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INM, Ten Alps Join Forces In Bid For Northern Ireland Local-News Contract

Independent News & Media and Bob Geldof’s multimedia production company Ten Alps want to jointly provide local online and TV news services in Northern Ireland through an independently-funded news consortium. Digital Britain suggested a system of commercial partnerships — partly funded from leftover BBC licence fee money — to replace ITV’s local TV news coverage when it ends in 2012.

Ten Alps signaled its interest in bidding for a pilot Northern Ireland local news contract months ago but its chances of winning it are significantly boosted by the support of INM, which publishes the Belfast Telegraph, Northern Ireland’s biggest newspaper.

The pair launched their pitch to assembled TV execs and politicians at the Royal TV Society convention in Cambridge on Friday, promising a “cross-platform rolling news service” including channel 3 bulletins, newspapers, “localised websites” and web TV. Ten Alps co-founder and non-exec director Geldof let rip his trademark anger on Digital Britain’s chief architect Lord Carter for not suggesting a new consortium pilot for Northern Ireland: “No interpretation we