UK

TalkTV to be taken off air to focus on streaming

The channel will continue online.

Piers Morgan left his daily TalkTV show to focus on the Uncensored YouTube channel
Piers Morgan on his Uncensored programme Piers Morgan left his daily TalkTV show to focus on the Uncensored YouTube channel (Piers Morgan Uncensored/TalkTV/PA)

TalkTV will be taken off air in the summer and move online, it has been announced, weeks after Piers Morgan left his daily show on the channel.

Morgan said he was leaving to focus on the Uncensored YouTube channel, saying that daily, fixed TV schedules have been “an increasingly unnecessary straitjacket”.

A statement from Scott Taunton, TalkTV’s president of broadcasting, said in a briefing to staff: “Two years ago, we would not have been brave enough to launch a channel without a linear presence, but audiences of all ages have moved fast and smartphones are now the primary device where news is consumed. We need to adapt to this as a priority.

“We are therefore intending that Talk comes off linear television from early summer and our focus will be on streaming.”

He added: “Talk will continue broadcasting as a live streaming news and opinion channel, distributing through streaming platforms to include YouTube, Amazon Fire, Samsung, LG and others.

“A large proportion of our live viewing is already through streaming on televisions and we intend to continue to grow this.

“Clips will continue to be shared through social media. There is no doubt over Talk’s future as an audio and video channel, it just won’t be distributed on linear. Radio on DAB continues unchanged too.”

TalkTV currently has 812,000 YouTube subscribers. Piers Morgan Uncensored has 2.4 million.

TalkTV, a venture from News UK, the publisher of The Times and The Sun, launched in 2022.

The launch schedule for its first day on April 25 2022 started with The News Desk with The Sun’s former political editor, Tom Newton Dunn, followed by Morgan’s Uncensored show.

Taunton reassured employees it was “business as usual” despite the changes but did add that there would be a “restructure.”

In coming months, the company planned to create a new division, called News Studios, to produce bite-size content for brands such as talkSPORT, The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times and Virgin Radio.

In the briefing, Taunton said: “Because we are proposing to create News Studios and change Talk’s priorities, we are proposing that there is a restructure so that we can focus our resources and talent on the output we will be creating.

“Everyone affected will be spoken to in the coming days in meetings organised by your manager.

“At these meetings, you will have an opportunity to ask further questions and I thank you for your patience in advance as we work through these proposals.”