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
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.’