BBC Scotland is scrapping flagship news show, The Nine, and seeking approval from regulators to cut the number of hours of news programming it is legally required to broadcast. 

The corporation said the decision to ditch the programme, which has been a mainstay of the BBC Scotland Channel  since its launch in 2019, was part of a raft of changes being made “in preparation for a busy year of major news events, including the UK general election and the summer’s Euros.”

Instead, a replacement 30-minute news programme will be broadcast at 7pm, which the BBC says will “have coverage from across Scotland, the UK and the world.”

Angus Robertson, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture, said the decision was "extremely disappointing" and that he would be seeking an urgent meeting with Director-General, Tim Davie.

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Viewing figures for The Nine have been poor in recent months. According to reports, there was one day in January when only 1,700 viewers watched.

More than 750,000 people tuned in for the programme's launch five years ago.

Other shows on the channel to be axed, include The Edit, and weekly news review, Seven Days. The BBC say there will be “no staff job losses associated with the plans.”

Instead, they will introduce a new topical current affairs series to be released as a podcast four times a week, while Debate Night, the Scottish channel’s version of Question Time, will go from 24 episodes a year to 30.

The broadcaster also plans to “regularly” extend Reporting Scotland on BBC One for a number of hour-long special editions across, and shake up online reporting, with more live blogs and explanatory articles.

Gary Smith, Head of News and Current affairs at BBC Scotland said: “It’s going to be a busy year for news with a UK election, an American election, and Scotland’s trip to Germany for the Euros.

“We need to make sure we keep changing our output as audience habits change, so that we provide the best possible service for our audiences in the formats and on the platforms they want.

“I’m very proud that The Nine has produced such great journalism and developed such great talent over the past five years, and I’m confident that our new offer to audiences will continue to meet those high standards.”

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Taking to X, the site formerly known as Twitter, Mr Robertson said: "Extremely disappointing BBC decision to downgrade news output in Scotland.

"Decision runs counter to growing success of screen and TV sector in Scotland. I am seeking earliest possible meetings with BBC Director General Tim Davie and @Ofcom to discuss.

"BBC Scotland are currently obliged by Ofcom to deliver 250 yearly hours of news content.

"The planned BBC cuts would reduce this to 150 hours, and are subject to consultation by and approval of the BBC's regulator Ofcom."