Where the presenters are is one thing, but if reporters have to travel in from Birmingham........... It could be wrong of course - they probably send reports up the line from a laptop nowadays but if they can't, the East will be set back 20 years.
20 years sounds about right.
Isn't ITV's plan to have the reporters in the patch sending back to a regional centre where several sub-regions news output is assembled? Some of this will be sent as completed edited packages.
I'd argue that the main quality impediment is going to be management contact with the area, in particular this means the sub-editors.
The relevance of where the presenter is, surly is dependent on what sort of presenter you have. A journalistic style of presentation is going to require a figure who takes an editorial position within the production, knows the reporters, and knows the area. Surly this knowledge will in part come about by assimilating the little bits of coded information that will only come about through social and professional contact with the main subjects, ie by living and working in the area.