ITV this week unveiled details of its new nightly news bulletins to
replace the News at Ten, part of an overhaul of its schedule which the
channel believes will increase audiences in 1999.
News at Ten will be dropped from Monday, 8 March. Instead there will be
a half-hour, early evening bulletin, The ITV Evening News, at 6.30pm,
presented by Trevor McDonald. This will be followed by The ITV Nightly
News, a 20-minute round-up with Dermot Murnaghan, which will be
broadcast at 11pm most evenings.
The shift in news coverage is designed to make way for more popular
Movies will play out uninterrupted, with the James Bond film, Goldeneye,
the first to take advantage of the new schedule. Feature-length dramas
such as Kavanagh QC will now begin at 9pm, with new comedy at
According to David Liddiment, ITV’s director of programmes, the new
schedule will create more opportunities to pilot new entertainment
formats in the mould of Man O Man and TV Nightmares.
The changes follow ITV’s success in attaining its 38 per cent peak-time
audience target in 1998. Richard Eyre, the chief executive of ITV, said
that although the target of 39 per cent this year would be tougher, ’we
have more money and, in time, the hard-fought schedule changes and the
move of the news will open up the schedule and make it more
Eyre called on advertisers to contribute to the success of ITV. ’If you
value an advertising medium that can reach more than ten million people
simultaneously every day of the week with the most persuasive creative
message money can buy, its future lies in your hands as well as ours.’