Months after BBC’s director general Tim Davie revealed the corporation would be merging the BBC News and BBC World channels among a host of other budget-induced changes, the Beeb has confirmed it is launching a single news channel.
The plans are currently being run by staff and trade unions.
The new channel, which will launch in April 2023, will broadcast from London during U.K. daytime hours followed by Singapore and Washington D.C. The corporation confirmed it would be looking for both on and off screen talent in Washington D.C. prior to launch.
The new as yet unnamed channel will also be broadcast globally and feature “new flagship programmes built around high-profile journalists, and programmes commissioned for multiple platforms.”
During certain times of day, and depending on what local stories are breaking, the channel will give U.K. viewers “specific content at certain times of the day” including via a U.K.-only stream. It will remain ad-free for U.K. audiences.
BBC Studios will be tasked with monetizing the channel outside the U.K., primarily via advertising.
The change will also impact sporting news, which will have a new international focus in addition to its U.K. reporting.
Previously BBC News was a U.K.-focused channel while BBC World catered to a global audience.
“Our aim is to create the best live and breaking video news service in the world – on our web pages, our apps, on iPlayer and on our new TV news channel,” said Naja Nielsen, BBC News’ digital director. “The way audiences consume news is changing. In recent years we’ve seen a huge surge in audiences coming to our live coverage, with tens of millions following live pages when big stories and events unfold.”
“As the world’s most trusted source of news, with a huge depth and breadth of expertise, the BBC is uniquely placed to offer audiences the best analysis and explanation as these stories are unfolding,” Nielsen continued. “So we are investing in new capability to cover breaking news stories, and our news channel and digital teams will work hand in hand to bring the best journalism to audiences both at home and abroad.”
In May, Davie announced a number of closures at the BBC, including the axing of children’s network CBBC, BBC Four and Radio 4 Extra.