State broadcaster adds new spin to news

Updated: 2011-09-23 08:36

(China Daily)

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CCTV revamps Xinwen Lianbo with peppy anchors, music and content

One of the most watched television news programs in China, and probably the world, will soon see a major facelift with young blood bringing more zing and verve to what was once a somber and serious program.

The winds of reform that has been blowing across the industrial landscape in China are now heading towards the popular 7 o'clock evening news. State-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) has recently unveiled a plan to reform Xinwen Lianbo, which presents the 7pm news.

The broadcaster will not only rejig the content mix and style of the program but also bring in young and attractive anchors along with peppy and snappy prelude music. CCTV expects the moves to help gain more eyeballs, and considerable international influence.

Xinwen Lianbo, which started in 1978, hosts the daily news at 7 pm and is the most watched program, with 18 out of every 100 Chinese as viewers, according to the TV market research company CSM. The program also has a household penetration of nearly 98 percent in China.

Over the years, the program has also been termed as a major influencer and the main channel for dissemination of government messages. The program is often hosted by older and serious anchors.

CCTV has already roped in two younger faces, Lang Yongchun, 40, and Ouyang Xiadan, 34, to join the anchoring team.

Lang and Ouyang are considered to be more candid in their news presentation styles and bring a more personal touch to the program. Many viewers say they connect better with anchors like Ouyang, who wore a jeans jacket for a recent show, rather than serious looking hosts in formal suits.

Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post reported the news program will also focus on developing content that is more relevant to ordinary people.

The prelude music for the program, which has been in use for 23 years, will also be replaced with a modern melody, while 3D technology will be another possibility.

For the State broadcaster, which aims to become one of the top 20 TV media organizations in the world before 2015 in terms of influence and comprehensive strength, producing programs tailored to viewers' taste has been seen as a key.

In 2009, CCTV grouped its news reporters into a news center to better consolidate the resources and reinforce news coverage. Last year, it made the channels become separate business units so that they could be market-oriented. It has also established more than 50 overseas bureaus, which will grow to 80 by the end of next year.

China Daily

(China Daily 09/23/2011 page3)


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