PM demands News at Ten as IPA opposes reinstatement

Tony Blair has called on the Independent Television Commission to reinstate News at Ten as the select committee on culture, media and sport prepares to review ITV’s decision to move the nightly news.

Tony Blair has called on the Independent Television Commission to

reinstate News at Ten as the select committee on culture, media and

sport prepares to review ITV’s decision to move the nightly news.



The IPA, however, is opposed to the programme’s reinstatement and this

week made a submission to the select committee applauding ITV’s decision

while urging a relaxation of regulations on broadcasters’

scheduling.



Although the new schedule, which featured a revamped news programme at

11pm, initially saw falling audiences, the autumn scheduling has seen an

improvement in audiences between 9pm and 11pm.



Jim Marshall, the broadcast spokesman for the IPA and the chief

executive of Media-vest, said that audiences between September and

December rose between 5 and 10 per cent, underlining the benefits of a

flexible schedule.



Marshall said: ’The only way you can have an impact on audiences is by

moving News at Ten.’



Jeff Russell, the director of media affairs at the IPA, added: ’We

believe that commercial broadcasters should have the freedom in their

scheduling to attract the best audiences without micro-regulation being

applied in the commercial sector.’



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