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London Tonight to leave the South Bank

London's regional news on ITV1 is to leave its well-known South Bank studios when production is taken over by ITN.

The familiar view of St Paul's and the London cityscape will disappear from London Today and London Tonight following the announcement that London News Network's programmes will in future be produced from ITN's Gray's Inn Road headquarters across the river.

Up to 40 jobs are likely to be lost at LNN and ITN. The new London news service is likely to launch in February or March next year.

LNN, now jointly owned by Carlton and Granada, was set up by Carlton and London Weekend Television to provide a seven-day regional news service when Carlton took over the London weekday ITV franchise in 1993.

Previously Thames News had provided a service on weekdays only, with LWT News operating from the South Bank at weekends.

The new London service will retain its own identity but will draw on the newsgathering and technical resources of ITN.

The move comes days after the merger of Carlton and Granada got the go-ahead.

Rumours are circulating in some quarters that ITV plc will sell off Granada's London base on the South Bank, which it inherited when it took over LWT in the mid-1990s.

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