Sky News Ireland to close

Sky News Ireland will cease broadcasting on the 30th November 2006, with the Dublin and Belfast offices being re-focused and all Irish news content being replaced into the main UK broadcasts.
The Dublin office will reduce in numbers from 25 to 5 with the Belfast office going from 5 staff members to 1. Sky News have stated that there will be a 30-day consultation period with staff with a view to re-deploying some of them in other Sky News operations (in other words there are no definite redundancy numbers at present.

Click below for the official press release on the matter; note the following figures cited by the PR company; The average audience figure from Jan-Sep 2006 for the 6.30pm bulletin is 8,000 and 17,000 for the 10pm bulletin
More information is expected over the day:

Sky News to refocus Irish news coverage

Sky News is looking to refocus its coverage of Irish news by integrating the output of its Dublin and Belfast bureaus into the main news channel and its new media platforms. The change in approach means that the two nightly 30 minute bulletins would cease broadcasting with effect from Thursday, 30 November.

The proposal follows a review which concluded that Sky News could serve the needs of Irish viewers and maintain a high level of efficiency by focusing on the availability of Irish news on the main channel and also across a number of its different media platforms such as Sky News online, Sky by Mobile and Sky News Active. From Friday 1 December, it is planned that the Dublin and Belfast bureaus’ operations will be streamlined to a level which supports the continuing provision of high-quality reports and breaking news to Sky News audiences across the John Ryley, Head of Sky News, said,The talented and dedicated Sky News Ireland team has produced a high quality product, some outstanding journalism and attracted a loyal audience. I would like to thank them for their commitment and professionalism to date. The decision to change direction is a difficult one but our commitment to choice and innovation means that we will always take risks and try new ideas. Irish stories remain an integral part of the main channel as well as new media outlets as Sky News refocuses its resources in a way that continues to meet the needs of consumers in the broadband age.”

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