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

Media News

Older children ‘let down’

UK broadcasters including ITV and Channel 5 are letting down older children by failing to make programmes specifically for 13-15 year olds, Ofcom has suggested. In a letter to the broadcasters, the regulator identified three main areas of concern including a lack of original programmes targeting older children and a limited range of programmes that help children understand the world around them and that reflect their lives. The letter called for the relevant commercial public service broadcasters to develop a ‘robust plan’ by the end of March 2019 in order to improve their offering to children, ‘with a particular focus on UK-originated content, delivered across the full range of services and platforms (live TV, online  or both)’.

Steaming vs pay-TV

Ofcom’s letter to the broadcasters comes after figures showed the number of Britons subscribing to streaming services including Netflix and Amazon had overtaken traditional satellite and cable TV for the first time. Around 15.4 million subscribers were attracted to NetflixAmazon and NOW TV in the first quarter, ahead of 15.1 million when it came to pay-TV contracts. According to Reuters, Sharon White, the chief executive of Ofcom, said that while the challenges to the UK television industry could not be underestimated, UK broadcasters had a ‘history of adapting to change’ and could continue to compete by ‘making the best British programmes and working together to reach people who are turning away from TV’.

Digital works

Digital revenue has overtaken print for the first time at Guardian Media Group, according to financial figures released last week. The Group, which released its full-year figures for the year to April, said digital revenue was up to £108.6 million, while print revenue was at £107.5 million. The number of paying subscribers, supporters and members stood at 570,000, with 375,000 people making one-off donations. David Pemsel, the chief executive, said that the Group’s strategy ‘is on track to… secure the future of the Guardian’ and added that ‘more people are paying for Guardian journalism than ever before’. Read the publication’s take on its figures here.

Comment of the Week

Media Moves 

BBC World Service has hired a gender and identity reporter for the first time. Megha Mohan, who will move from her position at BBC Stories, will look in-depth at issues such as faith, ethnicity and LGBT+ experiences, according to the Press Gazette. A BBC spokesman said the role will be part of a specialist unit making ‘leading investigative, exploratory journalism that contextualises the themes and issues behind news stories and presents them in exciting ways for our global audience to interact with’.

John Neal will be the new permanent editor of The Andrew Marr Show, having been the acting editor for the past three months.

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