Audiences for Rupert Murdoch’s new Talk TV are plummeting according to reports, with less than 60,000 people watching much-trumpeted (not least by him) Piers Morgan’s flagship Uncensored show. This was less on one night than Nigel Farage managed on GB News, which is, somehow, still with us.
Morgan’s ratings were bound to fall after kicking off with Donald Trump – a bit of a non-event actually – and these things take a while to settle down and then the job is to build from there. Do UK viewers actually want a shouty “bully pulpit” at nine in the evening though? And do big name presenters actually take an audience with them or are they big names because they are (or were) on established media brands?
It’s an issue for all those media companies who have shelled out big bucks for other presenters (although not as many as Morgan is allegedly receiving.) Will audiences follow ex-BBC presenters Andrew Marr and Emily Maitlis to their new homes? John Pienaar doesn’t seem to be packing them in another Murdoch venture Times Radio.
Top of the presenter pops currently is the BBC’s Clive Myrie from his Ukraine rooftop. (Actually Myrie seems to have the knack of being in several places at once, he’s on the box so much.) Excellent though he is, is the attraction actually that he’s on the BBC?
Twitter obsessive Morgan is typically unabashed (below.) and he may be right when the says that UK TV audiences aren’t measured accurately (the ancient BARB panel used often misses ethnic channels, for example, completely.) And he says he’s aiming for an international audience anyway.
Great to see ?@PiersUncensored? beating ?@SkyNews? & ?@GBNEWS? in the UK ratings again last night & driving so many more eyeballs around the world on ??@SkyNewsAust? ?@foxnation? ?@YouTube? ? – thanks for watching! ? pic.twitter.com/9hiKrElqbt
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 10, 2022
But it’s also possible Murdoch and his lieutenants, including the ineffable Rebekah Brooks, have made a monumental misjudgement here.