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BBC Governors welcome increase in current affairs programming on BBC ONE

Category: BBC

Date: 15.02.2005
Printable version

The Board of Governors welcomed today's announcement of a package of measures to increase the prominence and appeal of current affairs programming on BBC ONE, including increased investment and extra hours in peak time.


The measures, proposed by the BBC management team, were approved by the Governors at their meeting in January.


The Governors' commitment to current affairs was highlighted at the launch of the BBC's Charter Review submission, Building Public Value, last year when Chairman Michael Grade said that "the Governors will require serious current affairs to be restored to its proper place and prominence across the BBC, including BBC ONE".


In September the Governors published the terms of reference for a review of current affairs on BBC Television to be led by their own advisers.


This review - which assessed the BBC's performance in serving audience needs and delivering on its commitment to continue to extend the range and depth of programming in this genre - was presented to the Governors in January by their advisers and informed the Board's consideration of management's proposed new strategy for current affairs on BBC ONE.


The review, which the Governors are publishing today, concludes that:


The 'market' for current affairs on television is very challenging - while the audience recognises that it is important to have current affairs programmes, most viewers would rather watch other types of programmes


A mainstream audience can only be reached by having more high-profile output in BBC ONE peak-time


For viewers who have an active interest in current affairs, the BBC has a good range of programmes, with refreshed output on BBC TWO and well-established off-peak programming on BBC ONE


Panorama requires clarity over its purpose to enable a clear strategy to be developed to ensure it thrives as the BBC's flagship current affairs programme.


Richard Tait, the BBC Governor leading the review of current affairs on behalf of the Board, said: "The Governors have approved management's response to our requirement for a greater provision of serious current affairs in peak time on BBC ONE.


"We have carried out our own piece of independent research to better understand audience needs and expectations of this public service genre, the scope of the market for current affairs on television, and the opinion of programme-makers working within the genre.


"The Board is content that management's changes address the issues our research identified.


"The Board is also pleased that management intends to increase the opportunities for independent producers in contributing to the BBC's current affairs output.


"The Governors will monitor the performance of the new current affairs strategy for BBC ONE.


"It is a priority genre for the Board and one we will focus on in particular as management develops its programme strategy and we develop Service Licences."


Notes to Editors


The BBC Governance Unit's review of Current Affairs on television is available in full at



Category: BBC

Date: 15.02.2005
Printable version


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