Ten has shaken up its new early evening news schedule after less than two months. However, it is sticking with its two-and-a-half-hour sweep of news and current affairs.
Now instead of Ten News at Five running for an hour before George Negus at 6pm and a separate bulletin at 6.30, News at Five will run for 90 minutes before George Negus at 6.30pm. The 7PM Project won’t be affected.
The move by Ten is contrary to rumours this week the the network was about to halve its commitment to early evening news.
The existing state-based News at Five presenters will continue to present, while the 6.30 bulletin presentation team will now move onto the general roster including the late news. There will be no job losses.
According to this morning’s announcement from Ten about the moving of 6PM With George Negus: “This change in Ten’s early evening schedule is in response to audience feedback, which has been strongly supportive of the program as a unique, credible commercial television offering, yet has revealed a preference for it to be scheduled in the more traditional public affairs timeslot.”
Negus failed to find the half a million audience targeted by show EP Tony Ritchie.
Last night it rated 335,000, while in the same timeslot Seven News rated 1.19m and Nine News pulled in 974,000. The 6.30pm bulletin rated 337,000.
News at Five is a far better performer for Ten. Last night it rated 740,000.
David Mott, Chief Programming Officer at Ten said: “We are making this alteration in the early evening news schedule based on feedback from viewers who value competitive, intelligent and incisive news and public affairs programs.”
He added: “We are strong supporters of quality news, comment and analysis and believe that Network Ten should remain a leading player in this space.”
The move follows the launch of a review of ten’s strategy following the ousting of CEO Grant Blackley.
Ten is currently locked in legal action with Seven over the start date of new CEO James Warburton