Long news is bad news for Prime

PRIME7’s decision to dump the Seven Network’s national news bulletin in favour of creating its own half-hour broadcast has prompted a mixed response from viewers.

On Monday night, after nearly a month of chopping and changing its local bulletin to incorporate parts of the Seven Network’s hour-long news bulletin, Prime7 broadcast its first half-hour national news segment, read by Daniel Gibson at 6.30pm.

It is understood the new format comes in response to the programming woes the regional affiliate had as a result of the Seven’s Network’s decision to create an hour-long news bulletin, which would have meant screening local news bulletins at either 5.30pm or 7pm.

In his previous role, Mr Gibson anchored Prime7 local news bulletins in the Orange, Wagga and Albury regions and was weatherman for the New England and North West as well as the Mid North and North coasts.

Yesterday, a Prime7 Canberra spokesman refused to confirm or deny whether the pairing was permanent, however, other media outlets have reported the network is trialling its expansion into national news for a week. A number of viewers took to The Leader’s Facebook page yesterday to weigh-in on the change, with many signalling their preference for the Chris Bath or Mark 

Ferguson-helmed national news service.

“There was hardly any Sydney, national news, state or federal politics, nothing on the young unemployment or the G20 finance/central bankers meeting, there was no markets’ recap on shares/currencies,” Tom Devrell posted. Geoffrey Ward was pragmatic, writing: “I understand that Seven news has now moved to an hour format, so in the end it’s probably a good thing Prime7 just didn’t can local news altogether and take the Seven news” instead. 

Fiona Ferguson will continue to read Tamworth’s local bulletin, which will remain at 6pm, and Madelaine Collignon will present the weather.

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