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TV3 Shakeup Current Affairs Programming
30 Mar 2009 :
Vincent Browne
TV3 has announced new developments for their news and current affairs programmes with the ending of ‘The Political Party with Ursula Halligan’, Vincent Browne to sign a new multi year contract and daytime programme ‘Midday’ to be fully commissioned after its successful trial.

TV3 has announced that renowned journalist Vincent Browne and presenter of the station’s current affairs programme ‘Nightly News’ has signed a new multi year contract with the channel. Since joining TV3 over 14 months ago, Vincent has made a hugely successful impact with his ‘Nightly News’ programme which has seen a growth in the audience by 60%. The programme will now be extended from 40 to 60 minutes each night, Monday to Thursday.

The independent broadcaster has also announced the current affairs programme ‘The Political Party with Ursula Halligan’ is to be taken off the air. The move will allow Ursula to launch a new one hour programme in the near future profiling leading Irish and international figures from the worlds of politics, business, religion, the arts and entertainment. During her four years presenting the programme, Ursula has interviewed major figures including Bertie Ahern, Salman Rushdie, Bob Geldof, Cardinal Cathal Daly and will continue her role as Political Editor for TV3 News.

‘Midday’ the topical affairs talk show, presented by Alan Cantwell, Colette Fitzpatrick and Martin King has been piloted since January '09 and will now be commissioned on an ongoing basis due to its success. Aimed at a 25+ adult audience the programme airs between 11.50am and 12.50pm each weekday and has managed to increase the audience in this time slot by 55%.

Commenting on these developments TV3 Director of News & Current Affairs, Andrew Hanlon said: “The initiatives announced today demonstrate TV3’s continued commitment to indigenous Irish programming. Vincent Browne, Ursula Halligan and the ‘Midday’ team represent some of the best broadcasting and journalism talent that Ireland has to offer and we’re delighted to bring these quality programmes to our audience. I have stated previously that we intend to bring more and more quality Irish programmes to our viewers – there is much more to come.”

"The changes announced today will serve to strengthen TV3's news and current affairs output and will boost the actual number of hours of Irish programming provided by the channel which far exceed commitments given to the broadcasting regulator, the BCI. I am particularly happy that Vincent Browne will remain with TV3 in the long term after a hugely successful 14 month run on the ‘Nightly News’ programme. The popularity of TV3’s news and current affairs programmes demonstrate a real demand by the public for an alternative and independent source of television news in Ireland.”

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