Channel 5 will launch an extended, early-evening weekday news bulletin this autumn.
An hour-long 5 News programme at 5pm will replace the two existing 30-minute broadcasts, at 5pm and 6:30pm, in Channel 5’s early evening schedule. The broadcaster says this will” enable the programme to examine and unpack stories in greater detail and create space for more investigative, regional and social affairs reporting, as well as coverage of international matters”.
The extended format of Channels 5’s weekday programme follows Ofcom’s approval of a request to revise the channel’s licence conditions relating to news provision. The decision recognised the overall benefit that the change will have on public service broadcasters’ (PSB) news delivery, particularly for the high proportion of harder-to-reach audiences who already tune in for Channel 5’s 5pm bulletin.
Under the terms of the new licence, Channel 5 will maintain its existing commitment to deliver a minimum of 280 hours of news each calendar year. The introduction of an hour-long programme on weekdays will create an uninterrupted three-hour window of PSB news broadcasting starting with 5 News in early-evening and ending with Channel 4 News which runs till 8pm.
Channel 5’s commitment for an early evening programme on Saturdays and Sundays remains unchanged.
Ben Frow, Chief Content Officer, ViacomCBS, said: “As the rest of Channel 5 has been transformed by increased UK investment, we feel it is important that our news offering reflects the expectations of viewers we have attracted to the channel over the past few years. Today’s announcement by Ofcom will allow us to expand the provision of high-quality impartial news which is increasingly important to UK audiences.”
Cait FitzSimons, Editor, 5 News, added: “Ofcom recognises the value of trusted, regulated news services to viewers and we welcome this opportunity to expand our programme to a full hour to offer even greater depth and insight into the topics we know our audiences care about. We have some exciting ideas that we are currently developing and look forward to the launch in the coming weeks.”