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BBC America News instantly joins Old Media on its very first newscast 10/3/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in BBC.

How’s this for a new idea in the year 2007? A new nightly newscast at 7 p.m. Eastern Time that covers world news. It is produced by the former executive producer who launched the floundering CBS News with Katie Couric. The program’s perspective is somewhat to the left of the center-left network TV evening news broadcasts, and it is being brought to us by an organization that in an internal report damned itself for being culturally biased. So far, not much new, but here’s the kicker. The news program has all of the “edge” and lively political discussion you might expect from a TV program controlled by a government.

Network TV Evening News Millions of Viewers 1990-2006It might seem odd that the BBC is looking for growth in a U.S. evening news market that has shed about half its viewers in the last 15 years, as shown to the right. But, no worries. The BBC doesn’t need to make a profit because it is supported by the generous and involuntary contributions of the British public who, believe it or not, are taxed $270 dollars per year for every bloody color TV set in their homes. America owes a great deal to the British, including the historical roots of free speech and a free press. But, thanks guys…I think we can take it from here.


1. Steve - 10/4/07

You’re confusing the BBC in the UK with BBC Worldwide. BBC Worldwide is a commercial for profit enterprise and has a turnover of about $1.7 billion. In fact it is the Worldwide service which makes the UK service financially viable.

2. Steve Boriss - 10/4/07

Steve, The BBC can attach whatever words it wants to BBC Worldwide, such as “commercial” or “for profit,” but it does not change the reality. It is fully owned by the BBC, which is controlled by the British government and it uses BBC resources, i.e. is subsidized by government. While it might be trying to be in the black rather than the red, it does not have owners or shareholders like a real “for profit” — excess funds are either reinvested or go to the BBC.

3. links for 2007-10-04 | James Mitchell - 10/4/07

[…] BBC America News instantly joins Old Media on its very first newscast It might seem odd that the BBC is looking for growth in a U.S. evening news market that has shed about half its viewers in the last 15 years (tags: tv+news bbc america) […]

4. Bob Jones - 10/5/07

I have to wonder which is true … left of centre or controlled by the (British) government?

They seem to be at odds, considering the present government (the party of Tony Blair) is further to the right than its ever been, how can the BBC be left and government controlled?

I don’t think the BBC ever liked Tony Blair much either …

5. Steve Boriss - 10/5/07

Bob, I think both are true. Three points. First, however much to the right the British government and the BBC may have moved, they are still further to the left than the American government and our mainstream media. We have a lot more room to the right on our side of the pond — our conservatives would be very unhappy with your Tories. Second, our mainstream media is also a blend of left and “government suck-up” for a variety of reasons, one of which is that our broadcast networks rely on the government to have their broadcast licenses renewed. This need to appease the government was the basis of their founding and is embedded in their culture. Third, I’m assuming one of the main reasons they turned on Blair was because of their left impulse for his support of the war in Iraq.

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