GB News has started 2023 with new plans to cut costs, hire more big names and remove the channel from an advertising blacklist.

The Guardian reports that GB News chairman Alan McCormick is aiming to make the broadcaster more “disciplined”.

He said the first step would be scheduled training to help the channel avoid repeatedly breaching the rules outlined by media regulator Ofcom in the broadcasting code.

“This will ensure every producer and presenter has the most sophisticated knowledge at their fingertips”, McCormick said.

He added: “Initial workshops, on the law and Ofcom, are vital for all with no exceptions. Education is always a great investment.”

Ofcom launched 28 investigations into GB News output last year, finding 17 breaches of the code and it currently has two cases open relating to the presenter Mark Steyn’s show, which has repeatedly raised doubts over Covid vaccine safety.

Although the channel is introducing measures to avoid breaching the broadcasting code, it will not be avoiding controversy entirely.

GB News chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos said: “We do have voices that explore topics and areas of discussion that are challenging.

READ MORE: Former GB News host Mercy Muroki to advise Kemi Badenoch on gender

“We have a breadth of opinion and journalistic experiences across the business that are here to challenge and push boundaries.”

Last year, host Neil Oliver said that a campaign was underway to tear Britain “down in its entirety” while Emily Hill claimed she was “baffle” by Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity.

It is also understood the channel has poached Ben Briscoe, the series editor for TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored, who also worked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

Recent hires include Michael Portillo, the Daily Mail’s Andrew Pierce, and Camilla Tominey from the Telegraph as well as former ITV host Eamonn Holmes.

They join an on-air lineup which includes Nigel Farage.

The National: Nigel Farage joined the on-air lineup which includes Nigel FarageNigel Farage joined the on-air lineup which includes Nigel Farage

Frangopoulos said that the channel “is proud to be a disruptor”. 

“We started from scratch and have learned about the [UK broadcasting] landscape. This is a year of growth for GB News," he claimed.

The loss-making broadcaster is set to make cuts this year although not to staff headcount.

“The financial climate could not be tougher, so we must be tougher still”, McCormick told staff.

“In almost every area of the company we need to be fitter, sharper, leaner and more disciplined.”

Advertising is meant to be the main source of income from the channel which rebroadcasts audio from its TV programmes through its GB News Radio service.

However, the broadcaster has suffered from a boycott from brands who do not want to be associated with some of its output.

Richard Wilson, a co-founder of the Stop Funding Hate campaign which calls out advertisers for running ads in media like GB News, told The Guardian: “It is a brand safety disaster zone, I’m afraid.”

READ MORE: GB News host Alastair Stewart accidentally rubbishes his own indyref2 claim

However, Frangopoulos said the company is starting to make progress in this regard.

“We did have challenges at launch with advertisers but there has been a market shift.

"Towards the end of last year and into this one there has been a significant shift in the level of discussion we are having both at agency and at client level.

“That has been driven partly because we are now part of the broadcasting landscape in the UK. We have a sizeable audience that holds appeal to some advertisers and is worth a conversation.”

According to research conducted by The Guardian, the broadcaster attracted 170 advertisers or campaigns in the first half of last year, and more than 180 in the second half including brands such as Camelot, Burger King, Jet2, TalkTalk and Weetabix.

The channel had 2.87 million viewers in December although average daily viewing was only 41 seconds.

Last August seen a major shakeup among the broadcasters backers, with founding investor Discovery selling up and existing shareholders Sir Paul Marshall, the Brexiteer hedge fund tycoon, and Legatum, a Dubai-based investment company founded by billionaire Christopher Chandler, taking control.

READ MORE: Stephen Flynn: Constitutional debate is 'crisis of democracy'

Figures would suggest the value of GB News has fallen from £80 million at launch to £32 million.

Frangopoulos declined to comment on “shareholder or valuation matters” but suggested that GB news is not looking to cut back to become a much smaller operation.

He said: “GB News is competing with established, well-funded, big brand media and it is working.

“We are an employer of more than 200 journalists and that is a net positive for British journalism. All companies have a balancing act of investment to drive commercial growth and finding efficiencies.”