“BBC rival GB News to start broadcasting 'within weeks’” announced the Tel: notice that, although Sky News is the most obvious comparator, being a news channel, GB News’ arrival is framed as being a rival to the BBC. In reality, it will not be like either - the model for GB News is most likely Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
But do go on. “The Telegraph can reveal that the right-leaning news network - spearheaded by veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil - goes live on May 31”. Brillo “spearheading” something? Do us a favour. But there is more. “GB News will begin its challenge to the BBC from the end of this month when the news network launches its TV channel”. Once again the BBC comparison.Not much of this month left, though, is there?
Tell us more. “TV platforms are gearing up for the 24-hour news channel to go live on May 31st, The Telegraph can reveal. Industry sources said the opinionated news service will begin by broadcasting showreels of its presenters from May 27, with live programming set to start four days later”. Bank Holiday Monday. When audiences are at their lowest.
What will GB News be like? “Colin Brazier, the former Sky News presenter, said he joined GB News because ‘the mainstream broadcasters were getting out of touch with a large portion of the viewership’ [no citation]. ‘I think people will be surprised to find that it is not as shrill as they are expecting,’ he added. ‘It is going to be more thoughtful and positive, and it will not be po-faced. Sometimes watching the existing news offerings can feel like being in the audience for an extended sociology lecture - and I don't think this will’”.
Which news programmes has he been watching? In any case, it seems the Tel has misled its readers: “However, GB News said the timing of the launch had not been decided. ‘The only confirmed dates are related to technical launches,’ a GB News spokeswoman said. ‘No date has been decided for the launch of live programming. That decision will not be made for some time, possibly weeks’”. So it won’t really go live at the end of this month.
And while the right-wing press is clearly eager for GB News to launch, the Tel admits “GB News was locked in a race with Rupert Murdoch to become the first organisation to launch a right-leaning news channel before the summer. However, News UK scrapped its plans for a TV channel last month, claiming it was not ‘commercially viable’”.
Worse, the begging bowl has already come out in the shape of touting for “Superfans” who will pay a little more for allegedly exclusive content. And until that launch actually happens, which, reading between the lines, probably isn’t going to happen this month, GB News continues to gobble up money with no revenue stream covering any of the bills.
How long will it be before the backers have to inject a little more of that liquidity? Small wonder the LBC and TalkRADIO defections have not exactly taken off. The press is just whistling to keep its spirits up. The way it’s going, GB News may not be around for long.
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