Pamela Ballantine, one of Northern Ireland’s most famous faces, is leaving UTV
After working as a reporter, presenter, continuity announcer and company ambassador, UTV has decided to axe Pamela Ballantine.
It is understood the former UTV Life anchorwoman was called into a meeting at Havelock House last week where she was told she was being let go.
According to a source, Pamela was told her job at UTV was no longer available, but that she could carry on working for the company on a freelance basis.
The source said that Pamela had been offered a 40-day freelance contract but was in negotiations to extend this.
“Basically, UTV has made Pamela redundant,” said the source.
“She was one of the staff members affected by the severence scheme last year when she was given a new contract on a lower salary as a ‘cross-platform’ presenter.
“But the contract was up last week and she was called in and told that her job no longer existed, but she could do freelance work for 40 days.”
Last year Pamela was one of a number of high-profile UTV employees to be affected by a cross-department cull.
While shows such as Insight and UTV Life were given the chop, Pamela and sports presenter Adrian ‘Logie’ Logan were offered the option of remaining at the station as cross-platform reporters on lower salaries than they had previously been on.
Adrian has since left the company, along with Ivan Little, Fearghal McKinney and Jeannie Johnston.
Another UTV insider said: “Pamela is a very popular and likeable presenter, there’s a bit of spark about her and she gets the best out of people.
“She will be missed at UTV.”
Pamela declined to comment on the matter.
A spokeswoman for UTV said: “It is UTV policy not to comment on individual staff matters.”
A former Downtown Radio secretary and reporter, Pamela later worked for BBC Radio Ulster before moving to UTV as a continuity announcer and news presenter in 1983. She became a regular newsreader on UTV Live and went on to present for the nightly magazine show UTV Life, from March 1999 to February 2009.
She also presented Farming Ulster, Telethon, the Ulster Schools Quiz, Hot Pursuits and motorsports programme RPM.
Her new role last year saw her reporting and working as a continuity announcer. She also acted as ambassador for UTV.
The fun-loving daredevil, who threw herself into many challenges such as sky-diving or charity swims, was formerly married to Downtown Radio’s John Paul Ballantine. He is now married to Pamela’s UTV colleague Tina Campbell, who presents The Seven Thirty Show.