EXCLUSIVE: 10 News First will trial a 90 minute news bulletin from Monday in all markets.
With the summer non-ratings, and various changes elsewhere by competitors, 10 has opted to test an extended bulletin.
Central to the move is the network’s long challenge with the 6pm slot.
Celebrity Name Game, which began in May, often rates lower than its predecessor Pointless. This impacts the entire evening schedule with the network having to rebuild its audience all over again.
On occasions 10 can even be leading with 7:30 and 8:30 shows, but still lose the night because of its early evening woes.
This isn’t the first time 10 has broadcast 90 minute bulletins. Back in 2011 it also broadcast 90 minute editions after shuffling 6pm with George Negus to a 6:30 slot (back then The Project aired at 7pm).
A Network 10 spokesperson told TV Tonight, “We have decided to take the opportunity of changes to the commercial news landscape along with an intense news cycle to better serve our audiences by offering a quality extended local news service in all states.
“This is a trial and in the meantime Celebrity Name Game will play on BOLD.”
Celebrity Name Game is understood to have a stockpile of episodes already completed which it could feasibly broadcast until April.
Other moves, including returning Neighbours to a 6pm slot, have been rejected with a view it would be unlikely to pull an audience higher than 200,000 -which is its current problem with Celebrity Name Game.
90 minutes of new may seem excessive, but given the bigger picture, and summer season underway from tomorrow, 10 effectively has nothing to lose with its trial and everything to gain.