Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Feel the width

BBC Director of News James Harding is putting his English regional news teams on an election footing from January. The 10.25 bulletins that follow the 10 o'clock BBC1 news, will double - from 7 and half minutes to 15.

Staff and union negotiators will be interested to discover the scale, if any, of extra funding. Cynics will note that, alongside this move, the lunchtime regional bulletin will be cut from 15 minutes to 5 (a net loss by my maths).  I wouldn't mind betting that regional output gets squeezed in the campaign proper, as network news usually seeks to extend its 6pm offering.  Plans for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will come later.

Newsnight editors will be interested to see what it does to their figures - the current late regional news averages 4 million viewers; Newsnight figures are largely secret unless they're good.

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