Cut backs vs rationalisation.
You can make any damn thing you want seem rational, but the facts are the facts. ITV's regional news service these days is little more than a tick-box exercise for the regulator, where as in the late 80s and early 90s, it was something that ITV companies were damn proud of, especially when compared to the BBC, who had much more in the way of local news resources to draw from.
For example, BBC South West in Plymouth, could see everything that both Radio Devon and Radio Cornwall were doing in the early 90s, and both radio stations could also see what Spotlight was working on. TSW in comparison just had their own newsroom staff, and there was no sharing with Plymouth Sound or Devonair.
When you think about it, the fact that TSW and Westcountry were able to put on the news bulletins they did, with far less than the BBC had, it makes their current output look quite lamentable.