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News UK ‘drops plans for TV news channel’

Company is said to have decided the cost of launching a brand new TV channel is too expensive

News UK is said to have dropped its plans to launch a news channel in the UK.

According to the Guardian, Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News UK, has written to staff to say the cost launching a television news channel meant it did not make business sense to push ahead.

Instead, the company will focus on launching shows on streaming platforms. “Whilst there is consumer demand for alternative news provision, the costs of running a rolling news channel are considerable, and it is our assessment that the payback for our shareholders wouldn’t be sufficient. We need to launch the right products for the digital age,” the Guardian quotes Brooks as telling staff.

David Rhodes, who joined News UK last spring in order to help launch a news channel, is expected to leave in June.

Ofcom awarded News UK a broadcasting licence at the end of 2020, paving the way for the channel to go head-to-head with GB News, which is due to arrive on UK TV screens imminently. TVBEurope reported in October that News UK had begun hiring producers for the channel.