February 18, 2011

BBC Strengthens News In U.S. With New Multiplatform Approach

Increased digital investment in U.S. edition

Strong drive to distribute BBC World News 24-hour news channel

New format BBC World News America available to PBS stations

BBC AMERICA to focus on prime time entertainment

New York, NY — BBC Global News and BBC Worldwide America today jointly announced a fresh approach to news distribution in the U.S., including increased investment online and a plan to broaden the reach of its television news output.

Peter Horrocks, Director, BBC Global News, said: “Making our news accessible to the widest possible audience is at the heart of the BBC and this new approach in the U.S. gives audiences more opportunities to access the BBC’s outstanding journalism across multiple platforms.  With a 24/7 news channel, a more widely available flagship newscast, and increased on-demand video created for the web, BBC News will meet current audience needs and adapt as they continue to evolve.”

Further investment will be made in the U.S. Edition of the BBC News website (, which already attracts more than 15 million U.S. users per month, and BBC World News, the BBC’s 24-hour global news channel, will be a priority.

Herb Scannell, President, BBC Worldwide America, said: “The BBC has a well deserved global reputation for the independence and quality of its journalism, as it its recent coverage of Egypt proves. With networks staking out ideological positions on the right and the left, or caught in a state of flux, there has never been a greater need for an impartial news offering for cable. Add to that the plethora of emerging alternative delivery systems lacking a vital news sourceand it’s the perfect time to extend our footprint in this market and strengthen our distribution efforts for BBC World News channel.”

Online, investment will be targeted at adding dedicated video journalists to the Washington D.C. team currently producing the U.S. edition of and enhancing the video production facility.The goal is to create a number of new franchises including original and innovative video features, which will complement and strengthen the BBC’s award-winning coverage and analysis of international events and issues, as well as bringing a fresh perspective to the most significant domestic stories.

“Americans look to the BBC to ‘connect the dots’ between America and the world in ways very few news organizations can,” said Miranda Cresswell, SVP “This new investment will allow us to ramp that up and respond to growing demand for online news video content.”

As part of Scannell’s plan for two clearly defined cable channels, BBC AMERICA will return to its roots, delivering high-quality and innovative entertainment programs throughout primetime.  The evening news program, BBC World News America, anchored by Matt Frei and Katty Kay, will migrate from BBC AMERICA and become a twice nightly staple on the BBC World News channel.  It will also be available to PBS stations expanding the program’s audience and driving awareness of the 24-hour BBC World News channel.

Rome Hartman, Executive Producer of BBC World News America, adds: “This plan, and our reformatted newscast, allows us to reach more viewers than ever before.  We already have an existing partnership with PBS and share core journalistic values, so this move makes perfect sense.”

The new approach cements a strong presence for BBC News across all platforms in the U.S. while setting BBC AMERICA on a clear entertainment course.  In addition to television and online, BBC News content can also be found on radio via PRI and BBC World Service, on mobile and through the BBC News app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

  • BBC World News America will be broadcast live Monday- Friday at both 4pm and 6pm ET on BBC World News from March 28
  • It will be offered as a 30 minute commercial-free program on public television stations, under the existing distribution agreement with KCET in Los Angeles, under which BBC newscasts reach  97% of U.S. households
  • PBS stations have been carrying newscasts from BBC World News since 1998
  • BBC AMERICA will continue to air BBC World News weekdays, 5am-8am

About BBC World News
The BBC attracts a global audience of 241 million people to its international news services including BBC World Service and the BBC World News television channel.

BBC World News, the BBC’s commercially funded international 24-hour news  and  information channel, is owned and operated by BBC World News Ltd, a member of the BBC’s commercial group of companies.  BBC World News is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, and reaches 306 million households and more than 1.8 million hotel rooms.  The channel’s content is also available on 87 cruise ships, 40 airlines, 39 mobile phone networks and a number of major online platforms including  For further information on how to receive BBC World News, download schedules or find out more about the channel, visit