MERIDIAN television, the Southampton-based regional newsroom covering Hampshire and south Wiltshire, is set to be axed as part of a national shake-up of ITV's regional programmes.

Under the plans the region's three evening news broadcasts - Meridian South, Meridian South East and Thames Valley - will become one. The new regional programme would cover and area stretching from Kent to Dorset as well as parts of Essex and Berkshire.

ITV Meridian has been on air since 1993 and employs about 180 people.

It is not known how many jobs will go because of the changes but some job losses look inevitable.

ITV plans to reduce its regional newsrooms from 17 to nine.