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'BBC World News America' Shifts To BBC World News

2/18/2011 3:13 PM Eastern

Shifting U.S. news resources, the BBC is moving BBC America's nightly newscast to the BBC World News channel, which will be given a stronger distribution push.

BBC Worldwide America and BBC Global News announced the moves as part of an overall investment in multiplatform news in the United States. Katty Kay of BBC World News America

The U.S. version of the BBC News Web site also will get increased investment under Herb Scannell, the president of BBC Worldwide America.

Scannell took the helm of the BBC's U.S. production and programming businesses last June, succeeding Garth Ancier, who championed the BBC World News America telecast since creating it in 2007.

Scannell feels moving the 7-8 p.m. show to the 24-hour news channel -- and clearing primetime space on BBC America for entertainment shows -- helps bolster both channels by keeping them clearly defined, the company said.

BBC World News America, anchored by Matt Frei and Katty Kay (right), will air twice a night on the BBC World News channel, which has U.S. carriage from Cablevision Systems, Cox Communications and FiOS TV. (BBC America has been assuming more of the distribution duties that had been done by Discovery Communications. Last September, Scannell and COO Ann Sarnoff hired fellow MTV Networks alum Sandy Ashendorf as EVP of network distribution.)

The show also will be available to PBS stations, which have carried BBC World News newscasts since 1998.

Rome Hartman, executive producer of BBC World News America, said in a statement: "This plan, and our reformatted newscast, allows us to reach more viewers than ever before. We already have an existing partnership with PBS and share core journalistic values, so this move makes perfect sense."

Scannell said in the statement: "The BBC has a well deserved global reputation for the independence and quality of its journalism, as it its recent coverage of Egypt proves. With networks staking out ideological positions on the right and the left, or caught in a state of flux, there has never been a greater need for an impartial news offering for cable. Add to that the plethora of emerging alternative delivery systems lacking a vital news source and it's the perfect time to extend our footprint in this market and strengthen our distribution efforts for BBC World News channel."

Online investment will be targeted at adding dedicated video journalists to the Washington D.C. team currently producing the U.S. edition of BBC.com and enhancing the video production facility, the Beeb said. "The goal is to create a number of new franchises including original and innovative video features, which will complement and strengthen the BBC's award-winning coverage and analysis of international events and issues, as well as bringing a fresh perspective to the most significant domestic stories."

This item was corrected on Feb. 21 to add Cox and FiOS TV as BBC World News distributors.

More online: 5 questions for BBC World News America anchor Matt Frei, when the show launched in September 2007.

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