Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Not a 6, or a 7. It's a Scottish 9pm for the BBC. DG Lord Hall has promised 80 journalist jobs working on a hour-long integrated news bulletin sitting within a new digital channel, BBC Scotland, to launch in 2018.

The channel will start at 7pm, with a £29m budget (£10m of that is already being spent, so presumably there's some repeats being allowed - £19m is new money). That compares with £48.7m service budget for BBC4 over 2016/17.

9pm is described as "a timeslot which attracts the largest available audience. It will not compete with any other terrestrial news programmes and will offer audiences an alternative to high-end drama and entertainment scheduled at this time on other channels."  Good luck with the audience figures for that, then. The weekend news will be just 15 minutes at 7pm.

BBC Alba is getting an extra £1.2m a year - way short of the campaigners' target - some of which will provide Gaelic news bulletins at the weekend.

Tomorrow it's Scottish Parliament committee time for Tony and Donalda - is this enough to take the wind out of the MSPs' sails ?

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