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BBC Scotland Controller John McCormick
"The thinking always has been to get more viewers to watch our news"
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Tuesday, 3 October, 2000, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
News switch confirmed
Nine O'Clock News
The move ends a 30-year tradition
The BBC has confirmed it is to move its flagship Nine O'Clock news bulletin to 10pm from 16 October, which will be followed by a longer Scottish news programme.

Director General Greg Dyke announced at the Edinburgh Television Festival in August that the corporation intended to move the programme.

But there was speculation that the plans would not go ahead after ITV - which had rescheduled its News At Ten to a later slot - bowed to pressure from television regulators to restore a bulletin at that hour.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith: Concerned about programme clash
Culture Secretary Chris Smith had urged the BBC to rethink its decision, saying a clash would not benefit viewers.

At a meeting held on Monday, however, BBC governors are said to have agreed unanimously to continue with the move.

Panorama will move to Sunday nights, following directly after the bulletin, and will last for 40 minutes.

This will give nearly an hour of News and Current Affairs on Sundays on BBC One.

In Scotland, there will be a seven-minute news programme after the 10 o'clock news from Monday to Friday, which will be streamed live on the internet.

At present, the bulletin broadcast at 9.27pm is only three minutes long.

'Public service obligations'

BBC Scotland is considering whether to produce a news bulletin after the 10 o'clock news on Sundays.

BBC Scotland Controller, John McCormick, said: "The thinking always has been to get more viewers to watch our news.

"News is a very important part of the BBC's public service obligations and we believe that the news at 10 o'clock will attract bigger audiences than the news at nine o'clock."

Mr McCormick said the decision would mean a review of all other BBC Scotland News and Current Affairs programmes after 10pm.

Mike Russell
Mike Russell: "Simple opportunism"
However, the Scottish National Party described the rescheduling as unnecessary and said the move failed to meet Scottish viewers' needs.

Broadcasting spokesman, Mike Russell MSP, said: "This decision by the BBC Governors smacks of simple opportunism and is a blatant attempt by them to compete with proposed changes to ITV News schedules rather than to provide an informed news service to licence payers.

"This rescheduling of news bulletins also fails to address the problem of a lack of Scottish news in the evening as it only provides for a seven-minute Scottish news bulletin after the 10pm news.

"This is woefully inadequate for the needs of the Scottish people."

Scottish Liberal Democrat President, Malcolm Bruce MP, welcomed plans for a longer Scottish News bulletin.

He said: "By doubling the present late evening bulletin, and with potential scope for longer weekend bulletins, the BBC are demonstrating their commitment to the information needs of the Scottish people."

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03 Oct 00 | UK
BBC's News at Ten confirmed
26 Aug 00 | Scotland
Scotland 'win' in Dyke reforms
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