China Central Television (CCTV) has announced that they are making a push to put 3.5 hours of news programming on America’s prime-time airwaves every day. The state broadcaster’s American division, CCTV-America, will be offering a new batch of programming starting in April. The center-piece of the effort is a re-vamped half-hour news program called “The Heat” -their tagline is “Generating heat and light in Washington” -which will debut Monday, April 7 at 9:15 PM.
“The Heat” was originally a weekly show, hosted by former CNN International and Al-Jazeera anchor Anand Naidoo, which aired Saturdays at 8:30 PM and featured in-depth interviews with news-makers. The plan is apparently to keep the same format but move from a weekly to a daily production schedule. The first episode of the new “The Heat” will focus on Afghanistan, with Former US Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker and Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Khalmay Khalizad as guests.
CCTV has been ramping up it’s presence in the US media market ever since 2010, when they re-branded their English-language general interest channel, CCTV-9, as a 24 hour cable news channel called CCTV-News. CCTV-America was created as a division within CCTV-News in 2012 to provide more in-depth coverage of North and South America, and is based in Washington, DC.
CCTV-America also produces “Biz Asia America,” a nightly business analysis show, and the weekend news magazine “Americas Now,” which is focused on Latin America.