Sky News: Wikis


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Sky News
Sky News 2008.svg
Sky News' Logo
Launched 5 February 1989
Owned by BSkyB
Picture format 576i (SDTV 16:9)
1080i (HDTV) (from Spring 2010)
Audience share 0.6%
(May 2009, BARB)
Slogan First for breaking news[1]
Sister channel(s) Sky News Australia,
Sky News New Zealand,
Fox News Channel,
Website Official Website
Freeview Channel 82
Sky Digital Channel 501
SKY Italia (Italy) Channel 512
Cyfra+ Channel 677
Astra 1L 11597 V / 22000 / 5/6
Astra 2B 12207 V / 27500 / 2/3
DStv 402
Thor 3
(Canal Digital)
12456 V / 28000 / 3/4
Yes (Israel) 103
TV Vlaanderen Digitaal (Belgium) Channel 54
ZON TVCabo Channel 205
Showtime Arabia
Orbit Network Channel 47
CanalSat(France) Channel 364
MEO (Portugal) Channel 202
Indovision (Indonesia) Channel 336
Virgin Media (UK) Channel 602
StarHub TV (Singapore) Channel 92
Com Hem (Sweden) Channel 126
UPC Telemach, others (Slovenia) Channel 25
UPC Ireland (Ireland) Channel 202
KDG (Germany) Channel 839
HOT (Israel)
ZON TVCabo (Portugal) Channel 205
Magnet Entertainment (Ireland) Channel 202
Naxoo (Switzerland) Channel 61
CableNet (Maldives) Channel 11
now TV Hong-Kong Channel 323
TalkTalk TV Channel 505
TrueIPTV (Thailand) Channel 12
Freebox (France) Channel 87
MEO (Portugal) Channel 202
Internet television Live Video Streaming (24/7) News Bulletins
Events Channel
Sky News Simulcast
Jalipo Subscription
Available only in Europe and United States. Alpha Registration Required
Narrowband Stream
TVCatchup Watch live (UK only)

Sky News is a 24-hour domestic and international satellite television news broadcaster with an emphasis on UK and international news stories.

The service places emphasis on rolling news, including the latest breaking news. Sky News also hosts localised versions of the channel in Australia and in New Zealand, as well as their previously operated version in Ireland. Sky News also offer a localized international version of the channel Sky News International available in Europe and Asia.

Currently broadcasting from a news centre in London. Sky News started broadcasting on 5 February 1989 as part of the then four-channel Sky Television service. Sky News provides an hourly news radio service to multiple radio networks in the UK and Ireland. The channel currently has seven UK bases each with their own correspondents, and the channel can also call upon a wide range of resources and global bureaux provided by its parent company News Corporation such as reporters from Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network (its sister news and business channels).

Sky News has built its schedule around the main anchors with appointment to view broadcasts regularly being supplemented by landmark broadcasts. When major breaking news reaches the channel, it has more recently started to revert to the old double-headed style with two presenters anchoring. Sky News is famous for its innovations in news broadcasting and regularly wins awards for this and also for its broadcasting in general.[2]

Sky News has started to revamp its graphics almost every year, with the latest revamp being revealed at 6am on 3 April 2008. The latest look has fewer on screen graphics and a more minimalist style.

In late December 2008, Sky News began broadcasting from Studio B at Sky News centre, whilst work on the main newsroom was being carried out. On 4 February at 6am normal broadcasting resumed from the "new look" newsroom. This coincided with the channel's 20 year anniversary on 5 February 2009.



Although owned by British Sky Broadcasting, Sky News is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation via his holding in BSkyB. Murdoch said of it in March 1992, when he was the full owner:

Taking nothing away from CNN, which has done an outstanding job, I would point out that Sky News, the Fox [his US television network] news service and the News Corporation's combined reach - which have together over three thousand journalists spread over every continent and every country - leave us with an army of news gatherers second to none both with regard to their access to news and ability to bring news from anywhere into people's homes

The station's headquarters are in Osterley, West London, employing well over 50 on-screen staff (anchors, weather forecasters, correspondents and reporters) and over 600 behind-the-scenes staff. The station has eight of its own bureaus outside the United Kingdom and shares many more with other News Corporation stations.

