ITV is making some big changes to its TV schedule from March, which will see some of its most popular programmes broadcast at a new time.
The national and international evening news bulletins will become hour-long programmes from March 2022, while Coronation Street and Emmerdale will be moved into new time slots, the broadcaster has confirmed.
When will the evening news programme be broadcast?
The evening national and international news bulletins are set to run from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, with the change intended to bolster the key programmes in ITV’s pre-9pm schedule.
The programme, which will continue to be presented by Mary Nightingale, will air directly after ITV nations and regional news, ITV News’ 30 minute programme made by teams across 18 different ITV regions.
Viewers in the Scottish STV licence areas will continue to see flagship new programme STV News at Six, Monday to Friday, followed by the new hour-long news programme.
On Thursdays, STV’s current affairs programme, Scotland Tonight, will move from its usual 7.30pm slot to 8.30pm.
ITV said the changes will bring more live news content to its daily schedule and the programmes will have a greater focus on reporting from outside of London, to reflect what is happening across the whole of the UK.
The broadcaster said it will see the biggest expansion of jobs in ITV News in 20 years, with 27 new journalists, producers, and multi-skilled camera operators and video editors being recruited to join the programme, alongside ITV’s existing specialist editors and correspondents.
New appointments include correspondents being taken on in Wales, Scotland and the north of England to work towards the programme.
As well as general correspondents, there will also be a new Social Affairs reporter based in the north of England.
ITV’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Michael Jermey said: “The expansion of the network evening news programme and the investment in new roles is an enormous vote of confidence in ITV News’ journalism, which has continued to deliver strong exclusives and insightful reporting year after year, with 2022 so far being no exception.
“ITV’s news on television and digital platforms informs millions of people every day.
“It sits alongside strong current affairs output such as the Tonight programme, Peston, The Martin Lewis Money Show and the Bafta and Emmy award winning Exposure strand.
“ITV’s impartial, independent journalism makes an enormous contribution to public service broadcasting in the UK.”
What are the new times for ITV’s soaps?
The upcoming changes will also see ITV’s soaps moved into new time slots to allow viewers to watch programmes back to back.
Coronation Street is moving to three hour-long episodes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in a new time slot of 8pm.
Coronation Street has aired as both hour-long episodes, and two 30 minute episodes in recent years on Fridays, but ITV said audience data shows a clear preference for the hour-long episodes, which attract higher TV audiences.
Emmerdale, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year, is also moving further into peak viewing with a consistent 7:30pm slot.
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment, said: “The nation’s two most popular continuing dramas, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, are fundamental to the success of ITV, and we know that, as with all dramas, viewers increasingly watch them whenever, and however they choose.
“The new scheduling means that viewers can watch them live on TV in one go in a continuous soap fix, as well as on ITV Hub where they are regularly in the most watched shows every month.”
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