Rupert Murdoch’s (pictured) News UK TV Channel has been scaled back after Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News UK, said the channel would be too expensive.
In an email memo sent to staff Brooks wrote that: “Over the past 18 months, we have been exploring the opportunities in the TV market for content from News UK.”
“We already produce original video from each of our newsrooms, and our radio stations produce clips and live streams of key shows. In the same way that we have professionalized and monetized our audio output with the expertise of Wireless, we are seeking to do the same with video.”
Instead of focusing on broadcast TV, News UK will instead be investing in more streaming video production.
News UK’s TV boss, David Rhodes, moved to London from the US last year to run the project. He will be leaving the UK in June, but staying in News Corp to advise this new emphasis on streaming video.
Scott Taunton, News UK’s radio head will lead video output.
According to Brooks’s memo, “we determined early on in that review that it was not commercially viable to launch a traditional news channel on linear TV.”
The channel would likely have competed with GB News, led by Andrew Neil, editor of Murdoch’s The Sunday Times from 1983 to 1994. His BBC show The Andrew Neil Show was cancelled by the network last year due to budget constraints, and he is chairman of The Spectator, a conservative British publication.
GB News will be a 24 hour channel, described by the Financial Times as ‘right-leaning’ and similar in model to Fox Nation, Fox’s subscription-only service.
It will launch later this year.
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