Description

TalkTV is a British opinion-orientated television channel owned and operated by News UK. It launched on 25 April 2022.

The channel features video simulcasts of TalkRadio programming in off-peak hours, but launched with three original programmes, The News Desk, Piers Morgan Uncensored, and The Talk.

History

Background

Australian-born American media magnate Rupert Murdoch originally entered the British television news market in 1989 with the launch of Sky News. In 1996, Murdoch entered the US and Australian television news markets with Fox News and Sky News Australia. In the 2010s, the Murdoch family began to sell a number of assets, including 21st Century Fox and Sky Plc, the companies that owned those news channels at the time.

In January 2018, the Competition and Markets Authority issued a preliminary report recommending that Sky News be insulated from the remainder of Murdoch's assets, or divested, in order to preserve its editorial independence. Murdoch retained control of Fox News and Sky News Australia, but Sky News UK was sold to Comcast, leaving Murdoch without a television news presence in the United Kingdom.

Initial foundation as News UK TV

In December 2020, Ofcom granted a licence to News UK, to operate a new linear television channel under the name News UK TV. By April 2021, it was thought that News UK TV would become a streaming-only service which would operate for a few hours a night. Rebekah Brooks said to News UK staff that "it was not commercially viable to launch a traditional news channel on linear TV".

David Rhodes, formerly of CBS News and Fox News, joined News UK with the aim of a launching their streaming video news service in 2020. In an interview with the BBC Radio 4's The Media Show, Andrew Neil claimed that he was approached to join News UK's television output by Rhodes before he joined rival GB News. In April 2021 it was announced that Rhodes was to leave News UK in June. Scott Taunton replaced Rhodes as News UK's CEO of broadcasting.

Pivot to TalkTV

By September 2021, plans for a service called News UK TV had been scrapped and talkRadio instead launched a video feed on smart/internet-connected TVs, with Mike Graham, Trisha Goddard, Julia Hartley-Brewer, Jeremy Kyle and Robert Rinder featuring as presenters on the service. The preceding months had seen its right-wing rival, GB News, launch as a linear television channel. The 'Talk' brand and family of radio stations had previously been acquired by News UK in September 2016 as part of their purchase of Wireless Group.

Later in September 2021, it was revealed that the "Talk" brand would be used for a linear television station launching in 2022. This change of approach reportedly claimed after Murdoch was bemused by the channels on offer during the pandemic. It was also announced that Piers Morgan would host a show on the channel. TalkRadio's Twitter account was renamed to TalkTV to coincide with the launch of the television station.

After gaining a comparatively large viewership on opening night, viewers declined over the following days. Several serving and former MPs and MEPs are currently employed as presenters on the channel including some who recently held positions within the previous Johnson cabinet. Ofcom's rules state that MPs can be presenters, but cannot be utilised as newsreaders.

News UK Broadcasting, TalkTV's parent company, made a loss of £34 million in the first year after TalkTV launched. In July 2022, Richard Wallace, former editor of the Daily Mirror, was hired as Head of TV.

Website

http://talk.tv

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News UK
News Corp UK & Ireland Limited (trading as News UK, formerly News International and NI Group) is a British newspaper publisher, and a wholly owned subsidiar

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