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Talk TV to go off-air in UK, will transition to online-only channel

The move was announced weeks after its flagship prime-time host Piers Morgan departed for YouTube.

The move was announced weeks after its flagship prime-time host Piers Morgan departed for YouTube.

Former Talk TV host Piers Morgan on one of his final broadcasts for the news channel. (Still frame via broadcast)
Former Talk TV host Piers Morgan on one of his final broadcasts for the news channel. (Still frame via broadcast)

NewsCorp will stop broadcasting its Talk TV television channel in the United Kingdom and transition the network to an online-only operation, the company affirmed on Tuesday.

The move was announced about a month after the network’s biggest prime-time host Piers Morgan quit Talk TV in favor of producing his own YouTube videos.

Scott Taunton, the president of Talk TV, said the move was necessitated by shifting consumer trends in the United Kingdom, which have seen more TV viewers move away from broadcast and cable channels in favor of streaming services.

“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,” Taunton said in a memo circulated to employees. “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.”

When the change happens, Talk TV will be distributed exclusively through streaming platforms like Samsung TV Plus, YouTube, Amazon Fire TV and LG Channels, among others. The channel will continue to share program clips through its social media platforms like Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and YouTube.

“A large proportion of our live viewing is already through streaming on televisions, and we intend to continue to grow this,” Taunton said.

While the television operate will transition to streaming, Talk TV intends to continue offering its audio simulcast through broadcast and digital radio, Taunton affirmed.

It wasn’t clear if Talk TV will implement layoffs as part of the move, nor was it known if Talk TV would continue supplying programming to Local TV, which rebranded eight of its local operations under the Talk TV brand last October.

Talk TV competed in the television news space against flagship news operations like BBC News, Sky News and ITV News along with upstart channels like GB News.

The channel shares common ownership with Sky News Australia and Fox Corporation, the latter of which distributed “Piers Morgan Uncensored” and a few other Talk TV programs via the Fox Nation streaming service in the United States.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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