Sky News has built its schedule around the main, highly experienced anchors with appointment to view broadcasts regularly being supplemented by landmark broadcasts. When major breaking news reaches the channel, it has more recently started to revert to the old double-headed style with two presenters anchoring. Sky News is famous for its innovations in news broadcasting and regularly wins awards for this and also for its broadcasting in general.
Sky News has started to revamp its graphics almost every year, with the latest revamp being revealed at 6am on 3rd April 2008. The latest look has fewer on screen graphics and a more minimalist style.
The station's headquarters are in Osterley, West London, employing well over 50 on-screen staff (anchors, weather forecasters, correspondents and reporters) and over 600 behind-the-scenes staff. The station has eight of its own bureaus outside the United Kingdom and shares many more with other News Corporation stations.
In the early days the channel operated on a £40 million budget (plus £10 million share of overheads), which led Sam Chisholm to propose to Murdoch the station be closed, but Rupert was pleased with its achievements ... there were overriding reasons of prestige and politics for keeping it ... the final hurdle of the Broadcasting Bill had still to be overcome and the case for the acceptability of Sky would collapse if suddenly there was no news channel. - former deputy Prime Minister Viscount Whitelaw said to the House of Lords in 1990 that Sky News had a very high reputation ... I admire it, as do many other people, it will certainly waken up both the BBC and ITN and ensure that they compete with that is a very important news service. The channel has never been run for a profit, and has considered using ITN to supplement the service.
By March 1992 Sky turned from loss to profit, when Murdoch would say Sky News, has quietly, if expensively, become the first building block of what we envision will become the premier world-wide electronic news-gathering network anywhere. Ask anyone in Europe, and particularly the BBC and you will be told that Sky News has added a new and better dimension to television journalism.
Sky News was the only UK 24 hour news channel (aside from CNN international on Astra, BBC World Service Television started in 1991 but has never been broadcast in the UK) until November 1997 when BBC News launched a new 24 hour channel, BBC News 24, now known simply as BBC News. In September 1999 the European Commission ruled against a complaint by Sky News which argued that the publicly funded BBC News 24 was unfair and illegal under EU law. The EC ruled that the television licence fee should be considered state aid (within the meaning of Article 87) and that it was justified due to the public service remit of the BBC and that it did not exceed actual costs of the channel.
In March 2000 Sky News Active was launched, a 24-hour interactive service providing headlines (and other services which ranged from weather, the top story of the day and showbiz) on demand.
On 24 October 2005, Sky News moved to a new studio with revised music and on screen graphics all in Widescreen (16:9) format and a new schedule. James Rubin joined to present an evening show, and Eamonn Holmes to present Sunrise. This relaunch was disastrous for the channel, and, since October 2005 BBC News has overtaken Sky News in the ratings (although the channel is carried on more platforms). The changes were reversed in July 2006 and on 25 February 2007 the channel changed its graphics scheme that displays breaking news in yellow.
On 1 October 2007 Sky introduced another new schedule, extending Kay Burley's Lunchtime Live programme and renaming it Afternoon Live. They also switched to a Sunrise format for much of the day, with a solo lead presenter and a Summary Presenter. Finally Sky News put more emphasis on interactive news with Martin Stanford's new Sky.com News programme.
Further changes are due on 8 September 2008, with Colin Brazier presenting a new show, The Live Desk, Martin Stanford's SkyNews.Com moving to 7pm every weeknight and the introduction of Sky Midnight News.
Sky News is also shown internationally, and can often be seen in hotels as well as being offered by some cable providers as part of their English-language line-up.
The international version is shown as free-to-air on Astra 1L at 19.2E. It is also carried encrypted on a number of satellites for international reception - including but not limited to Hot Bird, Nilesat, Amos 1 and Intelsat 10-02. It is also usually carried on cable systems in Europe, particularly (but not only) in Northern Europe.
Sky News Australia and Sky News New Zealand are different channels that carry variable amounts Sky News UK programming, and share some of its style, but also have local programming and advertising. In Australia, a Sky News UK feed is also available at all times, albeit a tiny quarter screen version. From 2004 to 2006 Sky News Ireland similarly carried local programming. This was then discontinued, the Irish feed reverting to a local advertising only service.
