abc_2001 The launch of ABC’s long-awaited 24-hour news channel, ABC News 24, is getting closer.

While no official announcement of a launch date has been made by ABC, earlier this week MediaSpy reported that an ABC insider had advised that the channel could be on the air as early as this Wednesday or next.  The channel’s launch, originally rumoured for early July, was said to have been postponed after concerns were raised over the broadcaster’s reporting of the recent political leadership challenge.

The coverage of the political upheaval highlighted some of the technical hitches in ABC’s transition to a new centralised playout facility, MediaHub, being set up as a joint venture between ABC and regional network WIN and which will co-ordinate the on-air presentation for the channels of both broadcasters, including ABC News 24.

Meanwhile, a preview of the new channel is now online on ABC’s YouTube channel and is now being rolled out across Australia on digital channel 24, the future home of ABC News 24.

ABC News 24 will feature a mix of live, continuous news reporting plus exclusive programming and time-shifted news and current affairs programming from ABC’s existing channels.

Some of the presenters to appear on ABC News 24 include ABC newsreaders Juanita Phillips and Jeremy Fernandez, 7.30 Report political editor Chris Uhlmann, ABC News Breakfast co-hosts Virginia Trioli and Joe O’Brien, former foreign correspondents Scott Bevan and Jane Hutcheon and Lateline Business host Ali Moore.  The channel will draw on the resources of 800 journalists based in over 60 locations throughout Australia and from a dozen international bureaux.

The channel will be based in a new purpose-built studio inside ABC’s Ultimo headquarters in Sydney.

Source: ABC News 24, Media Watch

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