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Sky News announces new daytime Kay Burley Show and other schedule changes in bid to give channel ‘more personality’

By Charlotte Tobitt

Sky News has announced a shake-up of its daytime and early evening schedule designed to give the channel “more personality” and give viewers more appointment-to-view shows.

News anchor Kay Burley will host a new show covering breaking news alongside her own perspective on the day’s stories with interviews, “quirky offbeat” stories and “spiky” opinion and debate, Sky News said today.

The Kay Burley Show will air Monday to Thursday from 2pm to 5pm. Burley currently hosts Sky News from 3pm to 6.30pm.

Burley has been with Sky News since its launch almost 30 years ago and was named broadcast journalist of the year by the London Press Club earlier this year. She said on Twitter she was “absolutely thrilled” by the changes.

She described her new show as a “daily, three-hour, live programme where we’ll challenge the status quo with hard-hitting, in-depth interviews and examine the stories behind the headlines, reflecting the views of everyone across the UK”.

In other changes at Sky News, US correspondent Mark Austin will return from the Washington bureau after a year to present The News Hour at 5pm each weekday, ahead of a “new look” Six O’Clock News.

The News Hour will round up the day’s stories with recap and analysis from Sky News correspondents and interviews with “key players” in the news agenda.

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Austin, a former ITV News anchor, tweeted that “the best news outfit in Britain has agreed to tolerate me a little longer”.

Cristina Nicolotti Squires, Sky News director of content, said: “With a fast growing digital audience on the Sky News mobile app, our viewers know what’s making the headlines.

“But what they want is more appointment-to-view shows. Kay and Mark are experienced news presenters, each with their own ‘take’ on the day’s stories.

“Embedding them more firmly in our schedule gives us a chance to give Sky News more personality and more editorial heft at a time when being a trusted news brand has never been more important.”

All Out Politics from Westminster will remain in the 10am slot after Sunrise, while the News at Ten and the Press Review will continue to wrap up the day.

Alongside the schedule changes, a number of correspondents are joining Sky News this autumn to “bolster” its specialist reporting.

Rowland Manthorpe has left Wired magazine to become Sky News technology correspondent, while previously announced changes include Jason Farrell becoming the channel’s first home editor, Nick Martin taking on a new role to report on politics outside Westminster and Kate McCann joining the political team.

The Guardian’s Martha Kelner is leaving the Guardian to join as sports correspondent, while former Times defence correspondent Deborah Haynes begins as Sky News foreign affairs editor this month.

Jonathan Levy, Sky News director of newsgathering, said: “The appointment of these great reporters not only boosts our specialist journalism, but is also a strong signal of how Sky News is in better shape than ever.

“Our future looks bright and it’s great we’re attracting top talent from across the industry.”

Picture: Sky News

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