ITV has announced it is to axe its News Channel a month early so that staff can have a break over the festive season.
The 24-hour channel, which was set to close at the end of January, will now broadcast for the final time on Friday, December 23.
Launched five years ago, the free-to-air, digital channel had struggled in the ratings war against its rivals at Sky and the BBC.
Clive Jones, Chief Executive of ITV News and Regions, said: ‘The staff and management of the channel have agreed that we could not expect the News Channel’s dedicated staff to work their usual long hours and shift patterns over Christmas at a time when the channel’s closure is imminent.
‘Following ITV’s announcement last week of a GBP 2m investment in other areas of ITV’s news service we will be looking at the opportunities created by the expansion of our news-gathering operation to redeploy as many staff as possible in the New Year.’