A round-up of the week’s stories and observations.
- MON 8TH MAY (1.15PM)
Frame rate/rendering issue with BBC News titles fixed
- TUE 9TH MAY (10.45AM)
Ofcom finds GB News in breach of broadcasting rules
- TUE 9TH MAY (3.30PM)
NUJ members reject latest BBC Local proposals
- TUE 9TH MAY (8.10PM)
BBC masterbrand sting airs for first time
- TUE 9TH MAY (11.50PM)
Late ITV News Granada Reports bulletin disrupted by fire alarm
- WED 10TH MAY (1.40PM)
Steve Rosenberg treats viewers to some Eurovision tunes
- WED 10TH MAY (8.20PM)
BBC News Channel presenter’s mic left open in error
- THU 11TH MAY (7PM)
BBC Look North (NE and Cumbria) off air due to industrial action
- THU 11TH MAY (11PM)
Minor error during BBC Midlands Today headlines
- THU 11TH MAY (11.55PM)
Heated exchanges on tonight’s Newsnight
- FRI 12TH MAY (1.15PM)
The final BBC News at One from Studio E
- FRI 12TH MAY (2.45PM)
NUJ confirms BBC Northern Ireland strike date
Monday 8th May
1.15pm Frame rate/rendering issue with BBC News titles fixed
The frame rate/rendering issue that’s been present on BBC News programme titles since 3rd April appears to have been fixed – on BBC One news programmes at least.
And there’ve been few minor tweaks to the sequences: the BBC blocks now animate in from the top; the numbers within the globe device have been made a little clearer.
Tuesday 9th May
10.45am Ofcom finds GB News in breach of broadcasting rules
A GB News programme hosted by Mark Steyn, featuring an interview with Naomi Wolf, which claimed the Covid-19 vaccine rollout amounted to “mass murder”, has been found to be in breach of broadcasting rules.
In its report, the regulator said: “We found that the comments made by Naomi Wolf had the potential to impact viewers’ decisions about their health and were therefore potentially harmful.
“Given that GB News did not take adequate steps to protect viewers from this potentially harmful content, we have found the channel in breach of Rule 2.1 of the Broadcasting Code.
“This is the second significant breach of the Code recorded against GB News. In light of this, we are requesting that GB News attends a meeting with Ofcom to discuss its approach to compliance.”
3.30pm NUJ members reject latest BBC Local proposals
National Union of Journalist members have rejected the latest proposals from BBC Local management.
The union says it will meet with reps later this week to discuss next steps – and there’ll be no further public comment until then.
8.10pm BBC masterbrand sting airs for first time
The BBC masterbrand sting made its on-air debut this evening, immediately before the Eurovision semi-final on BBC One.
11.50pm Late ITV News Granada Reports bulletin disrupted by fire alarm
Tonight’s late edition of ITV News Granada Reports had to be abandoned after just over a minute due to a fire alarm.
Presenter Gamal Fahnbulleh provided a link into the lead story, whilst a fire alarm announcement could be heard in the background.
The package for the lead story then played but was cut short by the appearance of an ITV Granada logo, before moments later crashing into ITV News Calendar.
“Apologies to all watching our late news tonight, as you may have been able to hear a fire alarm went off in the building and our team had to evacuate.
“Thanks to our colleagues at ITV Calendar for taking over our broadcast.”
“Everyone is okay – thank you for your concern.”ITV News Granada Reports (Twitter account)
Wednesday 10th May
1.40pm Steve Rosenberg treats viewers to some Eurovision tunes
BBC Russia editor, Steve Rosenberg, taking some Eurovision requests in the closing minutes of the BBC News at One today.
8.20pm BBC News Channel presenter’s mic left open in error
There was a lighter moment at the end of the 7pm BBC News programme this evening, with presenters Maryam Moshiri and James Reynolds demonstrating their fluency in Italian.
Moments later, a technical error meant James’ microphone was left open when he was supposed to be off air.
