Virgin Media News

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Virgin Media News
Virgin Media News.png
Presented by Colette Fitzpatrick
Claire Brock
Country of origin Republic of Ireland
Original language(s) English
Production location(s) Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Virgin Media Television
Original network Virgin Media One
Virgin Media Two
Virgin Media Three
Picture format 4:3 September 1998 to November 2010
16:9 November 2010 to date.
Original release 20 September 1998 – present
External links

Virgin Media News (formerly TV3 News and then 3News Ireland) is a news division of Virgin Media Television in the Republic of Ireland which produces news and current affairs programming broadcast on its free-to-air channels Virgin Media One, Virgin Media Two and Virgin Media Three.

In the corporate-wide rebrand of TV3 Group to Virgin Media Television occurred on 30 August 2018, 3News Ireland was renamed Virgin Media News.[1]


Previous logo as 3News Ireland

3News launched on September 20, 1998 with its aim to become Ireland's first independent television news provider. The first broadcast was presented by Gráinne Seoige (from Nuacht TG4) and Alan Cantwell with entertainment news by Lorraine Keane, sport by Trevor Welch and weather by Martin King. Gradually, over the years additional presenters were added including Claire Bryne and Collette Fitzpatrick.

The TV3 Group's News and Current Affairs department holds responsibility for producing 3News content which is available on television, online, mobile and on-demand and available across its three channels. As of 2017 €3 million has been invested in news output by the broadcaster featuring a state of the art studio which launches on September 4, 2017.

Upon launch 3News used a standard news studio followed by a chromakeyed news studio. In early 2017, the Chromakeyed news studio was dropped and replaced by a temporary studio.


Virgin Media One
Virgin Media Two
  • Late News
Virgin Media Three
  • Virgin Media News 60 Second Update
Previous shows
  • TV3 News at 6
  • Agenda (returned after 10 years in Autumn 2016)
  • Tonight with Vincent Browne
  • Week in Politics
  • The Political Party
  • 20/20 (1998–2000) – an Irish edition of the popular U.S. series.
  • The Week in Review
  • Business Matters
  • Midweek
  • The Late Review (July 2015- September 2015)
  • The Thread
  • FYI
  • 3e News
  • Pat Kenny Tonight
  • 3News Update – afternoon news bulletin on 3e
  • 3News at 7 on be3 with Claire Brock
  • 3News at 10 on be3 with Claire Brock

Ireland AM news bulletins[edit]

Virgin Media News has played an important role on Ireland AM and its weekend sister show Weekend AM. The morning bulletins also provide entertainment news, funny stories, weather, traffic updates and sports news. News bulletins are broadcast every half hour on Ireland AM. A news ticker also runs throughout the programme, keeping viewers informed of the news headlines.

Main Evening News[edit]

TV3 launched its first news bulletin on September 20, 1998 under the TV3 News @ 6 branding airing Monday – Friday for an hour at 18:00, with half an hour bulletins on Saturdays and Sundays. A year later following a failed attempt to compete with RTÉ News: Six One this bulletin was moved to 17:30 and 19:00. Following the TV3 Group's acquisition of content from ITV and a schedule change the 19:00 bulletin was moved to News @ 6.30 eventually being dropped in April 2007. For a time, the 17:30 programme was called First Edition.

The main news bulletins are the 5:30 pm bulletin and 8 pm bulletin.

Virgin Media News at 5.30[edit]

3News flagship daily news bulletin is broadcast at 5:30 pm. The bulletin is called 3News at 5.30 and runs for approximately 25 minutes (excluding advertising), though the bulletin has been extended to 60 minutes over the years for major news stories such as general elections, budgets and referendums.

The news is supported by the 3News Hub. Broadcasts include news headlines with reports from reporters and correspondents, sports news and weather. On Monday 22 October 2012, TV3 News at 5.30 was renamed 'The 5:30' as part of a rebrand of the networks news division.

Virgin Media News at 8[edit]

Following with tradition of other European broadcasters, TV3 began a news service from Monday 30 March 2015. 'TV3 News at 8' has the same format as The 5:30 and The 12:30. Many European broadcasters have a news programme among its primtetime schedule.

Late Night News[edit]

TV3 News Tonight, Late Edition or Nightly News was first broadcast on Monday 21 September 1998 at 23:00. It aired at 23:00 each weeknight for 30 minutes. It was hosted by either of its two main anchors each taking alternative nights. In 2008, TV3 News axed the late news in preference for TV3 Nightly News with Vincent Browne which also aired for 30 minutes until 2009 when the show was rebranded as Tonight with Vincent Browne. TV3 Nightly News continued to air on Friday nights until 2009 when it was replaced with The Political Party.

