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Rupert Murdoch’s TalkTV To Go Online-Only Weeks After Piers Morgan Quit Daily Linear Show

Rupert Murdoch’s TalkTV is going online-only two years after launching with fanfare and following the suit of its star presenter Piers Morgan.

“Two years ago, we would not have been brave enough to launch a channel without a linear presence, but audiences of all ages have moved fast and smartphones are now the primary device where news is consumed,” said a note to staff from TalkTV-owner News UK’s Broadcasting President Scott Taunton, reported by Guido Fawkes. “We need to adapt to this as a priority. We are therefore intending that Talk comes off linear television from early summer and our focus will be on streaming.”

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Linear TV has been “a good marketing and awareness window” for TalkTV but investment needs to be focused “where the eyeballs are,” added Taunton.

The news won’t come as a huge surprise to keen followers of the British media landscape following Morgan’s announcement last month that his linear show would become a YouTube series.

At the time, the former CNN anchor said the “vast majority” of the audience for his show Piers Morgan Uncensored was on its YouTube channel, with 2.3 million subscribers “and many millions of views for our big interviews and debates.” Morgan said he “just decided that I no longer want to create my show for linear television — I just want to go full digital globally.”

“Restructure”

A “restructure” will follow in the coming months, Taunton’s note said, with those affected set to be addressed by management in the coming days.

The TalkTV news studios will be retooled to focus on other News UK brands such as talkSPORT, The Sun and The Times. Richard Wallace will lead News Studios and Piers Morgan Uncensored, and TalkTV will be led by Dennie Morris.

TalkTV launched in April 2022 on the day Morgan landed an interview with Donald Trump. After a promising start, the channel fell away in the ratings, never managing to match GB News – which had launched several months earlier – or established rivals such as BBC News and Sky News.

Morgan’s show was consistently the most watched but still struggled, even with starry guests such as Cristiano Ronaldo. Other hosts include Sharon Osbourne – who entered ITV’s Celebrity Big Brother house last night – Julia Hartley-Brewer and Jeremy Kyle.

Deadline has contacted News UK for comment.

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