Blair intervenes to oppose ITV’s plans to shift News at Ten

The Prime Minister is backing the ’No’ lobby in the debate over whether to move the News at Ten to an earlier slot.

The Prime Minister is backing the ’No’ lobby in the debate over

whether to move the News at Ten to an earlier slot.



Tony Blair’s announcement will have embarrassed ITV companies leading

the ’Yes’ campaign. It pre-empted ITV’s official proposal to the

Independent Television Commission on Wednesday.



Blair said: ’It would be regrettable if the move led to the

marginalisation of TV news or any further move downmarket in the media

generally.’



ITV’s proposal is in line with much of this week’s speculation. It

includes showing the news programme at 6.30pm, presented by Trevor

McDonald, with a 60-second live headline bulletin when news breaks later

in the evening.



This would flag the main 11pm bulletin. ITV also wants to develop a News

at Ten for ITV2, its digital channel.



Richard Eyre, ITV’s chief executive, said: ’We are taking the main

evening news to the real battleground for viewers, early evening. There

is a clear appetite for news that we intend to satisfy.’



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