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Updated: Tuesday 8 November 2005

BBC announces changes to Television News

The BBC today announced changes to its Television News output with focus being shifted away from the mainstream BBC One bulletins to the corporations rolling news channel, BBC News 24.

The changes, announced by Head of Television News Peter Horrocks, include a number of key appointments and changes which are aimed at improving the already strong service which the BBC offers.

Among the changes, 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.

There will be a new position, Controller of News 24, and the existing post of Head of World News, currently held on an acting basis by Richard Porter, will also be advertised.

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

There will also be a new pool of staff who work across all of the main BBC One news bulletins but each bulletin will still have its own presenter and some dedicated effort for each will be 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 but only one post, that of an BBC One news editor, will go.

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.

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 BBC also announced that since the Sky News relaunch, on October 24, News 24 has gained 200,000 viewers from the channel and has increased its share of viewers. News 24 has gained most viewers in the slots of two of Sky’s new ‘appointment to view’ programmes – those of Live At Five with Jeremy Thompson and The Sky Report with Julie Etchingham. The changes to Television News are aimed at increasing their gains further and at getting breaking news on air quicker, a role traditionally held by Sky, with more live reports for News 24.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports also suggest that programmes are to be moved around in the spring with Breakfast to move to N6, the National studio, and not to News 24 as originally thought. Other programmes are also expected to move and other changes are expected.