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Rent the news, own the analysis

A good piece from the FT wades into what we might expect from GB News, and lays out what it understands to be its business plan (on which, more tomorrow).

From a content point of view, the idea is to rent the news, own the personalities and the analysis.

This offers a clear opportunity for flaks to get in early with offers of brilliant TV friendly folk, who will talk for free or nearly free in the service of the GB News brand (and their own).

The flaks can make their clients a substitute for the reporters GB News doesn’t seem to plan to hire many of.

The problem this plan produces is, what happens if everyone just rents the news, and no-one actually collects it?

Certainly, if every other news outlet is relying on the BBC for the facts, it can’t really bitch about BBC bias on those facts, it needs to do its own reporting. Or shut up and accept that the licence fee is a bargain (it totally is).

Established rivals are understandably suspicious of GB News, but probably in the wrong directions.

The desire to insist it will be the UK version of Fox News plays into its hands from a PR point of view, since when it turns out to be much smarter than that, liberal media commentators will have to remark that it is not that bad, even clever, even well-informed.

There is a list of senior staff so far, here.

And more from Press Gazette here.

I think we should wish GB News well. Once it gets going, maybe it will decide to buy news rather than just rent it, and hire some news hacks to do that.

In the meantime, surely we can cope with some different views even if we don’t share them.

Andrew Neil is such a good journalist, my bet is this venture turns out to be a far more effective opposition to Boris Johnson and co than Labour or The Guardian.

(Don’t say: not difficult.)

Press release of the day

A good guide to the present economic climate here from Ruth Lea at Arbuthnot Banking.

Really handy snapshot of almost everything that has just occurred, with lots of useful numbers, including some unusual ones breaking down deficits per country and per person.


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