Andrew Neil Explains GB News

In a wide-ranging interview on Sky News this morning, GB News Chairman Andrew Neil revealed that:

  • If the BBC had made a more generous offer earlier in the Summer he would have been tempted to stay with the organisation.
  • He is sceptical of the government’s approach to the “serious matter” of appointing a new Chairman of the BBC, saying “Charles Moore’s knowledge of broadcasting is pretty close to zero”.
  • He thinks Paul Dacre is a “formidable individual” and a “fiercely hard worker”, yet argues public appointments are becoming too politicised.
  • “When we launched Sky Television, I remember everyone saying it would fail. I’ve been at my happiest as a disrupter, as an insurgent.”

On GB News, Brillo was candid – providing seven key takeaways:

  • With Discovery¬†in as the lead investor for GB News, “quite a queue” of others has formed to fill up the tens of millions in investment the channel is seeking.¬†The funding round will be over by the middle of next month at the latest and Neil is “pretty sure we will be oversubscribed”…
  • The channel will be free to air on Freeview, on the Sky platform, on Virgin, and it will be streamed online by GB News too.¬†The aim is to generate an audience quickly…
  • GB News will go in for “news-based programming” built around strong presenters or teams of presenters, to become “an appointment to view.” In the US this model provides strong ratings…
  • Comparisons with Fox News in the states “could not be more wrong.”
  • GB News will stand between what Fox News does in America and what existing broadcasters do in the UK. “There is a whole territory between them to occupy that could be very lucrative”…
  • GB News will always comply with Ofcom rules and have a variety of views and opinions. Ofcom is quite liberal with this, as it is happy with the clearly ideological Channel 4 News…
  • The channel will look at news in a different way. “After all what would be the point in simply trying to replicate what is already done. There is no gap in the market for what [Sky] and the BBC, and Channel 4, and ITV are already doing”…

Broadcasting is set for an exciting shake-up…

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Andrew Neil
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