An email leaked to media today indicates Nine News is planning a new afternoon news programme to be called This Afternoon.
The one-hour programme is set to air from 4:30pm weekdays hosted by, “amongst others,” Mark Ferguson with reporters including Peter Harvey.
It is part of a new push by the network to lift its afternoon and evening share and claw back some of its news brand.
“We’re about to embark on an exciting period of development in the Sydney newsroom: more people, more resources, more output,” the email leaked to TV Tonight notes.
“Next month, we’ll re-launch the 6pm News, with a brand new set in Studio One. This will be a bigger, better home for Pete, Fergo, Kenny and Jaynie. And it’ll have more impact on the viewers at home, helping to re-establish our 6pm as the must-see news bulletin of the day,” wrote Network Director of News Mark Calvert.
“Then, in June, we’ll launch a brand new network programme. This Afternoon will be an hour-long mix of news and current affairs, airing weekdays at 4.30pm. Hosted by, amongst others, Fergo, it’ll hit the big stories hard. It will also look for fresh angles on topical issues, dig deeper into how those issues affect Australian families, and have some fun with stuff. To produce the programme, we’re putting together a new team, led by Craig Sullivan. This Afternoon will have dedicated reporters, led by Peter Harvey. And it will be a showcase for the creativity of some great cameraman, picture editors and graphic designers.
“It’s not often we get to launch a brand new show. So this is a great vote of confidence in you all. It also means we get to play our part in refreshing the afternoon schedule on Nine. Along with a new gameshow, which goes to air each weekday at 5.30pm from April 20th, we can hope for a much healthier lead-in to 6pm.”
Nine indicates it is investing in its building with a new newsroom by the end of the year, and be joined Today and ACA staff.
“We’ve already begun to bring in more of our own stories. We need to build on this. Increasingly, in this multi-media, news-soaked world, a premium will be placed on original content. So, as well as serving up the big news stories of the day, we have to work harder to tell our viewers something they haven’t already heard, to show them something they haven’t already seen.”
The email asks staff to contribute and debate ideas, promising “nobody will be criticised, ever, for having an idea.”
This week Nine News in Sydney let go its News Director Ian Cook, replaced by Darren Wick.