Fans of Radio 4's Down the Line will know of the recurring character Khalid. He invariably rings up to ask 'What is point?' of something or other. Well, in the spirit of Khalid, what is point wasting time analysing Newsnight?
After all, according to the Daily Mail, Newsnight attracts a paltry 600,000 viewers a night on average. The Guardian suggests the figure fluctuates somewhere between 600,000 and below 800,000, averaging somewhere in the middle of those two figures.
Either way, those are truly dreadful viewing figures, and Newsnight ultimate demise seems now to be only be a matter of time. [Ian Katz (their ex-Guardian editor) is probably booking Jeremy Paxman a flight to Switzerland (and the arms of Dignitas) as we speak.]
Compare Newsnight's audience ratings to those of Radio 4's Today, which seems to average around 7 million listeners a day - i.e. roughly ten times more people than Newsnight.
|Kirsty Wark and the 'Newsnight' production team|
Yes, listeners appear to be all agog to hear Evan, Mishal, Jim, John, Justin and Sarah do their thing each day and, yes, Jim and Mishal seem to be much more influential (potentially-speaking) than Jeremy and Kirsty could ever dream of being these days.
This is something (it seems) I keep having to learn, over and over again. (Pavlov's Dog seems to have fared better).
For years I thought monitoring The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One was the thing to do....until, to my great surprise, I learned that The Andrew Marr Show gets a significantly lower audience figure than Radio 4's Broadcasting House, which (as you probably know) is broadcast at the same time. Yes, Paddy is more influential, potentially, than Andy. (Crikes!!)
Radio 4 is what Middle England listens to - and Middle England votes in droves. As a speech channel, it outstrips 5 Live by some margin.
So, I think I'll give up monitoring boring, snoring Newsnight and stick with Radio 4 - or popular BBC TV programmes.
Please imagine me doing a Zombie dance (Kirsty Wark-style) with the Cookie Monster as the credits roll on this post.
...that said I will review this week's programmes as a final 'good bye' to Newsnight.