Updated: Nine and Southern Cross have announced 15 one hour Nine News bulletins in regional areas, to be progressively rolled out from February.
The new bulletins will start with Canberra and Wollongong in February and will be rolled out over 13 more markets. They will air Monday to Friday with local news, sport and weather, national and international news and sport from Nine’s existing Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane bulletins.
Grant Blackley, Chief Executive Officer of SCA, said: “We are committed to our local communities and this local news project is an investment in these local economies and local jobs. Nearly 80 dedicated news staff including journalists, camera operators and editors will be employed and located in 18 regional centres to bring the news to our regional viewers, with another 30 working on the bulletins in Nine’s metropolitan newsrooms.
“If there is breaking news in Cairns, in Orange or in Albury, National Nine News will be on the ground to cover it and our viewers in those communities will be able to rely on Nine News to bring them the best television coverage.”
Mike Dalton, Head of Nine News Regional, said: “This is a big win for regional Australia. The Nine News brand is synonymous with bringing viewers an unrivalled news service, with a proud history going back 60 years.
“For the first time, our brand will be extended into country areas, offering regional viewers the very best in news gathering and reporting. We can’t wait to start telling the stories that matter the most to people in the new regions into which we’ll be broadcasting.”
While journalists, camera operators and editors based on the ground in each market will gather the news, the programs will be produced and presented from Nine’s studios in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Presenters will be announced tomorrow at Nine’s Upfronts. The launch date for each market will be announced in the weeks leading up to the first broadcast in each market.
In one of the largest rollouts of news operations in Australia, in total more than 110 staff will be employed by Nine in the regional news division. Staff will be based in Sydney, regional NSW, Brisbane, regional Queensland, Melbourne and regional Victoria to produce and put the news services to air in each of the regions.
The production and broadcast of the local regional news bulletins was agreed between Nine and SCA as part of their new programming affiliation agreement, with Nine meeting the necessary employee and capex costs.
Local news will be broadcast to 15 television sub-markets:
· Central West (Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo)
· Wagga Wagga
· Wide Bay
· Sunshine Coast