Steven Barnett speaks to The Guardian about the future of GBNews and TalkTV

29 April 2024

Prof. Steven Barnett recently spoke to the Guardian about the future of GBNews and TalkTV. The article, By Alexandra Topping, discusses the competitive dynamics and future uncertainties facing GB News and TalkTV, two UK-based news channels. It highlights the closure of TalkTV’s linear operations and its transition to a digital-only platform, alongside the financial struggles and potential strategic shifts at GB News. Despite GB News’s victory in terms of audience reach over TalkTV, both channels face significant challenges in achieving financial sustainability and maintaining influence.

In the article, Barnett points out that TalkTV “just bombed in audience terms,” indicating its failure to attract a substantial viewer base compared to GB News. This comment underscores the challenges faced by TalkTV in gaining traction among viewers despite its high-profile lineup, including Piers Morgan.

Barnett further elaborates on how GB News has managed to influence public debate disproportionately to its actual audience size. Barnett compares GB News’s strategy to that of Fox News in the United States, suggesting that GB News has successfully adopted a model of being controversial to gain influence.

Barnett’s insights also touch on the broader implications of the struggles faced by both channels. He suggests that the closure of TalkTV’s linear operations and the financial difficulties of GB News could signal a critical moment of reckoning for new entrants in the broadcasting industry. This perspective highlights the uncertain future of both channels in a changing media landscape.

In addition to his analysis of the channels’ performance, Barnett criticizes Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, for its lenient handling of GB News. He argues that Ofcom has been “incredibly weak” in ensuring that GB News adheres to broadcasting standards, particularly in terms of impartiality and accuracy.

Read the article in full on the Guardian website.


Photo by ThisisEngineering on Unsplash

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