MEDIA: Channel 5 evening news output to double in July

Channel 5 is to double its evening news output from 16 July by

introducing a second bulletin. It will also change the time slot of its

existing programme.

The ITN-made 5 News will be put back from 6pm to 7.30pm and a new

half-hour bulletin will be introduced at 5.30pm. Both will be presented

by current anchorman Charlie Stayt.

Channel 5 chief executive Dawn Airey said: 'We believe (5.30pm) is the

right time to show news for a significant number of our viewers.'

A spokeswoman added: 'There is no news service nationally at 5.30 at the

moment. That old slot has never been given back to viewers and we think

there's an appetite for it.'

She explained that the move has sprung from Channel 5's general election

coverage, during which it presented an hour-long bulletin and discussion

programme between 5.30 and 6.30pm.

Channel 5 has often been derided for the quality of its output, but the

broadcaster insisted the move was not designed purely to make its

programming appear more 'serious'.

'We don't feel the need for that. This is about giving the viewer more

choice,' the spokeswoman said.

The second bulletin of the evening will be up against the last half hour

of Channel 4 News.

The early one precedes BBC1's national news bulletin. Both bulletins

will be overseen by Gary Rogers, editor of 5 News.

Channel 5 will maintain its hourly updates at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm.

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