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LOOKING SKYWARD To mark the channel’s 30th anniversary Philip Stevens talks exclusively to the head of Sky News PICTURED ABOVE: John Ryley, head of Sky News


ow an accepted way of bringing news to television viewers, the 24-hour rolling format was unknown to UK audiences until Sky News launched at 1800 hours on 5th February 1989. At the time, approximately 600,000 homes in the UK and Ireland could receive the new service. Most of those viewers watched via cable as there were only around 10,000 satellite dishes installed. Sky News was created by Rupert Murdoch based on the highly successful model adopted in the US by CNN. The channel needed a $40 million investment to get it on air, but by March 1992, the parent company of Sky News saw its first profit. Speaking at the time, Murdoch reported that “Sky News has quietly, if expensively, become the first building block of what we envision will become the


premier worldwide electronic newsgathering network anywhere. Ask anyone in Europe, and particularly the BBC, and you will be told that Sky News has added a new and better dimension to television journalism.” A number of awards have recognised the level of coverage provided by Sky News. In 1993, the channel won the first of more than 40 Royal Television Society awards, for its coverage of the Bishopsgate bomb and Ostend tanker fire. In 2005, it collected an international Emmy for its coverage of the 7th July bombings in London. It has also been awarded five BAFTAs. Sky News is currently Royal Television Society News Channel of the Year, the 11th time it has held the award. John Ryley has been the head of Sky News since 2006, so

Profile for Future PLC

TVB Europe January / February 2019  

TVB Europe January / February 2019