Yesterday Mumbrella tipped Today Tonight would be axed entirely despite confirmation of Helen Kapalos and Sharyn Ghidella as new state hosts while The Australian suggests the extended bulletins have been a week-to-week proposition.
With Queensland floods, Seven has continued its one-hour News “experiment” incorporating Today Tonight stories. The experiment has been confined to the East Coast, given SA and WA have their own locally-produced TT.
Angus Ross, Head of Programming at Seven told TV Tonight the network had been looking closely at the results of recent one-hour News, with strong numbers for the second half hour especially in Sydney.
“You’d have to say the numbers over the past few weeks have certainly been interesting. Today Tonight is an important part of what we’ve been doing in the format we’ve been running over the past few weeks,” he said.
“We’ve been running 3 or 4 Today Tonight stories within that format. My belief is that audiences within that hour have been looking for more flexibility. So that’s what we’re looking at at the moment.”
Asked directly if Seven would be running a one-hour bulletin he said, “That hour will be more flexible, depending on News events.
“The audience has said they want a change in that hour and we’re obviously looking at that. You can never, I think, just go and set the refresh button. You’ve got to look at what the audience is telling you year in, year out.
“At the moment we appear to be first-movers in that area in thinking we can deliver the audience something that they would be more interested in.”
Seven is already running TT promos with Sharyn Ghidella in Brisbane as “the state’s only public affairs programme made in Queensland for Queensland.”
Meanwhile Deal or No Deal returned with new episodes at 5:30 yesterday.