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CBBC’s Newsround is cutting its after-school broadcasts after Ofcom approved the BBC’s proposal to prioritise investment in online children’s news.

After airing three daily bulletins, the BBC children’s programme will broadcast just one report in the morning from September onwards. 

The plans, which were proposed by the BBC back in November 2019, are part of the BBC’s strategy to increase children’s news content online, with the reduced number of TV bulletins allowing for online Newsround stories to increase from an average of four a day to an average of 20. 

Newsround Editor Paul Plunkett said that a record 1.7 million users visited Newsround online during lockdown. “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.” 

He added that the scrapped mid-morning and teatime bulletins will allow CBBC to employ its “first, full-time environment journalist” and that the show will continue to deliver in-depth Newsround Specials, with a Newsround YouTube Channel launching 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,” he continued. “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.” 

In November 2019, the BBC asked Ofcom to reduce the number of required hours of live TV news broadcast from 85 hours per year to 35 per year, which would allow them to limit the five-to-ten minute Newsround bulletins to just one per day.

28 July 2020                                            Back to the headlines

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