Channel 4 has confirmed today that it has renewed its contract with ITN to supply Channel 4 News until December 2026.
The deal ensures that ITN’s award-winning Channel 4 News bulletins will remain at the heart of the Channel 4 schedule, delivering on its remit to cover UK and international stories and investigations, demonstrate innovation and appeal to a culturally diverse audience.
ITN has held the contract for 40 years with the Channel 4 News programme one of only two programmes that have been on the air continuously since Channel 4 started broadcasting in 1982.
Channel 4 News editor Esme Wren said: “It’s fantastic that Channel 4 has recognised the strength and dedication of the whole team delivering Channel 4 News night after night on TV as well as across digital platforms in what has been a tremendously busy, unrelenting news cycle. From the war in Ukraine to the turmoil of UK politics and the cost-of-living crisis including numerous strikes, we aim to provide a comprehensive and alternative viewpoint reflecting voices across the nation.”
Channel 4 is investing heavily in a new Leeds studio for the programme as part of its increased commitment to nations and regions coverage and has recently appointed a dedicated team in Leeds who will sit at the heart of a digital and data-led strategy. They include data correspondent and presenter Ciaran Jenkins, communities editor Darshna Soni, deputy head of home news, Sally Chesworth and head of regions, Sunita Bhatti.
Louisa Compton, Head of News and Current Affairs and Specialist Factual and Sport said: “We are delighted to confirm that, after 40 years, ITN will continue to provide first-class news coverage for C4. This multi-year deal is a direct result of them providing outstanding delivery of their important remit to provide in-depth, unbiased, high-quality reportage and investigations. The period that this contract covers will see the Leeds permanent newsroom open, an expansion of our digital and FactCheck services as well as the continued exemplary journalism and analysis that our audiences have come to expect.”
Rachel Corp, ITN CEO said: “This is a huge vote of confidence in the Channel 4 News team who continue to produce outstanding journalism across a range of platforms. Whether it’s ground-breaking investigations, eye-witness journalism – including the exceptional BATFA-nominated coverage from the frontline in Ukraine – or the run of recent, headline-grabbing exclusives, this is an unstoppable newsroom delivering for domestic and global audiences. With a core team of established presenters and correspondents alongside exciting new hires and a focus on digital and data, the team are going from strength to strength under Esme’s leadership.”
Scoops last year included an interview with former deputy chief whip Anne Milton concerning allegations about Sir Gavin Williamson’s behaviour, which was immediately followed by Williamson’s resignation from government.
The programme also interviewed former head of counter-terrorism Neil Basu who talked about racism, immigration and “credible” threats to the Duchess of Sussex. Meanwhile, key global stories included Secunder Kermani’s on-the-ground reports during the tense elections in Brazil and Jamal Osman gaining unprecedented access to the extremist group Al Shabaab.
Channel 4 News is also seeing record numbers across all digital platforms. Last year was Channel 4 News’ biggest year ever on digital in terms of viewership, with over 2 billion ‘minutes-viewed’ across platforms. Journalism in and about Ukraine dominated and it caused saw huge growth on YouTube where Channel 4 News now have 2.5 million followers.
Meanwhile, on TikTok, C4 News has grown from 25,000 to 500,000 followers in a little over a year, reaching large young audiences and receiving 80 million views there in February alone, with a focus on on-the-ground reporting and newsgathering for the Turkey-Syria earthquake story.