Nine trims regional news to half hour bulletins

Nine is cutting its one hour regional bulletins to thirty minute editions due to an advertising downturn, as a result of COVID-19.

Around a dozen roles are expected to be made redundant.

New half hour bulletins will screen at 5:30pm from Monday, August 10, followed by a 6pm statewide bulletin.

For the past three years, Nine has produced a one-hour bulletin for the Southern Cross Austereo regional television markets in regional Queensland, Southern New South Wales and Victoria. During COVID-19 these were suspended, with statewide bulletins in their place.

Each local bulletin will retain a local presenter, 2 x 1.30-minute packages and 2 x voiceovers per bulletin from each of the submarkets within each market. It will retain two journalists and two camera operations on the ground (in submarkets noted below). Daily news updates will also be produced.

Nine indicates it has been able to avoid larger cuts with the help of the government’s recent regional funding.

Queensland
Wide Bay
Capricornia
Far North Queensland
North Queensland
Sunshine Coast

Southern News South Wales
Canberra
Illawarra
Central West
Wagga

Victoria
Border North East
Bendigo
Ballarat
Gippsland

In a note to staff, Kylie Blucher, Managing Director – Nine Queensland & Nine Northern NSW, thanked Network Regional News Director, Kate Limon and said, “Changes like this are never easy and I am conscious of the impact this restructure will have on individual people. However, the unprecedented advertising and economic downturn has prompted a review of the functional effectiveness while ensuring our bulletins remain commercially sustainable.

“Regrettably, this change will have an impact on some of our staff – and in total we expect a little over a dozen roles to be impacted – in these regional markets and we are in the process of pursuing alternate opportunities across the business, where possible, for those individuals impacted. We will endeavour to speak to everyone affected within the next 24 hours.

“To those who are sadly leaving us, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for everything that you have done during your time at Nine. These are difficult circumstances and I hope over the coming weeks your teams will find a way to ensure that everyone has the opportunity, within the health guidelines, to recognise your contribution to Nine and to say an appropriate farewell.”

15 Comments:

  1. If anyone who watches the Nine Regional bulletins in ACT/Southern NSW/Central West NSW areas wanted to know what has happened to sports presenter and fill-in newsreader Mike Lorigan, he has moved to South Australia to be a reporter for Nine News Adelaide.

  2. I get 9 Ballarat at my place and we haven’t had a local bulletin with Jo Hall since March. We get the hour of Melbourne news with Peter Hitchener

  3. Aussiecam58

    No surprises here. Was bound to happen at some point. Nine was never going to sustain their promised commitment to region areas.

    • To be fair, the one hour bulletins were never a full hour of regional focused news anyway. Following Nine’s NBN News model was always going to be a stretch over the long term. Having 30 minute bulletins follows the same model as Nine already have on the Gold Coast, and is in line with what Seven, WIN and Prime7 produce in other regional markets.

  4. Sad about the job losses actually don’t mind this. Better to leave the national stories to the metro bulletin as WIN does. Presumably this means Hot Seat will air at 4.30pm??

    • Putting Hot Seat on at an earlier time just for the regional stations would require more effort and resources than anyone is willing to put in I’m sure. Probably will just place the 30 minute news instead of A Current Affair or push it onto GEM (or maybe just air it at 6pm instead of the first half of metro news)

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