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GB News has losses in finance and personalities

GB News / Talk TV

GB News has losses in finance and personalities

It’s a day of news about GB News, as Dan Wootton waves goodbye and its revenue has taken a tumble…

Press Gazette report that GB News losses are up 38% to £42.4m giving the channel a total deficit of £76m since their launch. The station hit the air in a wave of publicity, bad sound and terrible lighting in June 2021 with Andrew Neil welcoming viewers to the Ikea-decked-out studio. Neil lasted only a handful of shows before turning off the two lights that had lit him and departed for Channel 4.

And lighting and sound wasn’t the only thing low, the advertising revenue to the channel has been bleak. Losses in the latest accounting period were six times greater than revenue, noted Press Gazette, which also stated that the latest figures mean GB News investors have shouldered total losses of £76m since the channel launched in 2021. However, some of this has come about as the channel tries to establish itself as a broadcaster. There has been for the broadcasting arm a 80% year-on-year growth in revenue to £6.7m, but this comes at a cost with a 63% growth in spending with more staff and resources issued to the network that now has sound, lighting and a new Westminster studio that doesn’t look like a Swedish living room.

Ratings have been better than rival Talk TV, which is facing being axed as a television service. Online GB News boasts 2.5 million subscribers to their streaming content.

Britain’s News Channel’ has been subject to numerous television regulator code breaches – which Ofcom seem unwilling to do anything particularly about with the regulator failing to issue any major fines to the owners, All Perspectives Ltd. This week they have announced another investigation of the Nigel Farage programme following comments made about a former Labour leader.

Yesterday Ofcom also said it had “significant concerns” over the “editorial control of its live output”. It followed the telly regulator finding the Dan Wootton Tonight programme being in breach of broadcasting codes.

They have upheld 8,867 complaints about a segment on the show which saw Laurence Fox make “unambiguously misogynistic” comments, cheered on by Dan Wootton, about a female journalist.

Journalist Ava Evans was described by Fox as a “little woman” and “pathetic and embarrassing”. He went on to ask Dan, “Who would want to shag that?” Ofcom noted that this output “constituted a highly personal attack” on Evans and it breached rule 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code. Wootton was criticised for his “reaction and limited challenge in response… exacerbated [a potential to offend] by contributing to the narrative in which a woman’s value was judged by her physical appearance”.

The incident, last September, saw Fox sacked and Wootton suspended. That suspension ended today when GB News and tabloid hack Dan parted ways. Wootton had also been at the receiving end of allegations of inappropriate behaviour. Police last month said the former The Sun editor had nothing to legally answer for which saw Wootton suggest that the media should not report on people until found guilty, saying he was the victim of a witchhunt. The irony of the statement coming from a man who in print and on TV has led trial by media over a host of names ranging from the late Caroline Flack to Huw Edwards and Phillip Schofield – and this to name just a few of the recent ‘Wootton witchhunt victims’.

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