Newsbeat

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This article is about the BBC programme. For the more general journalist role, see beat reporting. For the 1964-71 Irish programme, see Newsbeat (Irish TV series).
Newsbeat
Genre News
Running time 15 minutes
Country  United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 1,
BBC Radio 1Xtra
Editor(s) Louisa Compton (Executive), Debbie Ramsay
Producer(s) BBC News
Recording studio Broadcasting House, London
Air dates since 1973
Audio format Stereophonic sound
Website www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat

Newsbeat is the flagship news programme on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra. Newsbeat is produced by BBC News but differs from the BBC's other news programmes in its remit to provide news tailored for a specifically younger audience.[1] It is primarily hosted by Chris Smith and Tina Daheley.

The fifteen-minute Newsbeat programme is broadcast at 12:45 and 17:45 during the week on Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Short bulletins are also heard throughout the day on both stations on the half-hour with extra bulletins broadcast at peak times.

History[edit]

BBC Radio 1's remit as a public service broadcaster meant it had to broadcast news. Newsbeat was launched in 1973 in response to the launch of a network of commercial radio stations across the UK which supplied a news service very different from the style of traditional BBC News. The programme's first presenter was the Radio 1 DJ Ed "Stewpot" Stewart and he was succeeded by Laurie Mayer and Richard Skinner.

Although unconfirmed by the BBC, it is widely thought that the name "Newsbeat" was taken from the Radio Caroline news service of the same name, as was the concept of short bulletins on the half-hour. Caroline first used the name (and broadcast half-hourly headlines) in the 1960s. Roger Gale, who had previously worked on Radio Caroline North, was the show's first producer.

Following changes in September 2012, the vast majority of Newsbeat bulletins are simulcast on both BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Previously, bulletins on 1Xtra were bespoke and branded as '1Xtra News', with bulletins on the half-hour (as with Newsbeat), but with 15 minute programmes at 12:30 and 5:30, a quarter of an hour before the Radio 1 equivalents. Each station continues to have bespoke bulletins during the weekday breakfast show, before shared bulletins begin at 10:30. The 1030 and 1130 weekday bulletins are usually rear by the newsreader who reads the news on the 1Xtra Breakfast Show that morning.[2]

Newsbeat won Gold for Best News & Current Affairs Programme at the Radio Academy Awards on 13 May 2013.[3]

It is believed that BBC World Service will pilot a global edition of Newsbeat, a bulletin aimed on the station aimed at younger listeners.[4]

Bulletins[edit]

Newsbeat has short bulletins broadcast on Radio 1 and 1Xtra throughout the day, as well as the 1245 and 1745 main programmes. These are simulcast, following budget cuts that came into effect in September 2012. Prior to this, weekend news bulletins had been simulcast for quite some time. Additionally at this time, the number of bulletins was cut back somewhat, dropping the news at 0430 and 0530 during the Early Breakfast show on weekdays. There also used to be bulletins at midnight, which were stopped at some point prior to this. They are read by one newsreader, but in the past there would be a news reader and a sport reader during breakfast and drivetime bulletins on weekdays and breakfast bulletins at weekends. Bulletins are usually 2–3 minutes in length, and feature news and some sports stories, and weather during the breakfast show bulletins.

The format of Newsbeat bulletins varies throughout the day. Breakfast updates consist of full news, sport and weather; throughout the day it will be only the news and some notable sports stories. The 13:30 bulletin is notable for being particularly short in length, and being read by a different newsreader every day due to the main newsreader being on lunch at that time. Popular folklore says that the last person remaining in the Newsbeat office at lunchtime has to read the 13:30 bulletin. Full sport updates begin at 15:30. The 17:00 bulletin is also shorter than the others, giving just a brief summary of what will be on the main Newsbeat programme that evening. Bulletins are more scaled back at weekends, with brief stories and sport during every bulletin throughout the day, and one newsreader reading the news for the whole day.

There is also an entertainment news round up at approximately 07:40 during The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw, often hosted by Sinead Garvan.

The current bulletin times are as follows:

Weekdays Saturday Sunday/Bank Holidays
0630* 0730 0730
0700* 0830 0830
0730* 0930 0930
0800* 1030 1030
0830* 1130 1130
0930* 1230 1230
1030 1330 1330
1130 1430 1430
1330 1530 1530
1430 1630 -
1530 1730 -
1630 - -
1700 - -
2200 (Monday to Thursday only) - -

A * indicates the bulletin is not simulcast on Radio 1 and 1Xtra.

Location[edit]

In keeping with its specific targeting of young audiences, Newsbeat has its own set of reporters based in the Newsbeat newsroom of Broadcasting House in Central London. The team's reporters are themselves young, and often report on the location of the big news stories of the day.

Newsreaders and reporters[edit]

There are various presenters and reporters on Newsbeat including Chris Smith, the main afternoon newsreader and Tina Daheley, the newsreader on The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw.

