Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Decision day

Lord Hall told hacks yesterday that the BBC News Channel would survive - but closure is not one of James Harding's six options, being presented to the BBC Executive today. There's a range, including merger with the BBC World News channel, which saves the most money. Mr Harding should be told to go away and make his savings elsewhere - and quick.

The Annual Report doesn't give an easy overview of how the News Division is performing. Looking at online stuff, without the promised March arrival of Newstream, we can see spending on News, Travel and Weather online rose by £7.4m (17%) to £50.9m, yet, says the Trust "Audience appreciation of BBC Online has fallen again, affected by relaunches of the Homepage and News sites". Weekly reach of all BBC News services has fallen from 80% last year to 77% this year.

Meanwhile, "In the US, World News maintained consistent viewing figures in 2015/16, outranking Bloomberg TV by the end of the year". Which is pretty untransparent, 'cos Bloomberg's figures are private, too.  The Americans will be getting more UK domestic stuff again this week, with NUJ members on the channel planning another downing of tools, this time for 12 hours.

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