Friday, March 25, 2016


Thinking time at BBC News: with the advancement of Fiona Campbell to the new role of Controller BBC News Mobile and Online, James Harding has invited the submission of CVs to succeed her as Current Affairs supremo, to be delivered by April 11.

This might lead to some Easter head-scratching in the Highbury Corner area of London. Ian Katz is Editor of Newsnight, but does not, structurally, have a seat at the top table of BBC News. He signed for the BBC from The Guardian in May 2013, joining in July, for what presumably was an extended induction, and started on the programme in September.

In January, Ian wrote to the Independent claiming that Newsnight's audience was now stable after five years of "precipitous decline". In December, an Indie writer claimed the average audience was 579k. On Wednesday night, a day after the Brussels bombs, it attracted 470k. It had a bad lead-in from a poor comedy show. The news and weather on BBC1 overlaps now by 25 minutes - 2.97m stayed with the extended regional news from 10.30 to 10.45.

Newsnight is now repeated on the BBC News Channel. A package of Newsnight bits is now part of the BBC World News weekend schedule, which will allow Auntie to claim a new global audience; the Brussels specials were swiftly cut to 30 minutes and rebroadcast in North America. Time to move on while 'ahead' ?

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