BBC to cut tea-time Newsround TV bulletin after almost 50 years

David Prior's picture

The BBC is to cut its tea-time Newsround bulletin after almost 50 years as part of a move to focus on online coverage.

The changes, which will take effect from the start of the new school term in September, will also see the two morning bulletins reduced to one extended bulletin.

It follows Ofcom's decision to approve the broadcaster's proposal to provide 35 hours of live TV news a year instead of 85.

Newsround editor Paul Plunkett said: "Today’s announcement means we can deliver more news online to the UK’s children, which is where we know they are consuming it.

"Our Newsround online audience averages 1m users every week. During Lockdown we set a new weekly record of an incredible 1.7m 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."

Of the decision to cut the tea-time bulletin, he added: "Whilst this feels like a big change, we know that the Newsround website already reaches many more children than the teatime bulletin."

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom said moving more content online would help it to better engage with young audiences “given shifts in the way children are consuming media”.

But it has stipulated that the BBC must provide daily children’s news online with content across a range of different formats, covering a broad range of topics and some in-depth news and analysis.

Newsround will also be employing its first full-time environment journalist and launch a dedicated YouTube channel in September.

Newsround was originally launched in 1972 as a six-week trial with John Craven as the first presenter. He went on to front the show for 17 years.