We heard James speaking over the weather forecast.
A reminder for everyone in a TV or radio studio: if you’re near a microphone, mind what you say. Luckily, James did. We think.
Thanks to Jack Fielding for flagging.
Thursday 11th May
7pm BBC Look North (NE and Cumbria) off air due to industrial action
Tonight’s edition of BBC Look North (North East and Cumbria) was cancelled due to industrial action by members of the National Union of Journalists protesting at cuts to BBC Local Radio.
Viewers in the region received the Leeds-based version of BBC Look North instead.
NUJ: “Tonight’s BBC Look North (Newcastle) has been taken off air by NUJ members observing our work to rule. A shared programme will come from Leeds both today and tomorrow.
“Solidarity with members across BBC England taking action to #KeepBBCLocalRadioLocal and protect services.
“As we said earlier, industrial action is not taken lightly. We remain open to talks with the BBC in the NUJ campaign to #KeepBBCLocalRadioLocal.”
11pm Minor error during BBC Midlands Today headlines
A minor cock-up here from tonight’s BBC Midlands Today headlines at 10.10pm.
If you’re going to put an endboard to air in error, quick, get it animating.
11.55pm Heated exchanges on tonight’s Newsnight
There were some heated exchanges between Alastair Campbell (former Downing Street director of communications) and Alex Phillips (adviser, Reform UK Party) on tonight’s Newsnight, as the two clashed on the future of Brexit.
Campbell also took issue with presenter Victoria Derbyshire and the BBC: “You bring these people on, you never challenge them. You let them talk utter rubbish about Brexit and it’s happened on the BBC for year after year after year.”
Friday 12th May
1.15pm The final BBC News at One from Studio E
Various BBC News personnel have confirmed on social media that today’s edition of the BBC News at One will be the last to be broadcast from Studio E.
From Monday, the programme will join the BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten in Studio B.
Studio E is destined to be refurbished after over ten years of almost daily on-air use.
2.45pm NUJ confirms BBC Northern Ireland strike date
The National Union of Journalists has confirmed that BBC Northern Ireland members will take part in a 24-hour strike from 12.15am on 19th May.
Voting in local elections takes place on 18th May, with TV and radio coverage of results currently planned for 19th May.
A two-year licence fee freeze announced in January 2022 means the BBC is effectively having to absorb inflation. In order to live within its means, the corporation is having to make significant cuts to a range of services.
When BBC Northern Ireland’s cost-cutting measures were first announced last November, the plan was to axe 36 jobs to achieve savings of £2.3m. Through discussions with union representatives, the plan evolved.
However, the NUJ says BBC management terminated their discussions and proceeded to partially implement the changes announced last November.
The main impact was felt at BBC Radio Foyle where the two-hour breakfast programme has been reduced to thirty minutes and the half-hour lunchtime news programme has been axed.
The NUJ says the BBC’s restructuring plans will impact resources and their ability to deliver quality programmes across Northern Ireland.
Talks between the union and BBC senior management are due to take place next week.
“Members have been left with no option than to head to pickets in defence of their jobs and the much-loved programmes listeners tune into daily. Yet again, the BBC is pursuing savings and drastic changes at the expense of quality journalism it claims to pride itself on.Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser
“The NUJ wants to reach a solution that resolves the dispute and asks the BBC to return to talks with a fair offer members can accept.”
UPDATE: speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Evening Extra, Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said: “…the dispute is far bigger than what’s happening in (Radio) Foyle – this is about cuts to local journalism across the whole of BBC NI”.
“We would imagine it (the strike) will have a major effect on what listeners and viewers see and hear,” he said.
“This is a key date when local journalism becomes apparent. We want to show what viewers and listeners will be missing.”
As to how the strike could be averted – he added: “We hope to sit down around the negotiating table with them (the BBC) next week, but they need to show that the cuts they are proposing will have the impact that we think they will have.”
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PICTURED: BBC News at One opening titles. COPYRIGHT: BBC.