Sky moves away from rolling news

Discussions on news and breaking news events including, BBC News, ITV News, Sky News
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Post by daved2424 » Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:23 pm

Sky News is planning a revamp that will move the channel away from rolling news and introduce more 'appointment to view' programmes into its schedule.

The move will be a departure for the channel that has built its reputation by being first with breaking news and providing a constant stream of rolling news information.

But Sky News chief Nick Pollard, speaking this week at a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch, said the perception of the channel as simply being the best for "breaking news" could be "a double-edged sword" and it was now looking at ways of evolving its news service with more scheduled programme formats.

He said these would help form the "building blocks" of the schedule and be "built around specific presenters", although it was too early to discuss who would host the shows. He said new presenters could be recruited to front some of the new programmes.

Sky News already has fixed points in its schedule including Sunrise in the morning and Live at Five but wants more scheduled programmes to pull in viewers and keep them for longer.

But he insisted Sky News would always put covering big breaking news first and break into fixed schedules whenever necessary.

The move is in response to increased competition from BBC News 24 and to a lesser degree the ITV News Channel, which has had success in developing scheduled shows around presenters such as Alastair Stewart and Angela Rippon. Pollard said the changes would be introduced later this year, probably around the time Sky News moves into new hi-tech studio facilities being developed at Sky's Osterley HQ.

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Post by eagleeye » Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:52 pm

World news please. Thank you Mr Pollard.

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Post by HBox » Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:48 pm

Interesting...Just as I suspected.

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Post by calciofan » Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:40 pm

Great idea!

:: A 'newsnight' type programme fronted by Jeremy Thompson would be great in the evenings - looking back and analysing the top news stories.

:: I would also like some sort of a debate show like 'question time' fronted by maybe Adam Boulton.

:: The should also have a 15-30 minute bussiness news round-up in the evenings (Michael Wilson/Heather Scott).

:: At the moment I think 'Sportsline' is fine for me. But they should have two main shows - one in the morning previewing the sport ahead and one in the evening like they have at the moment reviewing the day's sport.

:: I think they need to also use their foreign correspondents more. For example, they should have a fixed 30 miniute show each day with news from each of the six continents. At the moment there are very little news from Asia, South America and Oceania.

They may have a rotating timetable - for example, News from the US and North America (Ian Woods/Andrew Wilson) on Monday, news from the Middle East/Asia on Tuesday (Emma Hurd/Richard Bestic/Dominic Waghorn), Africa on Wednesday (David Chater), Oceania on Thursday and South America on Friday (?).

They could also round up the European news on Saturday (Laurence Lee/Colin Brazier) and a round-up of the biggest world stories on Sunday night (Tim Marshall).

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Post by edofis » Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:42 pm


This is a great move and something we were talking about on these forums some considerable time ago.

Like Eagleeye i'd like to see more programmes focusing on world news with skys foreign correspondants.

I also like the calciofans idea of a newsnight type progamme with JT. Just keep littlejohn wellaway from our screens please.

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Post by karimb » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:42 am

This is good news. The problem with rolling news is that after an hour, you get the same thing all over again. The Fox News style schedule works well, and could work well for Sky News too.

I think a UK version of Fox News Watch would be great, with pundits commenting on the coverage received of major news stories. Unlike the BBC equivalent, it would be less about mainland European opinions on the UK.

I think a UK version of Hannity and Colmes would be risky (as not everyone is in to politics). But I think it leads to more interesting political discussion. It allows biases that counteract one another, and allows more loaded questions to be asked by the interviewers. Hannity and Colmes seems to be the basis for Channel 4's Morgan and Platell programme, which seems to work well. Littlejohn & Toynbee anyone? Michael Portillo & Diane Abbott? Peter Hitchens & Austin Mitchell?

Richard Littlejohn's attempt to be Bill O'Reilly was pretty lame, and obviously risked damaging Sky News's reputation for impartiality. But if they could get a less 'tabloid' right-wing host, and an equivalent left-wing host, and say cut their programmes to half an hour each, I think the opinion-driven format could work in the UK. At the very least LBC's Nick Ferrari would be better than Littlejohn.

As for Sky News in the daytime, I think a simulcast or clone of Channel 5's The Right Stuff might be good. Similarly a news-discussion version of Kilroy (like Fox's Daytime with Linda Vesta) would be an interesting innovation.

And obviously there's the opportunity to create a clone of Fox and Friends. I think that would be great, and it would also be perfect for the early-morning Channel 5 Simulcast.

Truth is that Fox News is Talk Radio, on the TV, with some extra news coverage thrown in. If Sky News could find a happy medium between the two formats, I think it would outclass itself.

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Post by daved2424 » Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:29 pm

What? Have you ever seen Hannity and Colmes? It is one of the most biased shows I have ever seen, only superseded by other FOX News shows. Hannity as an arrogant jerk who lies constantly, and Colmes rarely does anything to correct him. The idea of having little shows like FOX News is good, but that's as far as any similarity should go. I know that a lot of news professionals in UK, and not only at Sky, hold FOX News in contempt for its rubbish output. Having said that, it's very funny to watch, just a shame so many Americans believe it's the truth. For more information read 'Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them' by Al Franken.

As for simulcasts with five this is very unlikely and I don't think either channel would benefit from it.

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Post by tippguy » Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:24 pm

i think sky should not name the shows after their presenter like littlejohn. that way if the presenter is rubbish they can easily change him/her without changing the shows name.

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Post by dirkyt » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:34 pm

I am a bit wary of this set up. I hope that SKY reports on what is going on and is not overtaken with what SKY and SKY presenters THINK of news stories. The US schedules (especially FOX) are so biased - and I only pray SKY's changes are for the better.

I hope that Jeremy, Lisa, Anna, Adam and Juliette front new programmes.

It may be a good way to get rid of excess presenters!

I look forward to more news on this. Wonder if they'll ditch the desk and get the presenters to be on their pins for hours??

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Post by daved2424 » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:00 pm

There will be a desk, but special.

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