websites, STV Local.”
The programme will be welcomed by Scottish viewers who many feel are currently very poorly served by broadcasters in terms of political analysis and current affairs. The timeslot will also hand STV an advantage over rivals BBC Scotland who don’t broadcast the Scottish version of Newsnight until after 11pm.
The new programme will replace the existing weekly politics show, Politics Now.