STV is to launch its new “Scottish Seven” news programme later this month.
The first edition of the broadcaster’s half-hour bulletin bringing together Scottish, UK and international news will be launched at 7pm on the first day of the new STV2 channel on 24 April.
Existing channels for Edinburgh and Glasgow will be combined with new licences for Edinburgh, Ayr and Dundee to create the new channel, which will also including three half-hour news bulletins.
STV News Tonight, which STV says “will deliver a service tailored specifically to the interests of Scottish viewers,” is being launched more than a year ahead of BBC Scotland’s own integrated news bulletin.
The so-called “Scottish Nine” will go out on a new BBC channel due to begin broadcasting in the autumn of 2018.
Announced in February, the new BBC channel will boast a budget of £30 million and lead to the creation of 80 new posts for journalists.
STV’s integrated new programme will use a 160-strong news team as well as journalists from the ITN network across UK and around the world.
STV said its new channel would also be “delivered in partnership with” further education colleges and university from across the country, offering placements, internships and training.
Bobby Hain, director of channels at STV, said: “STV2 is the first commercial TV channel with a distinct schedule for Scotland and we’re excited to confirm the channel will launch on Monday 24th April.
“STV2 has Scotland at its core with an entertaining mix of local, Scottish and international content.
“Our flagship news programme, STV News Tonight, will air every weeknight as part of a diverse schedule including a daily live magazine show, programming showcasing key cultural events and local sport plus top quality drama and entertainment.”