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BBC Scotland to scrap news programme The Nine



BBC Scotland to scrap news programme The Nine

BBC Scotland plans to scrap its hour-long TV news programme The Nine, five years after its launch.

The corporation will replace the hour-long show with a half-hour news programme two hours earlier. Two other programmes on the channel will also be cancelled — the entertainment news show The Edit and the weekly news review Seven Days.

The move comes after The Times revealed that only 1,700 viewers tuned into The Nine on January 10, about 0.1% of those watching television at the time.

The Seven, a 15-minute bulletin which airs on weekends, pulled in just 200 viewers on January 7, according to figures from Barb, the official television ratings agency.

The launch line-up of The Nine

BBC Scotland said it wanted to “grow the impact of broadcast news services in Scotland” and that there would be no job losses as a result of the proposals.

The replacement of The Nine with a 30-minute news programme would require approval of Ofcom, the broadcasting industry’s regulatory and competition watchdog.

The Nine is broadcast from Monday to Thursday and The Seven airs on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Other BBC Scotland plans to reshape its news services include:

  • the Debate Night programme being extended from 24 to 30 episodes this year;
  • A number of hour-long special editions of Reporting Scotland; and
  • Investment in online news services.

Gary Smith, head of news and current affairs, said 2024 was going to be a busy year for news.

“We need to make sure we keep changing our output as audience habits change, so that we provide the best possible service for our audiences in the formats and on the platforms they want,” he said.

“I’m very proud that The Nine has produced such great journalism and developed such great talent over the past five years, and I’m confident that our new offer to audiences will continue to meet those high standards.”

Scotland’s Culture Secretary Angus Robertson described the cancellation of the Nine as “very disappointing”.

He said he would seek meetings with BBC director general Tim Davie and Ofcom to discuss the impact of the proposals.

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