ABC to launch 24hr news channel next week
The ABC will launch its new free-to-air digital television channel ABC News 24 on July 22.
The first program will be a simulcast with ABC1 from 7:30pm.
The ABC says the new channel will deliver continuous, live and commercial-free coverage of major breaking news stories in Australia and around the world.
It will take advantage of the ABC's existing news operation, including more than 800 journalists in 60 locations in Australia and a dozen international bureaux around the world.
The on-air team will be spearheaded by political editor Chris Uhlmann.
It will also draw on some of the ABC's highest-profile journalists, including Jim Middleton, Annabel Crabb, Insiders and Offsiders anchor Barrie Cassidy and AM host Tony Eastley.
In an email to all staff, ABC managing director Mr Scott said the launch of the 24-hour news channel is the culmination of many months of hard work by teams within the news, television, resources and technology divisions.
"We are keen to get on air and provide what I am sure will be outstanding coverage of the 2010 federal election campaign on News 24," he said.
"A 24/7 news channel is a significant challenge and doubtlessly we will face intense scrutiny from our competitors, but we are looking to make a strong start and to get better every day."
The ABC says broadcasting around the clock will enable it to increase its in-depth coverage of local, national and international affairs through background features and analysis, combined with the ABC's long-form current affairs reporting.
New programs are being developed specifically for the channel, focusing on world news, national politics and business. Many of the ABC's existing television news and current affairs programs will also be featured.
A continuous news centre with a new state-of-the-art studio will be at the centre of the new channel.
The studio has been built in the foyer of the ABC's Ultimo headquarters in Sydney.
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