Welcome to Lexington’s weekly round-up of media news and the latest moves in journalism.


Youth of today

The Prime Minister has agreed to appear on Sky News for a fortnightly grilling session – by children. May will feature on FYI, a weekly children’s news programme, and answer two questions pre-recorded in Downing Street. During the alternate weeks when the Prime Minister does not appear, a host of other top tier politicians have been lined up, including Jeremy Corbyn, Sadiq Khan and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. The agreement comes amid ongoing troubles between Sky News and Number 10 as the broadcaster has complained about a lack of access to the Prime Minister.

Sounds good

BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has launched a spin-off podcast aimed at capturing younger listeners. Hosted by Matthew Price and Tina Daheley, Beyond Today asks ‘one big question of one big story every weekday’. It comes in the same week that BBC iPlayer Radio was scrapped in favour of the new BBC Sounds platform. BBC Sounds allows listeners to personalise their experience and discover new, recommended programmes, according to the director of radio and education James Purnell.

Switch off

The Pew Research Centre, an American ‘fact tank’, has found that Europeans who are under-30 are less likely to watch television news than their over-50 counterparts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they are also less likely to read print media. However the study, which surveyed people across Denmark, France, the UK, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany, did find that young people are increasingly turning to newspaper websites as their chosen source of information. Specifically, 87 per cent of the over-50 category said they watch television news daily compared with just 38 per cent of 18 – 29 year olds, whilst 73 per cent of 18 – 29 year old respondents said they got their news online daily compared with 48 per cent of over-50s.

Head north

Channel 4 has confirmed that Leeds will be the site of its new regional base. Around 200 staff will relocate to the city, which beat competition from Birmingham and Manchester. Bristol and Glasgow were also chosen to host two smaller hubs with a further 100 people moving out of London. Channel 4’s chief executive, Alex Mahon, said that ultimately Leeds was chosen because of the potential to develop further ties with independent production companies in Yorkshire and the North East, an area typically underserved by other broadcasters.


The UK and Canada have written to Mark Zuckerberg in an attempt to get the Facebook boss to give evidence at a hearing on November 27. Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and his Canadian counterpart, Bob Zimmer, have joined forces as part of an ‘international grand committee’ to fight disinformation and fake news, and said they expect other countries to join them. After both failing to get Mr Zuckerberg to appear in front of their respective parliaments, Mr Collins and Mr Zimmer said: ‘We call on you to take up this historic opportunity to tell parliamentarians from both sides of the Atlantic and beyond about the measures Facebook is taking to halt the spread of disinformation on your platform, and protect user data.’

Tech tax

Last week’s Budget saw the Chancellor announce a new 2 per cent digital services tax on tech giants to bring in an estimated £400 million per year. The levy, which will come into effect in April 2020, will be used to fund public services however it will not, at this time, be used to fund journalism.



Claudia Headon has been appointed head of planning for BBC Two’s Newsnight.

Ben Woods is now a business correspondent at The Sunday Times covering tech, media and telecoms.

Kate Devlin is now chief political correspondent at The Times.

Jessica Goodfellow has been appointed international editor at Broadcast magazine.

Emma Powell has been promoted to digital entertainment editor at the Evening Standard.

Merope Mills has left the Guardian to join Tortoise Media as an editor and partner.

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