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CVM 8 pm news on time

Friday, August 12, 2011


Dear Editor,

I wish to respond to an opinion piece by Clare Forrester in your edition of August 3, "Why the big difference in opinion polls?" While most of the article focused on a punctilious review of the discussion with pollster Don Anderson on CVM's current affairs programme DIRECT, the columnist digressed and made an erroneous point which I am constrained to use this medium to correct, lest it propagate a distortion among your readers.

Clare Forrester argued that the CVM flagship news package NEWSWATCH "all too frequently starts as much as four to five minutes late." I am sure that your readers would have been left flabbergasted by this statement, since the station has succeeded in ensuring that the marquee newscast in the local television market begins on time at 8, consistent with the notion of the programme being "appointment TV". I am pleased to write without the risk of successful contradiction that the newscast has invariably met the 8 pm "appointment" except on very rare occasions. I notice that the columnist did not give a timeframe within which she noticed this frequent late start of the newscast, but it is inconceivable that reference was being made to recent years, especially since the start of Live @7 which leads into the NEWSWATCH hour. Viewers would have noticed that Live @ 7, the fastest growing programme of its type on local television, ends on average two minutes before 8 pm , clearing the way for the news to begin on time. This is not by chance, but reflects strategic measures by the station to ensure viewers are not forced to wait four or five minutes before the start of the newscast which has maintained its reputation over the past 17 years for being fearless, formidable and factual. It represents how seriously we take our viewers as we commit to continual improvements.

Clare Forrester argued that the CVM flagship news package NEWSWATCH "all too frequently starts as much as four to five minutes late." I am sure that your readers would have been left flabbergasted by this statement, since the station has succeeded in ensuring that the marquee newscast in the local television market begins on time at 8, consistent with the notion of the programme being "appointment TV". I am pleased to write without the risk of successful contradiction that the newscast has invariably met the 8 pm "appointment" except on very rare occasions. I notice that the columnist did not give a timeframe within which she noticed this frequent late start of the newscast, but it is inconceivable that reference was being made to recent years, especially since the start of Live @7 which leads into the NEWSWATCH hour. Viewers would have noticed that Live @ 7, the fastest growing programme of its type on local television, ends on average two minutes before 8 pm , clearing the way for the news to begin on time. This is not by chance, but reflects strategic measures by the station to ensure viewers are not forced to wait four or five minutes before the start of the newscast which has maintained its reputation over the past 17 years for being fearless, formidable and factual. It represents how seriously we take our viewers as we commit to continual improvements.

This apart, CVM thanks the columnist for her article and appreciates the rigorous public discussion which has been engendered by the unveiling of the most recent Don Anderson polls commissioned by the station between May 9-23.

Garfield Burford

GBurford@cvmtv.com



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