ITV plans £40m cut in regional news
The move will give ITV a saving of between £35 million and £40 million, which will be invested in new programmes, as part of executive chairman Michael Grade's five-year content-led plan for the network.
Regional services in London, Granada and Wales would be unaffected by the changes, which will require Ofcom approval before they go ahead.
News programmes in the Westcountry and West franchise areas will merge, as will those in Border, Tyne Tees, Central and Meridian. Extra shortform sections containing local content will be blended into the newly-merged regional news programmes.
ITV said the current investment levels for regional news were "unsustainable", and that its new plans allowed for "critical mass and quality for all regions".
Broadcasting union BECTU has expressed concerns that the plans will result in the loss of hundreds of jobs across the network.
Ofcom will consider the proposals as part of its review of public service broadcasting, and if approved they would come into effect from 2009.