A moment of silence for GB News’ investors.
After Rupert Murdoch spiked plans for a television station, concluding it was not “commercially viable”, News UK has confirmed that it will be launching talkTV.
Piers Morgan – hot off his Ofcom bout with Meghan Markle – will be the channel’s star, signing as part of a global deal that will see him write two weekly columns for the New York Post and The Sun, as well as a book deal with Harper Collins.
With a launch set for next year, many are asking whether talkTV will market itself as another rabble-rouser against the “woke” establishment. At first glance, talkTV appears to be built around talkRADIO which soft-launched a video service back in 2019 and has been homing in on the culture wars with a series counting down “the biggest, daftest and most worrying examples of cancel culture”. Two former colleagues of Morgan at ITV – Jeremy Kyle and Rob Rinder – are currently prime-time anchors.
News UK says: “The new format shows will be introduced using talent from our own brands”, including talkSPORT, The Sun and The Times. By making this commercial gamble, Murdoch believes his dynasty has identified a gap in the market.
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Yet some are worried about the direction in which the business is moving. A former News UK employee told Reaction that they “haven’t got the budget or the facilities or the audience” to start a television station.
If the run-up to GB News’ launch was anything to go by, expect handwringing and hysteria in the weeks to come…