Wollongong no longer has a live TV news broadcast after WIN Television began pre-recording its Illawarra bulletin.
The move comes after the television station announced two weeks ago that it would produce its Canberra bulletin at the company’s Mount Saint Thomas headquarters.
The Canberra news is read live at 6.30pm by Wollongong presenters Kerryn Johnston and Amy Duggan. As a result, Wollongong’s bulletin has been pre-recorded about 5pm since last Monday.
WIN remains the only Wollongong-based television news service, after Prime and Channel 10 closed their Illawarra newsrooms more than a decade ago.
The move to broadcast the ACT bulletin from Wollongong has upset Canberra citizens, with one former presenter describing it as a ‘‘slap in the face for Canberra residents’’.
WIN refused to answer any questions about the effects the earlier deadline would have on its Wollongong broadcast, instead sending a generic statement from chief executive Andrew Lancaster.
‘‘We employ over 200 dedicated news staff [across Australia] to ensure that each of these bulletins is a genuine half-hour local news bulletin covering the people, places and issues affecting the areas where they broadcast at 6.30pm each weeknight,’’ Mr Lancaster said.
‘‘Our television news gathering resources are unmatched in regional Australia and WIN prides itself on having reporters and camera operators who have strong contacts and relationships with local people and understand their local markets and their key issues.’’
WIN Network NSW/ACT general manager Andy Vautier confirmed the Canberra broadcast would be live from Wollongong when speaking to Fairfax Media last week.
‘‘The presentation of the nightly Canberra bulletin will now be broadcast live from Wollongong headquarters following a review of operations amid recent staff movements,’’ Mr Vautier told the Canberra Times.