Tonight with Vincent Browne[edit]

TV3 Nightly News With Vincent Browne.png

In early 2008, 3 News launched the Vincent Browne-fronted Nightly News with Vincent Browne, a news programme to replace a nightly sports show entitled Sports Tonight which went out on weeknights featuring various presenters that included Trevor Welch, Des Curran, Tommy Martin, Conor McNamara, Aidan Cooney, Joanne Cantwell etc.; Following the shock axing of Sports Tonight on TV3 which would make way for an expansion of late night news & current affairs programming on the TV3 schedule and "3 News Nightly News" was created which was a similar programme to "Prime Time" broadcast on RTÉ One. Two of TV3's journalists filed the shows main reports, their reports were followed by a studio discussion of that report, followed by a commercial break and they the show would return with a look at the next day's newspapers. The format was changed mid-season and the reports from the two TV3 journalist were scrapped in favour of a discussion show. Now the programme is called Tonight with Vincent Browne and starts with a look at what is coming up on the show, followed by a short news bulletin. After this Browne introduces his guests and discusses the day's news with them or a specific topic. After the first commercial break the discussion typically continues and following the second commercial break Browne and his guests typically review the next day's papers, and discuss the stories within them. The weather is then presented at the end, but is not part of the show, unlike News @ 5:30.

The programme used to run from 11:00 pm to 11:40 pm from Monday to Thursday, however, following the cancellation of Sports Tonight the show began to run to midnight. The programme is broadcast from the news studio, albeit on a separate podium to the news desk. It has a red and black background theme. Since the programme has been renamed Tonight with Vincent Browne, it is sponsored by Bank of Scotland (Ireland), with TV3's Nightly News airing for five minutes before the show as a separate bulletin.

During the summer, and on Friday nights, Nightly News with Vincent Browne was simply billed as TV3 Nightly News and followed the old TV3 News Tonight format (i.e., a straight 30 minute news bulletin in much the same style as News at 5:30). The Friday bulletin was axed in October 2008, while the filler service during the summer of 2009 was cut down to a 10-minute bulletin. Summer 2010 editions of Tonight with Vincent Browne were filled in by Sarah Carey, Kevin Myers, Sam Smyth, Ger Colleran and Ivan Yates.[2] Summer 2011 editions of Tonight with Vincent Browne were filled in by Mary O'Rourke, Sam Smyth and others.

Sponsorship controversy[edit]

From September 2009 the programme was renamed Tonight with Vincent Browne, after a deal was signed with Bank of Scotland (Ireland) to sponsor the programme. Due to legislation from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and similar European Union rules preventing a news programme from being sponsored, it was no longer to be branded as "TV3 News" and officially considered to be an "entertainment/lifestyle" programme rather than news or current affairs.[3] The CEO of TV3 David McRedmond is also a Director of Bank of Scotland (Ireland).[4] The sponsorship was short lived.

Additional programming[edit]

In house news documentaries include Ireland's Crime Capitals, a sensationalist show that observes crime in Ireland; Gift of Life, a three part special focusing on donor donations; Surviving the Recession, a one-off special looking at life in Ireland and the recession.

It is expected that TV3 will announce a raft of new in house documentaries to replace Midweek for their 2014/2015 season.

In 2014 TV3 piloted a monthly spin-off series to their Tonight show, Vincent Brownes People's Debate brought 250 "ordinary" people into TV3 studios for a 2-hour debate focusing on a specific topic.

TV3 News on 3e[edit]

In July 2014 it was announced that 3e was to drop FYI to be replaced by a 60-second news similar to the original TV3 News Update that aired on the channel, the news update will be called The Thread in reference to their new on-line blogging service .[5]

CNN on 3News[edit]

CNN, the American cable news channel, often airs on TV3 News when major breaking news stories are taking place, particularly major events in the United States. CNN made its first appearance on TV3 News on 11 September 2001. CNN services have also been availed of during the 2008 election of Barack Obama as President of the United States and the 2009 Death of Michael Jackson. As part of the 2012 President of the United States election TV3 confirmed that both CNN US and TV3 have become media partners in the coverage in Ireland. CNN US reporters will regularly contribute to TV3's Ireland AM, The 5:30 and Tonight with Vincent Browne.

Former programmes[edit]

Agenda was a political magazine show hosted by David McWilliams; it ran from 1998 to 2001 on Sunday mornings and repeated in the afternoon. The series returned as part of TV3's Autumn 2016 schedule however it only lasted a further season. The Political Party was a politically themed chat show, hosted by TV3's political editor Ursula Halligan, which originally aired Sundays at 17:00 before being moved to Fridays at 23:00 in late 2008. However the show was axed in March 2009 due to falling advertising revenues at the station. Both shows were produced independently of TV3.

In 2009, TV3 announced a new business show that would effectively replace the original slot held by both Agenda and The Political Party airing every Sunday at midday. The programme was called Business Matters. The series was hosted by Ivan Yates.[6] Business Matters began on 13 September 2009, but just lasted 19 episodes. The series was produced in house by TV3. In 2009, TV3 also started to broadcast the current affairs show Midweek, which airs weekly each Wednesday night and focuses on the latest political and topical issues affecting Ireland.

