Technological innovations in the studio cannot keep viewers from turning to other channels.
The latest ratings for the HRT main evening news in the last three weeks, after the Croatian Radio Television (HRT) introduced a new studio and ambitious plans, keep getting worse. On 15 May, when the broadcast was moved to the “technologically most advanced studio in Europe”, the main evening news were watched by 10.48 percent of the general population, reports telegram.hr on June 6, 2016.
However, the very next week, the ratings declined to an average of 5.9 percent a day. A week later, ratings further declined to 5.7 percent, while in the last few days of May and the first few days of June the ratings were around 4.8 percent. In the meanwhile, several somewhat unfortunate gaffes occurred in the broadcast, like just this past weekend when the anchor avoided mentioning that HRT’s own poll had shown that HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko was the most unpopular politician in the country.
The technically impressive studio with a 20 square-metre video-monitor cost as much as 6.8 million kuna. A few days before the launch of the new evening news, Katarina Periša Čakarun, acting HRT news director, said they would introduce a number of visual and content changes.
In early February, HRT announced that their evening news were followed in January by nearly 425,000 people, or 10.5 percent of Croatian citizens on average. However, since February and the changes in editorial staff, the ratings have been in constant decline. HRT tried to stop this trend with visual innovations, but it seems that the efforts have not really succeeded.
The only HRT news programme which has relatively good results are the news at noon, which in last three weeks had an average rating of 8.8 percent. However, that show is broadcast in a time-slot when there is no news competition on any other national television.
At the same time, the ratings of RTL late evening news (RTL Direkt), which are broadcast more than three hours later, are growing daily. In the first week of May, RTL Direkt had an average rating of about seven percent, while in the last three weeks RTL Direkt has had the rating of 9.1 percent of the general population.