I watch BBC Breakfast every weekday morning. Well, actually I flick between that and Sky News Sunrise to see which channel is providing better coverage of a particular news event. I like to keep on top of world events but find it irritating when the news is slotted in-between fluffy filler content. I have limited time before my working day begins, I don’t like to have my time wasted. This article is about branding and how the BBC News management can’t seem to work out what BBC Breakfast’s brand is.
I am also a regular viewer of the BBC Newswatch show, kind of a Points of View for their news programmes. Like many other viewers, I am getting increasingly annoyed at the level of content that is simply not news. Is BBC Breakfast a news programme or an early morning light entertainment show (in the style of GMB on ITV)? BBC Newswatch viewers regularly complain about the level of advertising of other BBC shows on BBC Breakfast. Every morning, a BBC viewer sees short films about Strictly Come Dancing, Dr Who, Blue Planet 2 etc. This is not news. This is advertising. Then there are the added viewer engagement components, reading out amusing anecdotes/photos that have been submitted by viewers on Twitter/Facebook. Again, not news.
With so much dreadful world news going on at the moment, the reason for soft and fluffy can’t possibly be because of a slow news day. It would probably be possible to fill a 24/7 news day 3 times over…every day! 5 minutes of non-news content would be acceptable every hour. I haven’t calculated it but I would estimate that currently at least 30 minutes every hour is not news content.
I think confusion is exacerbated by BBC Breakfast also being shown on BBC News 24. The hint is in the title of this channel….news. Can I suggest a spot of rebranding? A name change to BBC Breakfast Show and change the set to something slightly different to the BBC’s other ‘news’ programmes. Change the background etc. The key to branding is that it has to reflect what you do. At the current time, BBC branding is underachieving.
BBC, please do this for this disgruntled viewer who is getting increasingly peeved at shouting at the telly at 7.23 am that ‘this is not news!’ or ‘this is an advert’!