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Peter Horrocks

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BBC News announce changes to television news department


Category: News

Date: 08.11.2005
Printable version


Peter Horrocks, the BBC's Head of Television News, has today announced a number of changes to BBC News' television operation.

 

The changes are the result of a number of conversations that Peter has had with staff since he took on his new role in September.

 

They are designed to reflect the increasing importance of News 24 in the BBC's overall strategy and to create a streamlined, flexible and dynamic news operation around all of the news services, including the landmark One O'Clock, Six O'Clock and Ten O'Clock bulletins.

 

Peter Horrocks said: "BBC television news has been performing very strongly, across all of its services. We have access to the finest news content in the world.

 

"We need to be original, fast and right. We need to put continuous news at the heart of our operations and we need to be in good shape to embrace new technologies and new audience needs in terms of watching and accessing news.

 

"I am confident that these changes will enable our news teams to continue to deliver the world-class, trusted news that the audience expects of us."

 

The changes include key appointments: Rachel Attwell, Deputy Head of News, will take on wider editorial responsibilities, deputising for Peter Horrocks across all output. Rachel will line manage senior operational managers and head a new Operations Board.

 

A new post of Controller of News 24 will be created. The Controller will have editorial, managerial and financial control over the channel. This role will report directly to the Head of TV News.

 

The post will be advertised externally, as will the existing post of Head of World News, currently held on an acting basis by Richard Porter.

 

The Head of BBC FOUR News will report in to the new Head of World News.

 

A new post of Editor, Daytime News, will replace the individual editorship of the One O'Clock News and the Six O'Clock News.

 

Additionally, staff will work on a single rota across the One, Six and Ten O'Clock bulletins with some dedicated effort for each programme being retained.

 

Posts saved in the newsroom will be re-allocated to strengthen the editorial process around News 24 and to create a shared pool between television news and newsgathering.

 

New systems also include more co-commissioning, greater consistency of branding and a wider sharing of edited material to ensure that stories get to air with the greatest possible speed.

 

In terms of ongoing Value for Money proposals, there is no further net increase in staff job losses as a result of the new plans, although one additional senior post will be lost by merging the editorship of the One O'Clock and Six O'Clock bulletins.

 

Notes to Editors

 

One O'Clock News - YTD (year to date) average of 2.7 million viewers, 41% share. Year high peak of 4.3million.

 

Six O'Clock News - The YTD average for the Six is 4.3 million (up to September 2005); available figures to date for October show that the average for that monthly was 4.6 million. The Six achieved a year record audience of 6.6 million for its coverage of the London Bombs (7 July 2005).

 

Ten O'Clock News - The YTD average figures 4.7 million, 22.6% share. Year high peak of 8.9 million.

 

BBC News 24 and Sky News - key facts

 

Since Sky News' relaunch, Sky has lost 300,000 viewers and News 24 has gained 200,000 viewers (3 minute weekly reach).

 

Since the relaunch, News 24 share has been ahead of Sky (0.56% versus 0.48%), in contrast to the year to date when Sky was ahead by 0.67% to 0.62%.

 

News 24's gains have been most marked at 5.00pm and 7.00pm, against two of Sky's biggest new shows - with Jeremy Thompson and Julie Etchingham.

 

News 24's improved performance has been especially strong at weekends.

 

News 24's reach is up by one million viewers year on year - up by 21% - from 4.5 million to 5.5 million.

 

News 24 has increased the proportion of its viewers watching via digital satellite since Sky's relaunch (up from 40% to 44%) - taking viewers straight from Sky.

 

The News 24 audience that it has gained since the relaunch are older downmarket men, Sky's typical demographic.

 

An examination of the platforms used by news channel watchers shows most growth is coming from Freeview. But all channels are benefiting from this phenomenon (the reach of all three channels - News 24, Sky News and the ITV News Channel - is up approx 60% year on year). But News 24 is up 18% in Sky homes. Sky itself is only up 2% in DSat homes. In other words, the BBC is winning on Sky's home turf as well as benefiting from the growth in Freeview.

 

News 24 has overtaken Sky News for "Best for News" in the PBTS tracking study. In 2004, 19% of the audience said Sky News was best, 18% for News 24. In 2005 that has flipped. BBC is now 19%, Sky is 17%.

 

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Category: News

Date: 08.11.2005
Printable version

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