Battle for the Right of the Airwaves

LBC is showing off it’s TV-looking studio today with flashy on screen graphical lower thirds. TalkRADIO has been doing the same with its virtual guests. Mainstream opinion-led TV is already sort of here in the form of these increasingly audiovisual stations. Yet there’s more to come. Guido has compiled the offers on the right vying for the potentially very lucrative spot of Britain’s right wing TV station…

  • The much touted new counter to the UK’s glut of left-wing TV news channels ‘GB News‘ has been set up by Robbie Gibb, former head of BBC political programming output and Downing Street Director of Communications. His new operation was recently registered with Ofcom, by a new company All Perspectives Limited. APL’s Director is Andrew Cole, who serves on the board of Liberty Global – which runs Virgin Media and owns 10% of ITV. In short, GB News is an organisation with serious heft behind it…
  • Gibb is not alone in a TV venture. Back in May, News UK hired David Rhodes, a former Fox News executive who was President of CBS News until last year. Sources inside the mini-Shard tell Guido the project is very secretive and keeps morphing. Ideas doing the rounds include the creation of an 18 hours-a-day live news channel, through to a more slimline offer of just three shows a day. Rhodes is a serious TV man, not an ideologue, although he now reports directly to Rebekah Brooks
  • NewsUK is already building experience with Times Radio and TalkRADIO – the latter of which has been expanding its video offering, and there’s every chance its radio personalities could become television talking heads. The lines between internet and TV are becoming increasingly blurred… 
  • In less advanced plans, Guido hears that millionaire Brexit Party Chairman Richard Tice is mulling the idea of to setting up his own new radio station on the right, with a video offer rivalling TalkRADIO. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, meanwhile, is building up his video presence on YouTube, with interviews and documentary films. Auditioning for something?
  • The Speccie, in addition to a sweep of podcasts, has launched a video offer called Spectator TV which currently hosts a weekly zoom chat show with Brillo. A bit of a step down from the state of art BBC studios…
  • The IEA has a snazzier offer too, with Director General Mark Littlewood offering weekly live broadcasts in the style of Question Time except all the panelists are good. Could he be vying for a spot at whichever new station gets off the ground?

A broadcasting shake-up is coming. Hard-to-regulate internet TV is now making inroads as mobile broadband improves. The BBC is running scared. Opinionated radio has already established itself with ‘balance in the round’ – across the schedule rather than within each show. Whether GB News or the NewsUK offers both launch, or combine efforts, broadcast news is facing the dawn of a new era…

mdi-tag-outline GB News News UK TalkRadio Times Radio
mdi-account-multiple-outline David Rhodes Robbie Gibb
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