Newsnight also has a semi-separate arts slot known as Newsnight Review. On BBC Two Scotland, an opt-out slot, Newsnight Scotland, presented by Gordon Brewer, replaces the final twenty minutes of Newsnight from Monday to Thursday.
The programme's start was delayed for four months by the Association of Broadcasting Staff, the trade union which then represented BBC staff, who feared for a loss of jobs as Newsnight was the first programme to be made by both the News Department (then at Television Centre) and Current Affairs (then at Lime Grove).
Among former presenters of the programme are Peter Snow, who was a regular presenter for 17 years, John Tusa and Charles Wheeler. In the early years the programme had a second presenter, pejoratively the "'Newsnight wife' syndrome", who read the news headlines and introduced minor items, a symptom of the programme's original split between two BBC departments. Olivia O'Leary was the first female 'senior presenter' in 1985; the programme has had a single presenter since 1987, and is now wholly managed by BBC News.
Newsnight also appeared (in repackaged form) on BBC World Service Television and its successor, BBC World, until 1999. Starting 29 February 2008, a "best of" edition of Newsnight will air weekly on BBC America and BBC World News.
Until the beginning of 1988, the start time of Newsnight in the BBC2 schedule was flexible, in order to allow the channel to show a film at 9:30pm (the time the main BBC1 news programme then finished). The move to a fixed time slot of 10:30pm was made despite the known objections of the then Managing Director of BBC TV, Bill Cotton, who was supposed to be in charge of all scheduling decisions. The announcement was also made without informing him first, and caused a massive and widely reported internal row within the BBC, with one person saying it would "destroy the BBC".
One of Newsnight's most famous interviews took place on 13 May 1997, between Paxman and Michael Howard, who had until 13 days earlier been Home Secretary. Howard was questioned regarding a meeting with Derek Lewis, the head of the Prison Service, regarding the potential dismissal of John Marriott, the governor of Parkhurst Prison, following a well-publicised jail-break. Lewis had argued against dismissing Marriott. During one continuous sequence Paxman put the same question — "Did you threaten to overrule him?" — twelve times (not fourteen as is widely believed) to Howard, who on each occasion gave a qualified or evasive answer, such as "I did not overrule him". It was revealed during Newsnight's 20th anniversary special programme that after Paxman introduced the next report and the film started rolling, he politely asked Howard, "Was that okay?". Howard, whilst disconnecting his microphone, rhetorically replied, "Well, what do you think?"
This was later revealed to be a stalling strategy by Paxman on being told that the studio was having technical trouble with one of the reports which was to follow. In 2004, Paxman broached the subject with Howard, who was then Conservative leader. Again, Howard laughed the question off, but did say he "didn't" threaten to overrule the Head of the Prison Service. The clip was voted the best Newsnight moment ever by members of the show's production team.
Consequently, Newsnight conducted a telephone poll. Michael Fish, a former weather forecaster, was seen arguing in favour of the weather report, while Norman Lamont (former Chancellor of the Exchequer) campaigned for the market update. 62% of viewers voted in favour of the market update, and as a result it returned on Monday, 18 April 2005.
Taking up another populist cause, for a week at the end of January 2006, Newsnight played out its closing credits accompanied by the Radio 4 Theme which was facing the axe from BBC Radio 4. Continuing the motif, the 24 April 2006 edition played out with the signature tune of the soon-to-be-cancelled BBC sports programme, Grandstand.
The programme's political editor has been Michael Crick since April 2007 when he replaced Martha Kearney who was also an occasional presenter on the programme until she left to present The World At One on BBC Radio Four.
Many former editors of Newsnight have now gone on to a career as a senior executive in the BBC. It was announced at the end of July 2008 that Peter Barron is taking up an appointment at Google from September.
Scarborough weathers storm ; The Red Storm hang on for a 5-4 boys' lacrosse win in the rain, sending Kennebunk to its first loss.
May 16, 2013; Paul Betit pbetit@mainetodaycom Staff WriterPortland Press Herald (Maine)05-16-2013Scarborough weathers storm ; The Red Storm...