Friday, July 3, 2015

Time for Tom

Meanwhile, over at ITV News, the troops are still mulling over Geoff Hill's first big presentation intervention since taking over the editor's chair.

Geoff (Colfe's School and BA Politics & Government, Kent) will move Political Editor Tom Bradby (Sherborne and Edinburgh) in to sole presentation of News at Ten in the Autumn. It's a move that harks back to the greater days of the bulletin, and like Good Morning Britain, apes American network preferences. They like single big names, often "silverbacks", to front their main evening news.

Is Tom yet a big name ? Not through bulletins, yet. Probably better known as a friend of Prince William and a presenter on The Agenda, which attempts, moderately successfully, to sit in the ground between Question Time and This Week. But he's certainly known at Westminster, and probably stood a good chance of being poached by the BBC to follow Nick Robinson.

Will he be a big name ?  He'll have to try to grow the audience. In the most recent week of ratings publicly shared on BARB, only a weekend edition of ITV's late news figured in the network's top 30. All five editions of the BBC News at Ten were in BBC1's top 30. It must be said ITV is in the middle of a run of less than ho-hum 9pm offerings, giving the bulletin a very poor inheritance. Tom, Geoff, and their network paterfamilias and chum Peter Fincham could probably do with a Minder, Morse or The Show Formerly Known As Top Gear for this plan to work.

However, we should note that, despite battling against the BBC's collective regional output, all five weekday ITV 6.30pm bulletins were in their top 30. So, despite mutterings from the Mark Austin camp, his shuffle to the early evening grants him more exposure - and evenings to enjoy.

In other bits of the re-stack, Julie Etchingham gets to cover for Tom, who, I bet, will want to stick with The Agenda. She'll have secured guarantees of hosting other flagship/landmark things for the channel.

Alistair Stewart steps down to lunchtime - but that's, as we say in HR, an opportunity, too. The BBC's One O'Clock bulletin, starved of resources by the Harding/Munro regime, is still turning in decent figures. Expect a few closing rogueish winks in a Bosanquet-stylee as Al follows Loose Women.

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