Presenters axed in Sky News revamp

Sky News is to revamp its schedules and axe a number of its presenters and programmes, it was confirmed today.

Sky News is to revamp its schedules and axe a number of its presenters and programmes, it was confirmed today.

World News Tonight, hosted by former Clinton aide James Rubin, is to be ditched.

The much-heralded 7pm Sky Report, fronted by Julie Etchingham, will also be replaced.

Ginny Buckley, former presenter of BBC1’s Holiday programme, has been given the chop along with business reporter Juliette Foster.

But breakfast presenter Eamonn Holmes is to keep his job on Sunrise alongside Lorna Dunkley. He joined the 24-hour news channel after defecting from GMTV and his appointment has not met with universal viewer approval.

In total, 17 staff are to lose their jobs as part of the schedule changes.

The jobs will be cut “as part of Sky News’ continuing drive to operate a highly efficient and effective organisation”.

The revamp comes after the channel’s autumn relaunch failed to make an impact with viewers.

A spokesman denied the changes were an admission that the relaunch had flopped.

“We have always said we would keep the schedules under review and make changes to strengthen the service. The general reaction to the relaunch has been positive,” he said.

Rubin and Etchingham will not be leaving the channel.

Etchingham will move to the 2pm-5pm slot Sky News Today, replacing Buckley.

Rubin will continue to present a series of special programmes on international affairs and will expand his role as a commentator and analyst.

His 8pm World News Tonight programme got off to a flying start with an exclusive Tony Blair interview, but ratings soon fell.

Head of Sky News Nick Pollard said: “The journalists on both World News Tonight and The Sky Report have worked incredibly hard to produce some outstanding and original journalism.

“One of the aims of the schedule change is to integrate some of the strengths within our general programming, rather than focussing that effort solely on two specific peak-time shows.”

The 8pm-10pm slot will be filled by a new show presented by Martin Stanford.

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