  • Louisa Compton (Executive editor)
  • Debbie Ramsay (Acting editor)
  • Paul Stanworth (Assistant editor)
  • Anna Doble (Assistant editor - online)
  • Dan Whitworth (Assistant editor)
  • Chris Smith (Main newsreader)
  • Tina Daheley (Breakfast newsreader)
  • Rick Kelsey*
  • Chi Chi Izundu (Online entertainment and duty editor)
  • Greg Dawson (Politics and duty editor)
  • Sinead Garvan (Music)
  • Jonathan Blake (Technology and video)
  • Natalie Wyatt (Assistant)
  • Steffan Powell* (Gaming)
  • Simon Mundie (Sport)
  • Ben Mundy* (Duty editor)
  • Steve Holden* (Duty editor)
  • Del Crookes (Online duty editor)
  • Jimmy Blake (Multi-media reporter)
  • Nesta McGregor (Entertainment)
  • Karlene Pinnock
  • Daniel Rosney
  • Amelia Butterly (Online)
  • Cath Burns (Duty editor)
  • Hannah Morrison* (Duty editor)
  • Declan Harvey* (Duty editor)
  • Tamsyn Kent* (Duty editor)
  • Duncan Middleton* (Duty editor)
  • Toby Sealey (Duty editor)
  • Kat Collins*
  • Anna Collinson*
  • Nick Rotherham* (YouTube reporter)
  • Jim Connolly*
  • James Waterhouse*
  • Matt Wareham (Multimedia technical producer)
  • Jay Cockburn (Standby technical producer)


An * indicates the person regularly reads the 1330/2200/weekend bulletins, or covers for Chris Smith/Tina Daheley on morning/afternoon bulletins.

Previous newsreaders include Carolyn Atkinson, Claire Bradley, Claire Kavannagh, Dominic Byrne, Georgina Bowman and Tulip Mazumdar.

Previous sports reporters include Arlo White, David Garrido, Juliette Ferrington, Mark Chapman, and Carrie Davis.

There is a long-running tradition of the DJ on air at the time chatting to the newsreader following their bulletin. Chris Moyles, often shamelessly flirted with his female newsreaders for comic effect, and built up a good on-air relationship with afternoon newsreader Dominic Byrne, who later went on to join him on the BBC Radio 1 and Radio X breakfast shows. Greg James also built a good relationship with his now-sidekick Chris Smith through chatting following news bulletins.

Editors[edit]

The current executive editor of Newsbeat is former daytime editor of BBC Radio 5Live Louisa Compton, although Debbie Ramsay is running Newsbeat while Louisa Compton is at the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel[5][6]

Rod McKenzie, himself a former presenter of the programme and the news presenter on the Simon Mayo breakfast show on Radio 1 from 1988-1993, was editor until 2014, when he was moved to another position within the BBC after bullying allegations.

Newsbeat's first editor was Mike Chaney - hired from The Sun by the Director-General to inject a populist flavour to the news coverage of Radio 1.

Imaging[edit]

Newsbeat is notable for the distinctive musical imaging it has used for most of its history. At first, this was a just jingle at the beginning of the bulletin, but in the late 1990s this expanded to music throughout. There are different beds for news, sport and weather. The news imaging used to be changed every year, but this changed to every two years in 2005, and the most recent imaging package was on air from 2011-2015.

On air Produced by Tagline
Jan 1998 - Dec 1998 Vibe Music Audio Imaging 97-99FM Radio 1 - Newsbeat
Jan 1999- Dec 1999 Vibe Music Audio Imaging 97-99FM Radio 1 - Newsbeat
Jan 2000 - Feb 2001 Vibe Music Audio Imaging Newsbeat
Feb 2001 - Jan 2002 Vibe Music Audio Imaging Radio 1 - Newsbeat
Jan 2002 - Jan 2003 Vibe Music Audio Imaging Radio 1 - Newsbeat
Jan 2003 - Jan 2004 David Lowe Radio 1 - Newsbeat
Jan 2004 - July 2004 David Lowe / Radio 1 in house production BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat
August 2004 - January 2005 David Lowe / Radio 1 in house production BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat
January 2005 - December 2006 Music4 Radio 1 Newsbeat
January 2007 - January 2009 Music4 Digital, FM, Online - This is Radio 1
January 2009 - June 2011 Music4 / Radio 1 in house production Digital, FM, Online - This is BBC Radio 1
June 2011 - January 2015 Koink Listen, Watch, Share - This is BBC Radio 1/1Xtra (as appropriate)
January 2015 - present Daniel Mumford Music This is BBC Radio 1/1Xtra (as appropriate)

Newsbeat's Oddbox[edit]

In 2007, Newsbeat's Oddbox was launched. A four-minute video which looked at the week's strangest news, it was mostly presented by Dominic Byrne. When he was unavailable Tulip Mazumdar[7] and Nat Jamieson as deputy. Old episodes are available to watch at BBC Online, on the BBC Red Button and on the BBC News channel. The last ever episode of Oddbox was released on 14 September 2012, to coincide with Byrne leaving Radio 1.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BBC Radio 1 Service Licence BBC Trust, August 2009; Retrieved 31 March 2010
  2. ^ Deans, Jason (2012-03-27). "BBC News cuts – at a glance". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ "BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat wins Sony Radio Academy Award". Newsbeat. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "RadioToday". http://radiotoday.co.uk/2014/02/newsbeat-goes-global-on-bbc-world-service/. 18 February 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ "BBC announces new Editor of BBC Newsbeat and 1Xtra". Newsbeat. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "New digital-first TV show for Victoria Derbyshire". Newsbeat. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Oddbox presented by Tulip
  8. ^ The last ever Oddbox

External links[edit]