Sky also produces a website (Sky News Online); and a Library Sales division, and bulletins for Five News.


Establishment and early years

On 8 June 1988, Rupert Murdoch announced to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts that he would provide a new television news service. Sky News started broadcasting at 6pm on 5 February 1989.

Visually Sky News looked very neat, with slick and classy presentation and John O'Loan's original vocation as an architect showing in the studio set. Sky had gone for the same format as the 9 O'Clock News on the BBC which had recently been redesigned to give the impression of activity and immediacy by placing the newsreader against a backdrop of the working newsroom. Sky News, it was universally agreed as staff nodded in vigorous approval, had succeeded rather better at the same thing. The critics were mildly taken aback. Contrary to some of the horror scenarios bandied about by the chattering classes there seemed to be little to grumble about. And as its slogan of 'We're there when you need us,' emphasised, it was always on.[citation needed]

In the early days the channel operated on a £40 million budget (plus £10 million share of overheads), which led Sam Chisholm to propose to Murdoch the station be closed, but Rupert was "pleased with its achievements ... there were overriding reasons of prestige and politics for keeping it ... the final hurdle of the Broadcasting Bill had still to be overcome and the case for the acceptability of Sky would collapse if suddenly there was no news channel."[citation needed] - former deputy Prime Minister Viscount Whitelaw said to the House of Lords in 1990 that Sky News had "a very high reputation ... I admire it, as do many other people, it will certainly waken up both the BBC and ITN and ensure that they compete with that is a very important news service". The channel has never been run for a profit,[3] and has considered using ITN to supplement the service.

By March 1992 Sky turned from loss to profit,[citation needed] when Murdoch would say Sky News, has quietly, if expensively, become the first building block of what we envision will become the premier worldwide electronic news-gathering network anywhere. Ask anyone in Europe, and particularly the BBC and you will be told that Sky News has added a new and better dimension to television journalism.

Sky News was the only UK 24 hour news channel (aside from CNN International on Astra 1A, BBC World Service Television started in 1991 but has never been broadcast in the UK) until November 1997 when BBC News launched a new 24 hour channel, BBC News 24, now known simply as BBC News. In September 1999 the European Commission ruled against a complaint by Sky News which argued that the publicly funded BBC News 24 was unfair and illegal under EU law. The EC ruled that the television licence fee should be considered state aid (within the meaning of Article 87) and that it was justified due to the public service remit of the BBC and that it did not exceed actual costs of the channel.[4]

Sky News in the 2000s

In March 2000 Sky News Active was launched, a 24-hour interactive service providing headlines (and other services which ranged from weather, the top story of the day and showbiz) on demand.

In March 2004 it was announced that Sky News had won a 5-year contract to supply news bulletins to Five, taking over from ITN in January 2005 [5].

On 24 October 2005, Sky News moved to new studios in Isleworth, London, and underwent a major on-screen revamp. The new studio was integrated with the newsroom and boasted the biggest video wall in Britain; it was designed by New York architects Janson Design Group.[6] New music was scored by Adelphoi Music and recorded with a full orchestra at Air Studios, Hampstead, and mastered at Metropolis Studios.[7] New on-screen graphics were launched and the channel began broadcasting in Widescreen (16:9) format.

The 2005 relaunch also saw the introduction of a new schedule designed around "appointment to view" programmes rather than continuous rolling news.[6] James Rubin joined to present a new evening programme called World News Tonight, Julie Etchingham presented another new "hard-hitting" evening show called Sky Report, Eamonn Holmes joined to present Sunrise, Kay Burley presented a new programme called Lunchtime Live from 12-2pm, and the daytime show Sky News Today saw the introduction of a three-presenter format. However the relaunched schedule was unsuccessful, and since October 2005 BBC News has overtaken Sky News in the ratings (although the BBC's channel is carried on more platforms).

In response to the schedule's unpopularity with viewers, changes took place in July 2006, with the removal of the evening programmes Sky Report and World News Tonight with James Rubin in favour of rolling news, and the return to a two-presenter format on Sky News Today. On 25 February 2007 the channel changed its graphics scheme to include the display of breaking news in yellow.

