No More Evening 'Newsround' Because Kids Don't Watch It

By Holly Brockwell on at

The evening edition of Newsround was a familiar and beloved staple of many of our childhoods, giving us the world's news in a way that wouldn't horrify the crap out of our tiny minds. (Honestly, we could do with that again right now).

Sadly, it is no more: the BBC is cancelling the teatime edition of the show because kids just don't turn on the TV when they get home from school anymore.

Launched by John Craven in '72, the evening Newsround has been running for nearly 50 years, but it's been in decline for a while. The Beeb moved it from BBC One to the CBBC channel, which impacted ratings, and even lockdown didn't make enough of a difference to save it. The Guardian reports that viewings among the 6-to-12 target audience were just 24,000 per episode even while we were all stuck at home. A mediocre TikTok gets more than that.

However, it's not the end of the Newsround brand as a whole. There's a morning edition of the show for schools, which teachers often use to check their phones update their students on current events. That version of the show is still mega successful: Stuart Rowson, Head of Discovery at BBC Children’s, says around 750,000 kids watch Newsround in the classroom.

Rowson explains:

"Times have just moved on and nothing lasts forever. It’s not that kids don’t want the news … They just want it in a different format."

Like online, for instance. So the BBC will be investing some of the money it used to spend on the teatime show on the Newsround website instead, which has been praised recently for its easy-to-understand coronavirus coverage.

Meanwhile, the morning show will be lengthened from five minutes to eight, although that won't have much of an impact until kids are actually in schools again. [The Guardian]