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Thursday, 18 January, 2001, 13:06 GMT
BBC wants 'broader' news
Michael Buerk and Peter Sissons
The BBC is committed to news at 10 six nights a week
The BBC has said it wants a "more ambitious" Ten O'Clock News as it prepares to go head-to-head with ITV's revived News At Ten.

The plans are outlined in a memo to the BBC's television news staff from its head of television news, Roger Mosey, and deputy director of news Richard Sambrook.

They said: "We want to be more ambitious, we want to make more use of specialist correspondents; we want to have a broader agenda and more intelligent coverage."

News At Ten will return to ITV on 22 January, almost two years after the programme was axed to make way for a later bulletin.

BBC Head of TV News Roger Mosey
Roger Mosey wants to stem an overall decline in audiences
Politicians have voiced concern about the two bulletins on the UK's two main TV channels going head-to-head with each other.

But the Sambrook and Mosey memo said: "We have no problems with ITV's move of the news, not least because they don't seem wholehearted about it."

The BBC pushed back its news bulletin an hour to 10pm in October last year, filling the slot vacated by the ITV bulletin in March 1999.

Audiences for terrestrial news have been in decline for some time, due to competition from satellite, cable and digital services.

But the BBC Ten O'Clock News has made a small gain in viewers, rising from 5.1m viewers at 9pm to 5.2m in its new timeslot.

ITV's re-launched News At Ten will be broadcast on Mondays to Thursdays, lasting 20 minutes, compared with the BBC's 30-minute bulletin.

See also:

10 Jan 01 | Entertainment
News At Ten returns to ITV
13 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Goodbye Nine O'clock News
04 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Meldrew leads BBC ratings charge
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