Making Newsnight unmissable
I was at a fascinating BBC2 marketing event this morning, complete with bean bag seating, live acapella singing and lots of facts and figures about the Channel's audience. Against the received wisdom that the growth of multi-channel homes means inexorable decline in audiences for the terrestrial channels, BBC2 is hanging onto its share and attracting younger audiences.
On Newsnight too our audience has remained remarkably solid during all these years of audience fragmentation. Throughout its history the Newsnight audience figures have oscillated between 800,000 and 1.2m - at the moment we're bang in the middle of that on 1m. And that doesn't take into account all the new ways of consuming the programme - including a million hits a month on our website.
Our big problem is Thursday nights, when the high profile presence of Question Time on BBC1 splits the audience for current affairs and blows a big hole in our figures.
But as of today, the conflicted Newsnight/Question Time fan has a solution to that 10.30pm dilemma. From now on every edition of Newsnight will be available on the BBC's iPlayer to view for the next seven days. It won't help our raw audience figures, but at least you can catch up with the programme.
The iPlayer service is only available in the UK, but the good news for international viewers is that at the end of February we launch an international edition of Newsnight on BBC America and BBC World. The one-hour programme will be a collection of the highlights of each week's programmes with an international focus, broadcast every Friday.
It should mean that Newsnight will reach more viewers than at any time in its history. It would be good to hear what kinds of items viewers around the world would most appreciate.