MEDIA: CNBC revamps schedule

Financial and business TV channel CNBC Europe is revamping its flagship financial programme Europe Squawk Box.

The company is boosting it to three hours in length, in a move that producers said would allow greater scope for PR agencies looking to break business and financial news.

They also said there were increased spots for interviews with senior executives, such as chief financial officers, as well as chief executives.

Europe Squawk Box is to take an hour from preceding show Today's Business, which went out between 5 and 7am, assuming a widened 6 to 9am slot.

The show is hosted by Geoff Cutmore and provides analytical discussion of news and trends affecting Europe's business community.

CNBC director of communications Charlotte Blenkinsop said the channel already works closely with the 'major financial agencies'.

She added: 'The extra hour increases the scope for coverage. There is more potential for PROs to target us with their business stories.'

CNBC Europe commercial director Mick Buckley said: 'Our strategy now is to increase the depth of coverage and drive ratings during our early morning and evening primetime programming, meeting the needs of our audience, who are among the most affluent and influential in Europe.'

Other scheduling changes include a series of half-hour primetime evening programmes covering a variety of topics such as media, management and business leader profiles.

Changes include extending the Frankfurt Closing Bell programme to two hours, a new primetime half-hour programme block and macro-economic analysis.

The move comes as the channel announces a 47 per cent jump in weekly UK audience figures to 740,000.

Channel viewers will also see new presenter Kavita Maharaj, a former ITV News regional news anchor, become co-anchor of its Power Lunch Europe show on 2 June, alongside regular presenter Ross Westgate.

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