On 1 October 2007 Sky introduced another new schedule, extending Kay Burley's Lunchtime Live programme and renaming it Afternoon Live. They also switched to a Sunrise format for much of the day, with a solo lead presenter and a summary newsreader. Sky News put more emphasis on interactive news with Martin Stanford's new News programme. And it introduced an early evening financial news programme presented by Jeff Randall, initially on Mondays only. On 8 January 2008 Dermot Murnaghan joined Sky to present Sky News Today from 9am to 1pm.

Further changes were made to the Sky News schedule on 8 September 2008, with Colin Brazier presenting a new show from 1pm - 2pm, The Live Desk, Martin Stanford's Sky.Com News became and moved to 7pm every weeknight, and Sky Midnight News was introduced.

More changes took place during the early part of 2009. These changes involved major changes to the layout of the newsroom/studio, the introduction of a morning edition of The Live Desk and the extension of the financial news programme Jeff Randall Live to run for 4 nights each week, Monday to Thursday.

From sunrise to midnight on 8 March 2010, Sky News was presented and produced exclusively by women to mark International Women's Day.[8]


See: Sky News programmes.


Sky News Celebrated its 20th Birthday On 5 February 2009

Sky News is free-to-air on the Astra 28.2°E satellites carrying Sky Digital. It is also available on Freeview and analogue and digital cable. In 2007 BSKyB announced its intention to cease broadcasting Sky News as well as other BSkyB channels over Freeview pending Ofcom approval.[9][10]

Sky News is also shown internationally, and can often be seen in hotels as well as being offered by some cable providers as part of their English-language line-up.

The international version is shown as free-to-air on Astra 1L at 19.2° east. It is also carried encrypted on a number of satellites for international reception - including but not limited to Hot Bird, Nilesat, Amos 1 and Intelsat 10-02. It is also usually carried on cable systems in Europe, particularly (but not only) in Northern Europe.

Regional variations

Most of Europe, the Middle East and Asia receive the same version of Sky News as people in the UK, though with localised advertising. These feeds are sometimes known collectively as "Sky News International" and carries a break filler, the same to that of BBC World News, which is used on the UK and Ireland feed of its sister channel Fox News Channel.

Sky News Australia and Sky News New Zealand are different channels that carry variable amounts Sky News UK programming, and share some of its style, but also have local programming and advertising. In Australia, a Sky News UK feed is also available at all times, on Sky News Active. From 2004 to 2006 Sky News Ireland similarly carried local programming. This was then discontinued, the Irish feed reverting to a local advertising only service.

Virgin Media dispute

On 1 March 2007, the contract for Virgin Media to provide Sky's basic channels (including Sky News) on their cable TV service expired after a dispute between Virgin Media and BSkyB.[11]. At Midnight, Sky News was removed, the electronic programming guide changed to "SKY SNOOZE TRY BBC" until Sir Richard Branson demanded the message be removed[12] saying I have asked them to take it down. We do not mean any disrespect to Sky News. I think it is a very good news channel.

Sky News returned to Virgin Media Network along with all the other "Sky Basics" channels that were removed in March 2007. This deal between BSKYB and Virgin Media was confirmed on 4 November 2008. Sky News reappeared on Virgin Media on 13 November.

Sky News Radio

Sky News Radio is a provider of news bulletins for radio stations in the United Kingdom.[13]

In March 2007, BSkyB and Chrysalis Group announced a joint partnership to launch a dedicated Sky News Radio station on the proposed bid by Channel 4's 4 Digital Group for the second DAB multiplex in the United Kingdom.[14] However, two months later Chrysalis sold its radio stations to Global Radio,[15] and in October 2007 following a business review Global's chief executive announced that they would be withdrawing from the joint venture.[16] Sky have announced plans to find a partner elsewhere.

The feed is available FTA at 28.2 East by manually tuning it in: 12118.00 H 27500 2/3

Regular presenters

The most recent graphics style on Sky News

See: Sky News reporters and presenters

When elections, either national or international, take place, Sky edits its schedule to focus on them. Recent examples have been the 2005 United Kingdom general elections, the 2006 Israeli legislative election, the 2008 United States Presidential Election and the 2008 United Kingdom local elections. Sky also often shows long interviews. Recent examples of these have been Anna Botting's exclusive half-hour interview with Carla Bruni. At the end of each year, in December and January of the new year, a series of special 'Year in Review' shows are shown which look back at memorable news stories from the past year.

