An era ends: WIN TV signs off Mildura news bulletin

We need to continue to review our ­operating model to ensure the ongoing success of WIN as a business - Andrew Lancaster, WIN Network

MILDURA is now the largest regional centre in Victoria without a local TV news service after WIN Television aired its final Mildura-based bulletin last night.

Network management this week made the shock decision to cut the service and end the long-running Mildura-based news service, which covered the entire Sunraysia district and the northern Mallee.

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Media union slams closure

The network’s general manager met staff on Thursday to notify them of the decision, with all staff except the bureau chief offered redundancies.

Staff were told to apply for ­vacancies at other WIN bureaus in regional ­Victoria, with network management saying it remained committed to its regional news services.

WIN Network chief executive ­Andrew Lancaster said a need to cut costs forced the network to axe its local service in Mildura, as well as the service in the central Queensland city of Mackay.

“In a media environment that has its challenges and is faced with constantly increasing program supply and infrastructure costs as well as a lack of regulatory reform, we need to continue to review our ­operating model to ensure the ongoing success of WIN as a ­business,” he said.

“Our first priority will be working with the staff impacted by the closures to redeploy them into ­other roles across the network.”

The network pulled the local news ­social media profiles yesterday before the final bulletin was broadcast at 7pm.

Federal Member for Farrer ­Sussan Ley said in Wentworth yesterday she was shocked to hear the fate of the local bulletin yesterday and would discuss the decision with the network’s top brass.

“I will be talking to WIN management and making my displeasure known,” she said.

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