MEDIA: C4 launches News at Noon

Channel 4 News is targeting CEOs and corporate communications professionals to provide content for a new business-focused, weekday lunchtime bulletin, to be called News at Noon.

The show launches next month, with content being directed by Naga Muchetty, who joins later this month as business producer from CNBC Europe, where she produces the station's breakfast programme.

Martin Fewell, deputy editor of ITN-produced Channel 4 News, said News at Noon was proactively seeking involvement from PROs with clients in the fields of money and business.

He explained: 'This grows out of the belief that it's an area warranting more thoughtful coverage and hard news to guide investors, pensioners and mortgagees. There is a lot about housing, property and investor issues.

'There are 12 million shareholders in the country, and a lot of them are at home at lunchtime. There is a difficulty in establishing yourself as a new programme that wants to speak to corporate bosses, but we do.'

The lunchtime bulletin has grown out of Channel 4's daily news programmes on the Iraq war, presented by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who will continue to anchor the new show. It has continued using both freelances and staffers who work on Channel 4's existing evening news bulletin, but ITN is now looking for new producers to be dedicated to the show. The overall editor of Channel 4 News is Jim Gray.

Meanwhile, CNBC Europe's programmes, which are aimed at CEOs, the financial community and rich private investors, are also to be revamped, driven by director of news and programming Jeremy Pink.

There will be changes to programme names, airtimes and presenters. As a first step, Kavita Maharaj has been recruited from ITV News, where she presented evening regional news broadcasts, to co-anchor CNBC's Market Wrap.

She replaces Emma Crosby, who has quit to join Sky News' early morning news programme Sunrise.

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