News

Ten pulls the plug on George Negus

Ten is to axe its brave news experiment of 6.30PM With George Negus and replace it by stretching The 7PM Project to one hour and starting it half an hour earlier. It will now be known as The Project with the new lineup starting a week on Monday.

Negus will remain with the network but will not be attached to a specific program. He will be a regular panellist on The Project.

In a press release making the announcement, Ten’s chief programming officer David Mott said: “The move to expand The Project from a half hour format to the hour reflects our belief that this type of contemporary, informative, fast-paced, funny, yet relevant news offering is what best connects with our audience.

“We’re incredibly proud of George and our 6.30 team, both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes. 6.30 has been a high quality, credible, and thought provoking news program for the network. The decision to discontinue 6.30 was a commercial one and in no way reflects on the quality of George, the program or the team. We are grateful to George for establishing and steering this bold experiment over the last 10 months.”

Before the George Negus program – which was originally in the 6pm timeslot – launched, executive producer Tony Ritchie told Mumbrella that he was hoping for an audience of half a million.

However, the upmarket news show struggled to break the hold of the Nine News and Seven News bulletins, and when it moved to 6.30, Today Tonight and A Current Affair.

Yesterday it rated a metro audience of 340,000, the 31stmost watched show of the day.

A spokesman for Ten told Mumbrella that in part because of vacancies created by next year’s new show Breakfast there would be no journalist redundancies.

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