REVIEW: UTV's new 'Ireland Live' is slick but pre-packaged
UTV Ireland faced its first major live broadcasting test last night as its two news programmes went on air for the first time.
With a schedule mostly consisting of ITV's British output, the station will be relying on the current affairs shows to give the station a strong local flavour.
Based on the first programmes at 6.30pm and 10pm, the tone on 'Ireland Live' is much closer to RTE's 'Six One' than the punchier feel of TV3's news.
It is hard to imagine TV3, or even RTE, devoting 10 minutes at the start of an evening bulletin to the hardly earth-shattering news that the country may be on the road to recovery and tax revenues are up.
On the plus side, Alison Comyn's presentation was slick throughout and although there were some delays when reporters were speaking live to camera, there were no major technical hitches. Comyn was joined by Chris Donoghue later.
There was a slightly pre-packaged feel to the first bulletin, but that is understandable with the station keen to ensure there was a smooth start.
It will be interesting to see how the station reacts to breaking news with less time on its side.
But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of 'Ireland Live' is Donoghue's dizzying schedule.
After co-anchoring the one-hour news programme finishing at 11pm last night, he was due back at Newstalk for the breakfast show at 7am this morning.