Revealed: Details of TV3 shake-up including the fate of Xpose, Midday and Ireland AM
The New Year will ring in a raft of major changes for TV3 as it revamps some of its flagship programmes.
The station has relaunched itself as a three-station group after UTV Ireland was acquired earlier this year in a €10m deal by owners Virgin Media.
It will now mix up the schedule of its best-known shows including Xpose with its smaller, sister station of 3e while UTV Ireland is re-branded as the ‘female-orientated’ station 3be.
One of the biggest changes in store is that its showbiz programme Xpose will be shown for three nights on the main station of TV3 and feature two nights on 3e.
Award-winning breakfast show Ireland AM, fronted by Sinead Desmond and Mark Cagney, will be extended by an additional half hour, given its popularity with audiences.
And one of its biggest stars, Elaine Crowley, is set to get her own chat-show which will go out in the afternoon.
She has fronted popular panel show ‘Midday’ for the past six years and is now feature more prominently in the re-vamped TV3 schedule, staying on the parent channel.
It will incorporate elements of her existing show with some fresh content.
Meanwhile, negotiations with UTV Ireland staff are still ongoing with TV3 Director of Programme Bill Malone saying that all of its shows are “under review.”
“We’re looking at some of the content so some of it will naturally work with us. We’ve a ten-year output deal with ITV. This is a massive output deal for huge programmes and some of it will automatically come under that. Anything else is under review now,” he said.
Asked about where the group sees itself in the new year, RTE’s former channel controller said that “content is king” are they’re working on mixing premium Irish content with programmes acquired under its ten-year deal with ITV.
“We’re going to be using the best of international content, the high-rating content to leverage our Irish content. So it’s going to be premium Irish content like Celebrity Masterchef airing side-by-side with shows like Coronation Street and Broadchurch,” he said.
UTV Ireland will cease broadcasting on January 8 and new station be3 will begin transmitting, featuring children’s programmes, the soaps and drama.