Royal baby news clears Australian media schedules
TV networks have cleared programming schedules across the country from breakfast to prime time today for additional news and feature coverage of the birth of the royal baby boy in London.
Channel Seven has ditched Today Tonight in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in favour of an extended news broadcast from 6pm, presented by Chris Bath with reports from Seven News foreign correspondent, Mike Amor, as well as Sunrise host Melissa Doyle, who is also on the ground in London.
Seven’s Sunrise did an extended broadcast, overriding The Morning Show, and Channel Seven then aired a special one hour news bulletin at 11am. Sunrise broke news of the royal birth before Channel Nine’s Today, and the show was broadcast live in Adelaide and Perth.
On Channel Nine there has been extensive coverage on the Today show this morning, and a live stream of the show was available online through ninemsn, in addition to a live stream of the front steps of St Mary’s Hospital Lindo wing in London.
Ninemsn editor Hal Crawford told Mumbrella four news stories on the birth have generated 1.9m page impressions on ninemsn.
“When we have image heavy material we expect a lot of page views but there are three articles that are just generating a lot of views, which is somewhat surprising because we often find unexpected news does better, but in this case, people just want to find out as much as they can.”
Channel Nine will provide extensive coverage of the royal birth on Nine News at 3.00pm, 4.30pm, and 6.00pm as well as on A Current Affair at 6.30pm.
And a special royal baby edition has been planned for the Today show tomorrow morning from 5.30am, with Leila McKinnon, Pete Stefanovic and Lizzie Pearl all reporting live from London.
The ABC has ditched the 8.30pm show New Tricks tonight in favour of the documentary Born to be King, to mark the occasion. This will be followed by a special episode of QI in which British comedian Stephen Fry focuses on an ‘E’ themed episode devoted to England at 9pm.
Network Ten will broadcast a half-hour Ten news special titled ‘Will And Kate: A Royal Arrival’, presented by Natarsha Belling, star of the new breakfast show ‘Wake Up’, in place of The Simpsons at 6pm. Ten News At Five will cross live to Emma Dallimore, Ten’s US Bureau Chief, at St Mary’s Hospital and Ben Lewis, Ten’s UK Correspondent, at Buckingham Palace, and Ten’s The Project will cross live to their UK Correspondent Lucy McDonald, and Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann at St. Mary’s hospital for the latest news.
However, online readers of the Guardian Australia have been given the option to avoid royal baby saturation of the news. Readers are given the option to declare whether they are Royalist or Republican so the front page news can be tailored to their interests.
Nine News tweeted just before noon that over 200 related tweets are being posted every minute.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) July 23, 2013
Meanwhile, in the UK, News Corp’s tabloid The Sun changed its name for the day