TEN will finally revamp its weekend news next month by dumping state-based bulletins in favour of a single, national bulletin.
The moves to switch up the weekend bulletins has been expected ever since TEN abandoned its local 6:30 bulletins and offered redundancies across the network.
But in a surprise move, the new weekend bulletin will run for 90 minutes from 5pm, mirroring its weekday bulletins.
A network spokesperson tells The Australian, “A national weekend bulletin gives us the opportunity to consolidate the studio resources from five local bulletins into a comprehensive, single national broadcast of exceptional quality.
“The excellent journalistic resources that TEN has in each state will play a key role in our weekend news coverage.”
The new bulletin is expected to feature a male and female reader, a male sports presenter and a female weather presenter. Perth viewers will have a “refresher between 8pm and 9.30pm” because of the time difference. None of the TEN presenters will lose their jobs because of the single bulletin.
But the 90 minutes could be a viewer overload, given most weekend bulletins struggle to fill a half hour on the slowest news days of the week. The final 30 minutes will also be up against Seven and Nine’s main bulletins, often some of the week’s highest ratings shows.
News Director Dermot O’Brien said, “We’ve got the ability to own five o’clock, we do five o’clock better than anybody. We have very strong five o’clock local news in all markets.”