In March 2007, BSkyB and Chrysalis Group announced a joint partnership to launch a dedicated Sky News Radio station on the proposed bid by Channel 4's 4 Digital Group for the second DAB multiplex in the United Kingdom. However, two months later Chrysalis sold its radio stations to Global Radio UK, and in October 2007 following a business review Global's chief executive announced that they would be withdrawing from the joint venture. Sky have announced plans to find a partner elsewhere.
The feed is available FTA at 28.2 East by manually tuning it in: 12051.00 V 27500 2/3
When elections, either national, or international take place, Sky edits its schedule to focus on them. Recent examples have been the UK General Elections of 2005, the Israeli Elections of 2006, the US Mid-Term Elections of 2006 and the UK Local Elections of 2008. Sky also often shows long interviews. Recent examples of these have been Adam Boulton's exclusive half-hour interview with Al Gore. At the end of each year, in December and January of the new year, a series of special 'Year in Review' shows are shown which look back at memorable news stories from the past year.
For Queen and Country - the most recent example of these series - was shown throughout the week beginning Monday 16th June 2008. The Sky News Press Office wrote;
Several years earlier after the merger between Sky Television plc & British Satellite Broadcasting, Hammel's introduction was "This is Sky News a part of the British Sky Broadcasting Network", in 1993 the introduction was "From the Sky satellite network this is Sky News", and by 1995 "This is Sky News, part of the Sky Television Network" - or just "This is Sky News".
Sky News operates under the requirements of United Kingdom broadcasting regulations that require neutrality.
In early 1994 Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of The Sun newspaper, was appointed Managing Director of BSkyB. MacKenzie's proposed changes to Sky News lead to clashes with CEO Sam Chisholm and the head of Sky News, Ian Frykberg, who protested what they saw as an attempt to take its news values down market. The most ferocious battle occurred when Mackenzie wanted Sky News to run an interview with Lady Bienvenida Buck. Frykberg refused to air the interview and resigned shortly afterwards - the interview was put on Sky One. MacKenzie announced his resignation in August 1994, but not until Sky News had transmitted live pictures of the freeway chase of OJ Simpson white bronco on 17 June 1994 bringing US 'helicopter journalism to the UK.
Sky News covered the trial in Boston US trial of Louise Woodward with live coverage. When Sky returned to a regular schedule, viewers demanded the trial coverage. From Woodward's home in Elton, Cheshire Sky broadcast locals reactions, but this brought criticism of maintaining a pro-Louise Woodward stance, as she was found guilty.
From 2000 onwards, Sky News began expanded the international coverage opening bureaus in Africa, Europe, and the far East. It won awards from the Royal Television Society.
Coverage of the 7 July 2005 London bombings won the 2006 International Emmy Breaking News award commending the "fast and accurate" reporting.
In November 2005 the then head of BBC News, Peter Horrocks acknowledged that Sky News remained the first choice for 'key opinion formers'.. However, in recent years, Sky News has increasingly started to fall behind BBC News in the ratings, currently having about half the ratings of BBC News. Sister network Fox News Channel is broadcast in the UK, thus Sky News does not carry that channel's news/commentary programmes during the overnight (prime-time in the U.S.).
In recent months that website has undergone a largely cosmetic change to bring it in line with the on screen look of Sky News TV. The site has made use of flash video encoding. The website has sought to build upon the visual style of the TV channel portrayed through the prominence of pictures, and breaking news.
At present, no plans have been announced for a high definition version of Sky News. Since early 2008, Sky News has been using cameras in the field which can shoot in HD. Some one-off programmes have been made available in high definition to Sky+ HD viewers through the Sky Anytime feature, under the branding Sky News HD. These programmes have included Technofile, Diana: The Last Word and The Canoe Man.
Secrets of a Serial Seductress; the Irrepressible Bienvenida Buck, Who Brought Down the Defence Chief, Talks about the Many Men in Her Life and How to Snare the Seriously Rich
Oct 07, 2000; Byline: MARY RIDDELL ALTHOUGH it is only just after breakfast time, Bienvenida orders champagne. As she says, while discarding...