CBBC is axing the Newsround afternoon school bulletins after almost five decades
Image Source/ BBC
From September, the Beeb’s children’s programme will air just one report in the morning as the broadcaster looks to prioritise investment in online news.
The plans – which have been approved by Ofcom after being proposed back in November last year – are part of a move to increase children’s news content online.
Reducing the number of bulletins on television will allow for an increase in online Newsround stories from around four a day to 20.
In a statement, editor Paul Plunkett said:
‘Our Newsround online audience averages one million users every week. During lockdown we set a new weekly record of an incredible 1.7 million users.
‘The number of children watching the bulletins on CBBC TV channel have been declining for a number of years, so we need to shift resources to where the kids are. The changes are being led by them’.
He added that ending mid-morning and teatime bulletins would also allow CBBC to employ its “first, full-time environment journalist”.
Meanwhile, the show will continue to deliver its in-depth specials, and a Newsround YouTube channel is set to launch in September.
‘Given Newsround’s long and proud heritage these changes aren’t ones we’ve taken lightly.
‘Nor is it about saving money – the amount we spend on Newsround will stay the same.
‘But these changes are necessary if Newsround is to mean as much for the next generation as it already has for the millions of kids who’ve watched it for nearly 50 years’.
The changes come 48 years after Newsround – currently hosted by Ricky Boleto, Martin Dougan and Nazia Mogra – first launched on BBC One.
BBC had asked Ofcom to reduce the number of required hours of live TV news from 85 hours per year to 35, which leaves them open to limit the five-to-10 minute bulletins to one a day.