Here are some of the media stories this month. This first involves a potential shake-up of one of our broadcasting institutions.
NEWS AT ONE
There are moves afoot to extend the News at One to an hour-long bulletin and move it from London to its studios in Media City UK, Salford. According to a senior figure, these proposals are at the “advanced stage”. Breakfast News is moving into a larger studio vacated by Sport and its length is likely to be extended. These plans are part of the BBC’s intention to demonstrate its commitment to better representing the nations and regions as part of its Across the UK initiative. The move to Salford will involve the current presenters of the ‘One’ with difficult decisions which may result in new faces for one of the BBC’s iconic news bulletin.
BBC ON-DEMAND BUTTON
The BBC’s submission to the cross-party Commons Committee scrutinising the new media bill is a call for an on demand button on remote controls. The BBC has called for TV manufacturers to be forced to add a dedicated on-demand button to their remote controls as it seeks to challenge the growth of Netflix. The broadcaster set out the need for a button that takes viewers to iPlayer, ITVX and Channel 4’s streaming service among others. Currently the bill will compel TV manufacturers to ensure that the main broadcasters’ streaming services appear at the top of their menus. It does not include a requirement for any changes to be made to remote controls.
BBC AMERICAN RE-LAUNCH OF BBC.com
The BBC’s commercial arm is revamping and simplifying BBC.com, and merging its news and sports mobile apps into a single package. The relaunch will take place in the autumn before a wider international rollout. The plan is to bundle news, audio and long-form video as a single service when it relaunches its digital presence in America. In order to prepare for this, it is doubling the digital team in North America to create more local and curated content and are recruiting for a Washing-based head of US digital news. They want to increase the site’s visitors and attract more advertising. Currently the site attracts 50 million visitors and is advertiser funded although it may include subscription elements in the future.