ITNfested: journalists forced to flea newsroom

The ITN building is being fumigated as a precaution after an outbreak of insect bites

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ITN news staff reeling from the news of the high salaries enjoyed by their competitors at the BBC have received more unwelcome news – an outbreak of insect bites and a possible flea infestation.

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Staff at ITN, which makes the news programmes for ITV and Channel 4, today received an email from management telling them that the whole building is to be fumigated as a precaution.

“Following several reported insect bites, a pest control spray of the newsroom will be carried out next week,” the missive sent to staff reveals.

“Previous tests have found no evidence of infestation. But as a precaution, fumigation will take place overnight on Tuesday. In order for this to happen, the newsroom must be empty between 00:01-04:00 on Weds 26 July.

“The spray itself does not present any health risks but for elimination of risk its recommended the whole newsroom area should be empty while work is undertaken. There will be no access during this time and hazard warning signs will be placed at the entrance of the newsroom. Affected staff will be told where to relocate.”

News of the possible infestation has been treated with some mirth in the ITN newsroom however, with one journalist telling RadioTimes.com: “As the BBC dine out on champagne and lobster we have suspected fleas. But we will be strong and overcome this.”

The pay of ITN staff has of course not been revealed, though many at the company have been shocked by some of the high salaries enjoyed by BBC news presenters such as TV presenter Huw Edwards and Today’s John Humphrys.

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Humphrys took home between £600,000 and £649,999 in the year to April 2017 according to figures released according to the rules of the BBC’s new charter, with News at Ten newsreader Huw Edwards just behind him in the £550,000 – £599,999 bracket.