The latest rumours on the future of TEN’s early evening programming speculates that the network is planning two and half hours of news and current affairs from 5pm – 7:30pm.
The Sunday Telegraph reports TEN is planning a new line-up from January with a one hour news service at 5pm, a half hour news bulletin at 6pm, a current affairs show at 6:30pm to be followed by The 7PM Project.
Jennifer Byrne is said to be in line for the new current affairs show, to compete with Today Tonight and A Current Affair. Byrne, who currently presents for the ABC, is a regular panellist on The 7PM Project and comes with a well-regarded track-record in journalism.
Such a move would elbow Neighbours to a new home, and there is again speculation it could wind up on TEN’s unannounced third channel. But under current regulations, that would see the show fail to deliver TEN any local quota points. Recently there was even a rumour Southern Star was pitching a new soap to the network to address that very question.
TEN has been coy about the many rumours that swirl around its early evening timeslot. Remember those stories about axing The Simpsons in favour of 90 minute bulletin last year? There was also a recent rumour that Sports Tonight could get an early primetime play -it already gets some early screenings on ONE.
TEN trumpeted Neighbours‘ achievements at its recent anniversary celebrations. Programming chief David Mott has said the show will remain part of the TEN family, which arguably says more about what he isn’t saying.
If TEN is indeed planning a current affairs bulletin with Jennifer Byrne it will need to invest significantly into its News resources. Such shows do not come cheap and TEN’s News budgets are more modest than those of Seven and Nine.
TEN’s 2011 Programme Launch is due in a little over a month’s time.
Source: Sunday Telegraph