ABC News 24 to change TV news

By David Knox

Jul 21, 2010

24/7 news finally joins free-to-air television courtesy of ABC.

We've had the sports channel, the kid's channel plus a few others, and from this week we're getting the news channel.

ABC News 24 launches with big promises of uninterrupted news to viewers across the country. It is drawing upon the resources of its 1000 journalists in more than 60 newsrooms in Australia and abroad.

Significantly, it will air simultaneously around the nation. For viewers in Western Australia who have endured Sunrise, Today, A Current Affair and similar shows on delay it is a major win.

If you've been a subscriber to SKY News then you know how valuable it is to turn to your television screens when something big breaks. Now ABC viewers will have the same experience.

The HD channel launches at 7:30pm AEST on Thursday, with ABC News 24 Launch: ABC News Special showcasing what the channel will offer. This program will be simulcast on ABC1.

It will be followed by the first episode of The Drum hosted by Steve Cannane. Inspired by the popularity of ABC's opinion website, it features a panel of journalists and commentators who will chew over the events of the day. Set to air weeknights at 6pm, this sounds a lot like a more serious version of 7pm Project (our words, not theirs!).

Each morning ABC News Breakfast will air from 6am-9am hosted by Virginia Trioli and Michael Rowland. The show also remains on ABC2. Weekday morning will also include Business Today, Australia Network News and news bulletins. The Midday Report follows at 12pm (and remains on ABC1).

At 3pm Afternoon Live airs and will be hosted by Ali Moore. The two-and-a-half-hour show will comprise rolling news and bring together many of the news events that have been breaking across the day.

Following The Drum will be one of the 15-minute Quarters segments which will specialise in news for health, arts, environment, weather, culture and similar topics. Another bulletin follows at 7pm.

At 8pm the channel has a national bulletin of domestic topics from Juanita Phillips followed by The World at 9pm in which presenter Scott Bevan brings together many of the foreign correspondents giving an Aussie perspective on global news.

BBC World News will feature overnight.

Other shows to be replayed include The 7:30 Report, Lateline, Q & A, Foreign Correspondent, Landline, Media Watch, 4 Corners and more. A new weekly interview show from Jane Hutcheon is called One Plus One.

ABC also promises to abandon the schedule when big breaking news events occur.

To see the channel you will need HD via digital channel 24. It will air on Foxtel HD channel 202 and Austar 24.

The channel will also be streamed at abc.net.au/news including with chat, live on iView at abc.net.au/iview and via iPhone applications.

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