Media: Target Five show to reach tabloids

Live From Studio Five (LFSF), Channel Five's light-hearted evening talk show, was mired in controversy last month when presenter Melinda Messenger quit.

The tabloids enjoyed stirring up rumours of animosity between Messenger and her former colleague Ian Wright, but this coverage should place PROs on alert. If the tabloids are watching, then it is a good spot to place clients.

The show, which launched last September, has a panel of three presenters: Wright, Kate Walsh (former The Apprentice contestant) and Emma Willis (Messenger's replacement).

It is similar in format to The One Show and overlaps in the broadcasting schedules. But LFSF editor David Kermode claims the BBC's 'juggernaut' is not a direct rival.

'It would be mad for us to take on The One Show directly. It would be a hiding to nothing,' he says. 'We set out to do something very different; a live, entertainment-focused, topical talk show. We have a much stronger showbiz focus and are after a younger 16- to 34-year-old audience.'

The show's content needs to be vibrant to attract this young audience. It also needs to be engaging, as Kermode explains: 'The tea-time audience is more transient. They are most likely busy, distracted by choice on the TV and by what is going on in their household.'

The show is broken down into ten specific sections, including a live guest interview, often a musical performance, a recorded celebrity interview, and a pre-commissioned features idea. The other items are topical news stories that are decided on the day. These items are often taken from the Five News team.

The features often centre on sending out a presenter or the entertainment reporter to experience something. For example, navigating an RAF assault course, skydiving or trying out the latest roller-skating phenomenon from the US.

Kermode says PROs can offer experience-based features ideas or consumer-led product launch stories. But the most obvious opportunity for PROs is to supply celebrities for interview, as the show is looking for personality-led items.

Nick Ede, EdenCanCan's creative director, recently got his client Rhydian (former X Factor contestant) on the show. He says: 'It does not get as many viewers as The One Show, so, from a PR perspective, it is easier to pitch your client. It is also a soft programme, so you are able to make sure that the message your client is hoping to get across is actually conveyed.'

Taylor Herring's managing partner Adrian Lee agrees that the informal environment can help guests to present a good image, and points out that the show creates waves in other parts of the media. 'Media coverage around interesting guests and their quotes has been good, particularly comments about showbiz and TV. This often gets good pick-up in the red-tops and online,' he says.


Timing: 6.25-7.30pm, Monday to Friday

Ratings: 300,000 on average for each episode in Q1 2010 (Source: BARB, consolidated)

Viewer breakdown: 60 per cent women; 35 per cent men; five per cent children

Demographic breakdown: 45 per cent ABC1



- Define your editorial agenda

We explore the big entertainment topical talking point stories of the day. Celebrity stories always work well. We are not too serious, but we have done serious pieces on topics such as self-harm and eating disorders, but only because they are relevant to our audience.

- When do you finalise the show's content?

We have a morning meeting at 9.45am, when we determine the content of our programme for that day.

- How should PROs pitch ideas?

They should contact our planning team. The editor is Robert Dersley and he has a small team reporting to him. We also have an entertainment reporter, Minnie Stephenson, and we make use of the Five News team's reporters where relevant. We have a core team of ten.

- Do you have any tips for PROs?

Reliability is key. Do not over-promise and not deliver, especially when you are dealing with celebrities who often change their minds. Be mindful of our production times and be savvy about our agenda. I get sent books, big highbrow tomes. Personally, I find them interesting, but they are not going to get on our show.

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