BBC board faces mounting political pressure over plans to move news to new 10 o'clock slot
BROADCAST EXCLUSIVE - BBC governors are facing a showdown with the government and opposition politicians, that could threaten their continued existence, over the corporation's plans to switch its evening news to 22.00, write John Lewis and Lucy Rouse.

The BBC has insisted it will move its news to 22.00, despite an 11th-hour agreement between the Independent Television Commission and ITV over the scheduling of its Nightly News.

At least some of the governors plan to urge the corporation to stand by the proposed move, despite disapproval by media secretary Chris Smith and opposition spokesmen Peter Ainsworth and Norman Baker.

Speaking at a Labour party conference fringe meeting this week, media secretary Smith again appealed for the BBC to rethink its position. 'In any decision the BBC takes, I hope it will consider very carefully what the overall impact on news is likely to be... That should be the criterion. It should not be "are we seeking to win a ratings war at 21.30?",' he said.

Shadow media secretary Peter Ainsworth is also known to be against the BBC's plans, while Liberal Democrat media spokesman Norman Baker told Broadcast: 'It's completely unacceptable and shows the board of governors is insipid. It should be replaced by a more cohesive system.'

l Granada Media chief executive Steve Morrison used a keynote speech at the Prix Italia last Friday (22 September), calling for 'radical' collaboration between the BBC and ITV to create new joint-venture news and children's digital channels.