Midweek was hosted by TV3 News presenter Colette Fitzpatrick. The show began on 16 September 2009. It was a much more tabloid version of other current affairs shows on Irish television dealing with issues such as mail-order brides, alternative medicine, gangland crime, etc. Midweek aired on Wednesdays at 22:00. In July 2014 it was announced that Midweek would not be returning instead it is to be replaced by a special documentaries unit at TV3.[5]

From the station's launch, a 30-minute news bulletin was broadcast at weekends. However, in December 2008, these weekend bulletins were reduced to five minutes, this cut blamed on a downturn in advertising revenues. According to The Sunday Business Post, TV3 had to cut 15 jobs and 15 freelance jobs in the company to save money.

TV3 News aired at the beginning of Midday. As of 2 June 2014 TV3 News no longer airs at the beginning of Midday as the show begins at 11:30.

Friday Late with Vincent Browne appeared in 2011 and was a more relaxed version of the heavy political debate of Tonight with Vincent Browne. After successful ratings of the more easy-going Friday night election specials in the run-up to the 2011 Irish general election, which often featured Marie-Louise O'Donnell as guest, TV3 chose to continue in the same vein with a new spin-off show entitled Friday Late with Vincent Browne, presented from the Ireland AM studio by Vincent Browne, and taking on The Late Late Show, presented by Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ One. Friday Late with Vincent Browne featured guests such as Ray D'Arcy, Linda Martin and Jedward in its first episode. Subsequent episodes featured guests such as David McSavage and Paddy Cole. Browne introduced entrepreneur Norah Casey as "Norah Carey".[7] It was soon discontinued.

3e News broadcast on TV3's sister channel 3e. It was aimed at the 15- to 36-year-old age group. It is presented by Caroline Twohig (News), Paul Walsh (Sport) and Cassie Stokes (Technology). Reports are sourced from the TV3 newsroom, however TV3 state that the news content is entirely different from that of TV3 News at 5:30. 3e News broadcast daily from the TV3 newsroom at 18:00 Monday to Friday.[8]

3e also broadcast regular one-minute news updates. The programme first started broadcasting shortly after TV3 renamed Channel 6 as 3e. The updates last for one minute, and start at 19:00 and broadcast thereafter, every hour, at 20:00, and 21:00. The programme gives viewers a one-minute news summary, with all of the days main news headlines.

3e News was renamed FYI (For Your Information) from 10 March 2010. The show's presenters remain on in their current roles and the format of an interactive news aimed at the 15- to 35-year-old age group remains. It also featured the 'Top 5 Downloads' which are five internet clips at the end of every 18:00 show.[9]

Proposed TV channel (3Today)[edit]

It was proposed as part of Ireland's move towards digital terrestrial television, that the TV3 Group would launch two channels to appear on the OneVision pay television service.[10] These channels included a news and current affairs channel called 3Today and a channel skewed towards women called 3Expose.[10] Onevision (which TV3 held a nominal share in the consortium) withdrew from offering the pay television element to Ireland's digital terrestrial television Saorview after negotiations with the BAI failed due to difficulties with the terms of RTÉ NL apparently regarding multiplexing, marketing for DTT and other issues. The 3Today service was expected to appear on the Onevision DTT service. As of 2011, TV3 Group have yet to confirm whether a similar channel will appear on Saorview or a similar service in the near future.[10] The channel was expected to air both Irish and international bespoke programing in current affairs as well as drama, comedy and documentary titles from international producers. 3Today is no-longer part of TV3 Group's future plans.

News team[edit]

Some notable Virgin Media News team members include:

  • Colette Fitzpatrick – Main News Anchor for 3News 12:30 and 5.30
  • Claire Brock – Main News Anchor for 3News at 19:00 & 22:00
  • Gavan Reilly - Political Correspondent
  • Paul Colgan - Business & Economic Correspondent
  • Sarah O'Connor - Courts Correspondent
  • Fergal O'Brien - News Correspondent
  • Caroline Twohig – Main weekend anchor for 3News
  • Tommy Martin - Sports Anchor and Correspondent
  • Sinéad Kissane - Rugby Correspondent
  • Bernard O'Toole - Sports Anchor and Correspondent
  • Paul Walsh - Sports Correspondent
  • Deric Ó hArtagáin - Weather Correspondent

Former news presenters and reporters[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Harrison, Bernice (4 September 2010). "An old fashioned detective". The Irish Times. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Kenny, Colum (30 August 2010). "Browne must go 'lifestyle' or TV3 will lose sponsor". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Panel" Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Smurfit School BJA.
  5. ^ a b "TV3 announces new Documentary Unit and New Primetime Evening Show" (Press release). YV3. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  6. ^ Noonan, Laura (26 July 2008). "TV3 to buy Channel 6 for €10m". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 July 2008. 
  7. ^ Heaney, Mick (31 March 2011). "A new heavyweight in light entertainment". The Irish Times. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "3e to launch own news after reporting 25pc surge in new Sky slot". Irish Independent. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "fyi. – A Fresh Approach to News". TV3. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2013-08-30. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]