Newsnight
#21

There was an interesting article in the Telegraph over the weekend about the disquiet over the News Channel/World merger, but a small part of it got my attention even more - it said one of Deborah Turness’ most foremost dilemmas was what to do with Newsnight, given its slipping ratings and lack of ‘big’ news-making interviews. I wonder would they really axe it? I suppose time will tell!
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#22

(26-01-2023, 02:44 PM)ldnpres Wrote:  There was an interesting article in the Telegraph over the weekend about the disquiet over the News Channel/World merger, but a small part of it got my attention even more - it said one of Deborah Turness’ most foremost dilemmas was what to do with Newsnight, given its slipping ratings and lack of ‘big’ news-making interviews. I wonder would they really axe it? I suppose time will tell!
There has been a lot of chatter about Newsnight. It's in a difficult spot in so much as--despite all the rationalisation--being quite resource intensive with actually quite a difficult sell in terms of being able to re-use material. I think the link to BBC 2 is important but increasingly things are being talked of in more of a streamlined 'BBC' or 'BBC News' rather than lineur sort of way. 

I sincerely hope not but could easily see it being the latest in the growing line patiently waiting in the cold for the firing squad.
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#23

It's had a few lucky escapes in the last few rounds of cutbacks, but I doubt that it'll be axed in the current round given the merger - without it, I'd say Newsnight would be at far greater risk. It's expensive (in news terms) and only gets about two/three times more viewers than the better performing News channel hours - so it's easy to see why it's a target. But, given the cut to UK news channel hours, I just don't think they could take the heat of losing both at the minute - especially as they are the only TV programmes that really fulfill the 'news analysis' remit (though whether the News channel actually performs this function outside OS is debatable).

It'd be a shame to lose Newsnight, not least as it's the only part of the BBC's TV politics output that a) actually spends any time on policy and b) engages in worthwhile analysis, but I imagine that, when it is axed, they'll have to replace it (at least in the medium-term) with some cheaper alternative - extended, harder News at Ten; Outside Source simulcast; a visualised Radio 4 programme - none of which would be terrible. Though, let's be honest, it'd likely be some Politics Live-style durge.
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#24

I have thought for a while now that Newsnight might do a better job for BBC News at 9pm on the news channel than 10.30pm on BBC2, with perhaps a repeat at 11pm on BBC2 so it doesn't disappear from their schedules completely.
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#25

(26-01-2023, 04:25 PM)Brekkie Wrote:  I have thought for a while now that Newsnight might do a better job for BBC News at 9pm on the news channel than 10.30pm on BBC2, with perhaps a repeat at 11pm on BBC2 so it doesn't disappear from their schedules completely.
Not so sure about this, both moving it down the EPG and backwards into the night on BBC Two would be expected to reduce ratings - higher performing News channel hours tend to be in the 100-150k bracket, while Newsnight at present averages about 300k. Plus, though I don't have an exact figure, I would estimate that Newsnight's budget is around the £5m mark, if not a bit higher - which would stick out on the News channel budget and make it more vulnerable.
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#26

They might as well close down the news division if they ditch Newsnight. It's a historic BBC News program and should stay, no matter the damn ratings. If that's gonna be the focus they should start airing ads and solve all of their financials problems. Rolleyes
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#27

(26-01-2023, 05:24 PM)ginnyfan Wrote:  They might as well close down the news division if they ditch Newsnight. It's a historic BBC News program and should stay, no matter the damn ratings. If that's gonna be the focus they should start airing ads and solve all of their financials problems. Rolleyes

I'm completely with you on the importance of Newsnight, I just suspect the key part to your answer is the 'historic' bit. Management are fundamentally re-imagining how the BBC works. Will there always be a place for a Newsnight type programme? Almost certainly. Will that look and feel like a Newsnight programme in a studio with guests and a features wall? Possibly not. 

I really can't emphasise enough how profound some of these changes are to the culture and character of News programme as we know it. I quite agree that some of the coverage/comments around the news channels merger has a tendency towards hyperbole but the behind the scenes restructuring of teams--often not talked about at all--will have an effect. 

As for airing ads, broadly conceived, that's exactly why World News isn't closing and the UK based operation is.
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#28

I suspect Newsnight is safe for now.

As its own reporting team has diminished Newsnight is using more reporters from other departments. 

This week it has run features presented by reporters from Newsbeat and BBC Trending.

It is a sign of how BBC2 has scaled back that in the 1990s Newsnight was followed by more live programming with The Late Show and The Midnight Hour.
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#29

Here's a mad idea... why not ditch the 10 O'Clock News, and shift Newsnight over to BBC1? It isn't without precedent - the Dutch public broadcaster did something similar many years ago. Just tack the regional news on at the end, add a news summary halfway through, and that's your 10-11 hour filled. Job's a good'un.

(26-01-2023, 04:25 PM)Brekkie Wrote:  I have thought for a while now that Newsnight might do a better job for BBC News at 9pm on the news channel than 10.30pm on BBC2, with perhaps a repeat at 11pm on BBC2 so it doesn't disappear from their schedules completely.

There was talk several years ago of Newsnight being moved to 8pm (albeit still on BBC2). It never came to anything, obviously, but it's an interesting idea. The Flemish version of Newsnight, Terzake, goes out at 8pm each weeknight, and that does well. (They actually moved it to 10.30 at one point, which went down so badly it moved back to 8pm within months.)
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#30

Moving it earlier would make more sense than replacing the Ten - though it might have merits on paper, the Ten brings in over ten times more viewers than Newsnight and I wouldn't bet on that entirely being down to the earlier slot on a more prominent channel (Newsnight has a certain reputation that is alienating to some viewers).

An earlier start could work, a 20:00 start would allow it to come from B (as 54D would no longer be available) and extending it to an hour could allow you do things like incorporate a parliamentary review - something currently missing from BBC TV. I also think the programme could do with a bit of rejig and promotion - the show was Paxman for a long time, then you still had Maitlis who was recognisably associated with the programme; today, I don't think many would know who presented it.
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