Nik Gowing, one of the best known faces in India, on BBC World News has started anchoring a new analytical news programme targeted at South Asian viewers.
The launch of The Hub with Nik Gowing comes as part of a general shake-up in programming on the commercial 24-hour news channel.
It replaces World News Today, a standard news programme that Gowing had anchored. The Hub with Nik Gowing, is now broadcast in four half hour slots from 9.30pm to 11.30pm each weekday night in India. “This is structured differently to World News Today,” says Richard Porter, director of news content, BBC World News.
“Gowing will conduct more interviews and debates that are directly regionally relevant to the audience. We have deliberately used Gowing’s name with a new set and graphics.
“Gowing may well have studio guests or guests in India and elsewhere, and we would send correspondents to different places to send back packaged reports,” Porter adds. “The main story will either be a story on South Asia or a global story which has relevance to the region. For example, the global economy crisis may have originated in the US but we will make it relevant to the audience by including interviews with Indian companies in the US,” he explains.
Gowing is one of the BBC’s longest-serving presenters. “He is very connected and can get significant interviewees on the phone line. He also covers major world events,” Porter adds. Other new programmes that have emerged in the shake-up include Impact Asia with British Asian presenter Mishal Husain, who has worked extensively in India and Pakistan. This will also be aired at peak time in India. “She will present the news from a pan-Asian perspective in an informal, conversational style from different cities in the region,” Porter says.
A new programme is also currently in development, to be fronted by Lyse Doucet. It will provide a weekly forum for untold human interest stories, illustrating issues behind conflicts or social, political and cultural changes around the world.
“The channel changes represent the next stage of our editorial development at BBC World News. We’re reacting to what our audiences have requested from us - news relevant to their regions,” Porter signs off.