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Talk TV for telly chop

GB News / Talk TV

Talk TV for telly chop

The news and views channel will revert to a previous online visual streaming and radio service reports suggest…

Talk TV, which broadcasts nationally on radio, television and online as well as a regional offering in select parts of the UK such as Talk Birmingham is to drop its network offering Media Guido first reported earlier today. Many had suspected the station would be axed following the recent departure of the face of Talk TV Piers Morgan to an online offering only, allowing him not to be deemed a failure when the plug is finally pulled.

Talk does well in its radio offering – it launched as Talk Radio back in 1995 originally later becoming TalkSport in 2000 and was relaunched, alongside TalkSport, in 2016. The stations are part of the News UK empire and are joined by TimesRadio, TalkSport2 and various offerings of Virgin Radio. TalkRadio could be streamed on YouTube as TalkRadio TV before Talk TV’s launch and from a staff email shared by Media Guido today it appears that is how the format is going to return to.

News UK has, of course, tried to spin this step backwards as a positive thing. The linear TV offering has rated appallingly for the company – mainly due to leaving the idea to launch such a venture too late and rival GB News sweeping up the majority of the audience available for such output. Talk TV fairs much better online with millions of views for Piers Morgan Uncensored, whereas liner TV pulled in such tragic ratings for the primetime shows it was nicknamed Piers Morgan Unwatched.

As well as the controversial Morgan, the network also has the equally controversial James Whale and the lowbrow Mike Graham and Jeremy Kyle. There are also in the mix some respected broadcasters – and former daytime TV rivals – Vanessa Feltz and Trisha Goddard.

Morgan failed to lure TV viewers in – but has had more success on YouTube.

In the email to staff, the positive spin notes, ‘I firstly want to thank all of you for what we have achieved to date. Two years ago we set out to create a new voice in television news and opinion, and to build a new broadcast capability to break news and highlight journalism from around all of our brands, reaching new audiences and bringing in new revenues.

‘Launching TalkTV, we invested in professional equipment, galleries and studios in the News Building, and we hired a team of talented people. Journalists from across our newsbrands are frequent contributors to our live TV output and video clips are repurposed on social and streaming, amplifying the reach of those stories. We have broken hundreds of stories and broadcast thousands of exclusive interviews and compelling debates.’

Scott Taunton, EVP, President of Broadcasting, News UK, continues ‘While linear TV has been a good marketing and awareness window for Talk, we now need to focus our investment on where the eyeballs are and where the revenues are in growth. In order to be successful, we need to prioritise being where the audiences are, rather than asking them to come to find us down the channel guide. It makes economic sense too. Linear channel slots cost us millions a year and the advertising revenues are never going to materially exceed the cost of being in these distribution slots, while data-led digital advertising and CTV is in growth.‘ adding ‘All our video content will be created with online audiences in mind and will be distributed through owned websites and apps, as well as streaming and social platforms to include YouTube and TikTok, building on what we have done for Talk.

Talk TV currently airs on Sky Channel 526, Virgin Media Channel 627, Freeview Channel 237 and Freesat Channel 217, the regional Talk offerings air on Freeview Channel 8.

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