Rumour: Local News bulletins next for Seven?

The rumours on perceived changes to Seven’s news and current affairs in 2013 are abuzz with talk about local, local, local….

One theory doing the rounds is that Seven is considering local News bulletins at 5:30pm ahead of their current 6pm bulletin. Locally-hosted current affairs, possibly still retaining the Today Tonight brand, would follow at 6:30pm.

Helen Kapalos continues to be linked to a Melbourne-based current affairs show at 6:30pm, with Samantha Armytage (pictured) tipped for the chair in Sydney and ex-TEN presenter Bill McDonald for Brisbane.

Under that scenario Deal or No Deal would have to move, possibly to 5pm, or face the chop. Seven has previously confirmed the show will return with Andrew O’Keefe but as it loses to Hot Seat, change is still expected.

Remaining in the mix is Seven News at 4:30 but the network is rumoured to be keen to see it shift to Melbourne with Rebecca Maddern as host. Seven is keen to communicate to the Melbourne audience that it is not just a second cousin to Sydney, all of which will hopefully improve its ailing 6pm numbers.

Whether all, or some, of this comes to pass is unclear. It almost sounds like TEN’s 2011 News revamp all over again.

But as revealed on TV Tonight, Seven has been advertising for producers, reporters and researchers in all 5 cities. Added to Matt White’s resignation last week and Peter Meakin’s recent comments that Today Tonight will “evolve,” it’s clear that sweeping change is on the way.


  1. I don’t have a problem with more news bulletins provided that the content between local programming, national programming and the tabloid current affairs show is distinct, especially the fine line between what should be on the hard news programs and Today Tonight. When I was in America I quite enjoyed the local news from 4-6, then the network national bulletin and then a bit more local content. I was disappointed it didn’t work with Ten but would give it a go on Seven if they tried it.

  2. God, you Aussies are news junkies if your early evening TV is anything to go by. Here in the UK although the combined audiences for BBC regional news generally make it the highest rated news show of the day the only commercial broadcaster to offer regional news does it with great reluctance.

  3. News, news, news. Enough already. Everytime I turn on the telly it’s friggin news. Or so called news. I dont care how many damn bullitins the commercial networks have I still wont watch them.

  4. The best idea would be that the 6pm new is real news again and the stories infiltrating 6pm news – like “people making a difference” or traffic problems in [insert your city here] move to 6.30pm under a new 6.30 show which is more like Sunday Night every night rather than tabloid ACA copy…

    Yes – Seven need to overhaul their 6-7 hour but adding 5.30pm news when we have 4.30pm news as well is overkill.

    They need something fresh at 5.30 – Deal has been around for years and we’ve all had enough of it now.

  5. I think the idea of Local News bulletins for the capital cities is a good idea. The current 6pm News bulletins are not local news bulletins.
    If true Seven will use the format they currently use for Seven Local News bulletins in regional queensland cities. Local will mean local news ie. Seven Local News Brisbane (if thats what they call it) will only have news stories from Brisbane and Gold Coast. This way they can go more indepth with news stories. With sport they can focus more on the broncos, titans, the roar and even the Intrust Super Cup even school aged sports.

  6. @Secret Squirrel – “I think Seven would be better off fixing up their news so that it was actually news…”
    Agree completely. 100+ killed in a typhoon in the Philippines. Not a word on 7. At least The Project mentioned it, as did ABC24 of course. The commercial crud masquerading as “news” is not “news”.

  7. I know it won’t work for me i.e. 5.30pm News. I’ll admit I’m willing to try it with the ABC (and love the idea for them; I hope it works ) . That said unless you do something really disastrous or the ABC finally put Classic Doctor Who back on I’m watching the 6pm News. Except when I’m not watching TV. I’ll also admit it sounds to me like Ten Mrk II.

  8. Being someone who has never held shares etc. and shudder when getting done over as a “customer”, when that company says their first responsibility is to their shareholders, and is why I’m now kicking myself, when I did not invest in Gaviscon, Mylanta(no product placement intended) and any other company that eases reflux or the pain associated with repeating something we have been served.

    The pain of frequently repeated items, began in earnest with the intrduction of the ABC’s News 24 channel, and some repeats kept coming back for months, often popping up in just so many programmes, or even as entire programs, and has since infected ABC1 in many cross repeats among many programs.

    My geatest fear is this is starting to infect the commercial channels even a worse than the ABC News 24’s repeat of segments throughout differents programs, and will inevitably be what will happen as repeated news items will simply become stocking fillers scattered among supposedly local content news programs. To many of us local does not mean our nearest capital city, it means our local community news items, read by those who know our communities and can “correctly pronounce” Local Items of Interest Names, such as towns roads and rivers etc.

    Why else would they be consolidating their news teams? and indeed what better way to fill out several hours per day using repeats, especially if all networks intend doing the same under the guise of being competitive.

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