In-Depth Series

The channel regularly focusses on specific areas of society and current affairs, which allows for further indepth analysis and debate. In the past examples of these series have included Inside Iraq, Green Britain and Crime Uncovered.

Pakistan: On Terrors Frontline was shown throughout the week beginning Monday 23 March 2009. The Sky News press release stated;

Over three days, Sky News will explore why Pakistan has become the frontline of terror and ask what the West can do about it. Jeremy Thompson will present live from the capital Islamabad, interviewing key figures across the community.

The series of reports has since won the 2009 RTS Award for Foreign News Coverage.

Identification and stings

Bruce Hammal is heard at the top of each hour introducing the channel, for example saying "Sky News, with presenter/s.", after October 2005 he said "Live from the Sky News Centre, this is Programme name with presenters." or "This is programme name with presenter/s".

Several years earlier after the merger between Sky Television plc & British Satellite Broadcasting, Hammel's introduction was "This is Sky News a part of the British Sky Broadcasting Network", in 1993 the introduction was "From the Sky satellite network this is Sky News", and by 1995 "This is Sky News, part of the Sky Television Network" - or just "This is Sky News".

Criticism and perception

Sky News viewing peaked during 11 September attacks, Iraq War, Asian Tsunami, 7 July 2005 London bombings and the death of Diana, Princess of Wales but has generally declined to a quarter achieved in 1992-95

Sky News operates under the requirements of United Kingdom broadcasting regulations that require neutrality.

In early 1994 Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of The Sun newspaper, was appointed Managing Director of BSkyB. MacKenzie's proposed changes to Sky News lead to clashes with CEO Sam Chisholm and the head of Sky News, Ian Frykberg, who protested what they saw as an attempt to take its news values down market. The most ferocious battle occurred when Mackenzie wanted Sky News to run an interview with Lady Bienvenida Buck. Frykberg refused to air the interview and resigned shortly afterwards - the interview was put on Sky One.[17] MacKenzie announced his resignation in August 1994,[17] but not until Sky News had transmitted live pictures of the freeway chase of OJ Simpson white bronco on 17 June 1994 bringing US 'helicopter journalism to the UK.[18]

Sky News covered the trial in Boston US trial of Louise Woodward with live coverage.[19] When Sky returned to a regular schedule, viewers demanded the trial coverage.[19] From Woodward's home in Elton, Cheshire Sky broadcast locals reactions, but this brought criticism of maintaining a pro-Louise Woodward stance, as she was found guilty but sentenced to time served.[19]

In November 2005 the then head of BBC News, Peter Horrocks acknowledged that Sky News remained the first choice for "key opinion formers".[20]


From 2000 onwards, Sky News expanded its international coverage, opening bureaus in Africa, Europe, and the far East. It won awards from the Royal Television Society.[21]

Sky News has won BAFTA awards for coverage of the 11 September 2001 attacks[22] and the 2003 Soham Murders.[23]

Coverage of the 7 July 2005 London bombings won the 2006 International Emmy Breaking News award commending the "fast and accurate" reporting.[24]

In June 2007 Sky News was named the "Best News Channel" at the Broadcast Digital Channel Awards. It beat several other national and international broadcasters including Al Jazeera English and the BBC[25]


Bureaux in bold are Sky News bureaus, others are shared with other News Corporation networks.

United Kingdom


Online is the channel's main website. It provides news, sport, weather, showbiz, and business stories with help from other divisions such as Sky Sports.

In 2009 the website has undergone a largely cosmetic change to bring it in line with the on screen look of Sky News TV. The site makes use of flash video encoding to match the visual style of the TV channel with pictures and breaking news.

Interactivity: Blogs and Forums

Since 2005, with the relaunch of the TV channel, a greater emphasis has been placed upon interactivity. With a growing selection of news blogs written by staff and guests, Sky News now has a tailored selection targeted towards each demographic of its audience. A recent addition to Sky News Online has been messageboards or forums.

