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I have to wonder what would have happened if ITV never got the go ahead for these changes? If it went just a year later, with the lost of Home & away, could there have changed it so the early evening news started at 5.30?

It's the evening news that i've wonder about, the only reason it had to be moved was the legal requirement to have one main news with peak time 6-11pm.

There was also talk of the 7pm or even 8pm news.
Brekkie31,187 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
You've answered your own question there.

If they'd wanted to move the Evening News earlier they had plenty of opportunity in those years between Home and Away ending and The Chase finally giving them something decent in the slot.
I preferred the internet when it had a sense of humour.
JKDerry1,513 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
I have to wonder what would have happened if ITV never got the go ahead for these changes? If it went just a year later, with the lost of Home & away, could there have changed it so the early evening news started at 5.30?

It's the evening news that i've wonder about, the only reason it had to be moved was the legal requirement to have one main news with peak time 6-11pm.

There was also talk of the 7pm or even 8pm news.

ITV moved their News at Ten, proper in depth news programme to 6.30pm and renamed it Evening News. They had a requirement to provide a short late night round-up, so they took the 5.40pm Early Evening News and moved it to 11.00pm and renamed it Nightly News. They had a short 1 minute news update at 10.00pm to bridge the gap.

Then in 2001 came the whole mess of the reinstating News at Ten, and that was just a con job done on the UK viewer.
Brekkie31,187 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
Would still have been a political hot potato but perhaps the Nightly News would have survived had Trevor McDonald left when News at Ten was axed.

The Evening News in that period was always more watchable without him and only really found its feet with the switch to two presenters. The Nightly News did the job it was supposed to do but that was a very different role to News at Ten. For me at the time it worked well and in reality the return of News at Ten (or When) was far more about issues filling the 10pm hour than the news itself.
I preferred the internet when it had a sense of humour.
Lou Scannon1,049 posts since 1 Jan 2016
HTV West Points West
To my mind, the more "in-depth" news format being reserved for the late bulletin (e.g. 9pm or later), with the earlier evening programme being more of a "catch-all" format seems most natural.

ITV's decision to swap this over in 1999 seemed odd to me at the time, and still does. And 11pm seemed a bit too late a time for the later bulletin to start, irrespective of its format or duration.

Irrespective of light/heavy format, 30-minutes of news in a post-6pm slot seems far more "right" than a mere 15-20 minutes in a pre-6pm slot. My younger self (I was in my late teens in 1999) never understood why ITV's evening news had hitherto been so short and on so early. In fact, I still don't.
I'm still a European.
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itsrobert6,275 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
Well it really stems back to the creation of the schedules way back when - maybe even as early as 1955? I can't remember when the early evening bulletin was introduced but it was certainly still in the "Non Stop" theme music era before 1976. In those days the early evening news was at 5.50pm. In 1976 it was extended by 5 minutes and began at 5.45pm. Then it was shifted to 5.40pm in 1989 to make space for the new ITV National Weather forecast. That's how it stayed until the 1999 revamp. I can't really give you an answer as to why the early evening bulletin was so early and so short, but I think to find the answer you would have to look back quite a way.

I do agree, though, that it seems natural to have a shorter lunchtime and evening bulletin with a much longer late bulletin. By the time 10pm comes, most news has developed and there has been ample time for proper analysis to be generated. And most working people would be too busy either commuting or maybe cooking at 6.30pm to be bothered sitting down for a full bulletin. I know I only dip in and out of those if it's an interesting news day. People are in more of a position to sit down and catch up properly later in the evening once they've unwound. For me, though, I find Channel 4 News ideally placed at 7pm. By that time I have returned home and had a meal and I am ready to watch TV. If it's been a particularly busy news day or there is something in particular I want to see, I would usually turn to C4.
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Square Eyes7,701 posts since 31 Mar 2001
Of course it was the 1999 changes that brought in that new news set. The more modern looking newsroom studio was gone and it was all wood, bright colours, fake newsroom backdrop and that monitor stack and every bulletin looked the same. This look seemed to hang around forever, it was on screen for 5 years. Even today, what proceeded that look was infinitely better.

What ITV News have on screen now is 5 years old but still feels fresh.
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chris4,190 posts since 6 Jul 2005
Granada North West Today
As people have said, the 5:40 bulletin didn’t move to 6:30, it moved to 11 and News at Ten moved to 6:30. So having two half hour bulletins, like we do today, is simply a product of panic when rating plummeted - there is no obligation for ITV to maintain that level of peak-time news. It’s the big fear continually at ITN that News at Ten will simply be axed as there’s no requirement for it.

That is the big difference I believe - there wouldn’t have been more news, let alone two half-hour bulletins. If anything I would suspect 5:40 would have moved back to 5:45 to provide more space for entertainment.
cityprod1,937 posts since 3 Oct 2005
Westcountry Spotlight
The 1999 changes were designed to bring ITV into line with commercial broadcasters in the US, which for many years had their main evening network news programmes at 6:30, so ITV decided to follow suit and create the ITV Evening News as the replacement for News at Ten. The 11pm time for the Nightly News was also inspired by US TV schedules, as most local stations air a bulletin at 11pm.

I hated the look, the studio, the graphics, but the timing of the bulletins was never an issue in my book. I also liked the 1 minute summary at 10pm. But as bad as the 1999 look was, the 2003 revision to change the blue and red, to blue and yellow, made it look worse.
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Lou Scannon1,049 posts since 1 Jan 2016
HTV West Points West
I like the fact that the 1999 changes have rationalised the regional news scheduling.

Different regional programmes hitherto had durations of either 30, 35, or 60 minutes, with start times of either 5.55pm, 6pm, 6.25pm, or 6.30pm. In the latter two cases it of course meant that the national and regional news were separated, with e.g. Home & Away (or whatever) in-between. This always seemed odd to me.

It seemed bloody ridiculous having as little as 15-20 minutes of national/international news, but 30-60 for regional news. Having a whole hour of regional news at all, regardless of how this compared to the national news length, also seemed excessive. I can't imagine how Westcountry Live filled an hour each weeknight. It must've been fluff central.
I'm still a European.
addlestones105 posts since 24 Oct 2016
Westcountry Points West
I can't imagine how Westcountry Live filled an hour each weeknight. It must've been fluff central.[/quote]

Westcountry Live was an amazing programme, proper regional news plus local news in the region. Great presenters and reporters. Brilliant sports reporting and daily features.
Last edited by addlestones on 19 July 2018 6:41pm