What this means in practical terms is that the evening Wales Today will be the only Welsh news on the channel, with the mid morning and weekend lunchtime programmes dropped. As for non-news ITV Wales' current flagship programmes like Wales This Week, Sharp End, Soccer Sunday, Fishlock's Wild Tracks and The Ferret will find themselves fighting for scraps.
ITV Wales' head of Drama was scathing in judging the proposals:
“This is the kind of vested interests and cultural arrogance we have seen over the years where they have deliberately undermined our attempts to represent Wales on the UK network."It's already clear that coverage of devolved politics in Wales is abysmal. With the UK written media practically ignoring the Assembly all together and the Western Mail's circulation flatlining under 40,000 and seemingly concerned only in copying and pasting Adam Price's blog posts the only place the Welsh public learn about devolved politics is through their TV set. With the BBC being attacked for ignoring devolved politics and ITV now cutting their coverage to the bones things look quite bleak.
The barrenness of the media coverage was reflected by the recent poll which showed that over 30% of Welsh people interested in politics got their fix from the internet. Credit where it's due, the BBC Wales news website churn out plenty of stories, but, being the BBC, they are lifeless and simply contain quotes from government and opposition politics. The same pattern is employed by the Western Mail and her sister paper. What this means is that there is no-one left to actually investigate Welsh politics, to dig deep into her secrets and complexities. If Peter Hain had just been the Welsh Secretary and not the Secretary for Works and Pensions, would he have escaped disgrace? Because I can guarantee you that neither BBC Wales, ITV Wales nor the Western Mail would have any ability or interest to expose him.
With the possible end of Wales this Week and the Sharp End, and a further cut in Welsh news, what we are left with in this country are a few reporters. What we need is investigative reporters, but don't hold your breath.