There was anger last week after ITV News announced cost-cutting plans to slash over 400 workers across its regional services.
Management said that staffing levels would be cut from 1,075 to 646.
This follows media regulator Ofcom’s public service broadcasting review, which ruled that ITV regional programmes could be axed to help it save £40 million a year.
ITV also wants to make a further £35 million “savings” by 2010.
This is a major attack on public service broadcasting and jobs.
The workers’ Bectu and NUJ unions have pledged to defend the service.
Luke Crawley, Bectu’s assistant general secretary, said, “This is a devastating blow to staff across the ITV regional news network and further demonstrates ITV’s lack of commitment to public service broadcasting.
“Ofcom has failed in its duty to protect viewers from these savage cuts.”
Paul McLaughlin, the NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said, “Unless ITV meaningfully engages with unions over its plans for the future of regional news, industrial action seems inevitable.
“Any attempts to force through these massive cuts will be met with strong resistance.
“Viewers will doubtless be asking how a regulator required by parliament to maintain and strengthen public service broadcasting is allowing this to happen.”