The Scottish Six is dead - long live the Scottish Nine

Sarah Smith
Scotland editor

  • Published
Pacific QuayImage source, Getty Images

The BBC is very experienced at broadcasting news to as many people as possible.

Traditionally it's always been much less good at keeping secrets.

Journalists have a natural inclination toward gossip.

So, it was highly unusual that BBC bosses had managed to keep the launch of a whole new BBC Scotland channel entirely secret until it was announced to staff on Wednesday morning.

What now for a Scottish Six?

Staff, viewers and politicians were expecting to be told that plans for a "Scottish Six" had been shelved.

No one knew that there would be an hour-long news programme with Scottish, UK and world news at 9pm instead.

Already there has been a widespread welcome for the idea of a new channel, new programmes and most importantly new money to make those programmes.

The announcement of new nightly news programme at 9pm does mean that the idea of a "Scottish Six" is now dead.

So people who had been campaigning for that will be frustrated.

Already the First Minster Nicola Sturgeon has said there is lots to welcome in this announcement but that it doesn't deliver everything she wanted.

Saying it's disappointing that there is no Scottish Six - but "progress and hopefully sign of new thinking".

Another SNP politician told me that the decision not to put a Scottish news hour on BBC One looks "entirely political".

Saying that viewers accustomed to getting their news at tea time may not immediately develop the habit of watching a digital channel at 9pm.

But for those who wanted a news programme reflecting the world from a Scottish perspective, produced and presented from Scotland - the BBC is now delivering what they asked for.

The Scottish Six is dead. Long live the Scottish Nine.

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