Sky News HD

Sky have announced that a high definition version of Sky News in Spring 2010. In the build-up to this launch, they will be upgrading their studios and several bureax both in the UK and around the world to be able to broadcast in HD.

Since early 2008, Sky News has been using cameras in the field which can shoot in HD, and the studio now uses make-up designed for HD. Some one-off programmes have been made available in high definition to Sky+ HD viewers through the Sky Anytime feature, under the branding Sky News HD. These programmes have included Technofile, Diana: The Final Word, Canoe Man: Rise and Fall of John Darwin and Pathfinders: Into The Heart Of Afghanistan.

At 5pm (GMT) on 20 January 2009, Sky News live coverage of the Inauguration of Barack Obama was carried in high definition on Sky Arts HD. This was the first ever live broadcast of Sky News in HD. Jeremy Thompson fronted the coverage from Washington DC. Michael Jackson's memorial service was also presented in HD, with Kay Burley presenting.

Other information

In popular culture

* Film by 20th Century Fox, a News Corporation asset.

See also


  1. ^ "Sky News: UK News, World News and Business News. The First for breaking global News!". 3 April 2007.,,30000-1-100,00.xml. 
  2. ^ "Sky News: Awards". 4 April 2008. 
  3. ^ "Touch down for Sky". BBC News. 7 January 2002. Retrieved 29 January 2007. 
  4. ^ "SG(99) D10201 - State aid No NN 88/98 – UNITED KINGDOM Financing of a 24-hour advertising-free news channel out of the licence fee by the BBC" (PDF). Retrieved 23 May 2007. 
  5. ^ "BBC NEWS - Entertainment - TV and Radio - Five to take Sky News bulletins". 3 April 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Sky News unveils new studios and beefed up schedule The Guardian, 21 October 2005
  7. ^ 2005: Adelphoi Music Re-Brands Sky's Flagship News Channel.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Ofcom looks into Sky News move".,,2080022,00.html. Retrieved 16 May 2007. 
  10. ^ "Sky's top shows to go terrestrial". BBC News. 8 February 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2007. 
  11. ^ "Cable - News - Sky One, Sky News pulled from Virgin - Digital Spy". Retrieved 9 April 2007. 
  12. ^ "Richard Branson puts stop to 'Sky Snooze' joke - - Guardian Unlimited Business".,,2025043,00.html. Retrieved 23 May 2007. 
  13. ^ "Audio Channel".,,70004-1200025,00.html. Retrieved 9 April 2007. 
  14. ^ "BSkyB and Chrysalis to launch “Sky News Radio”". Sky News. 28 March 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2007. 
  15. ^ Chrysalis sells three radio stations
  16. ^ Sky News Radio complications, Radio Today, 18 October 2007
  17. ^ a b Horrie, Chris (1999). L?ve TV: Telebrats and Topless Darts. ISBN 0671015745. 
  18. ^ McGregor, Brent (1997). Live, Direct and Biased?. ISBN 0340662255. 
  19. ^ a b c Sky News - Media UK
  20. ^ Robinson, James (20 November 2005). "BBC news admits 'opinion-formers' prefer Sky". The Observer.,6903,1646419,00.html. Retrieved 29 January 2007. 
  21. ^ "Royal Television Society - Latest news". Retrieved 23 May 2007. 
  22. ^ "BAFTA Awards: 2002". Retrieved 23 May 2007. 
  23. ^ "Bafta 2003: the winners".,,528719_574942,00.html. Retrieved 23 May 2007. 
  24. ^ "Sky News Wins 7/7 Award". Sky News. 26 September 2006.,,30000-13544284,00.html. Retrieved 29 January 2007. 
  25. ^ Broadcast Now
  26. ^ Sky News Announces New Dubai Bureau Sky News Press Release, 4 February 2009

External links

Official Websites

Other Websites

Coordinates: 51°29′13″N 0°19′48″W / 51.487°N 0.330°W / 51.487; -0.330

Simple English

Sky News is a news broadcasting station in the United Kingdom. It has won #1 News award of the year. This channel is only available to Sky TV.

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