BBC News’ veteran heavyweights Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel are leaving the corporation to launch a podcast for Global.
The pair, who have around 60 years of BBC experience between them and have combined recently on BBC Sounds podcast Americast, said little about the new audio venture but Sopel described it as an “innovative project” and it will be exec produced by the BBC’s Dino Sofos.
Both made the announcement on Twitter in the past hour.
Maitlis said it will be a “wrench to leave the BBC after 20 phenomenal years”. She has most recently been hosting Newsnight, for which she gained global acclaim for her notorious interview with Prince Andrew in the wake of the Virginia Giuffre accusations. She has also presented elections coverage for the BBC and reported for various shows.
Sopel joined the BBC in 1983 and has held senior roles including North America Editor, during which time he covered the majority of the Donald Trump presidency before taking a break at the end of 2019.
He tweeted: “Some work news: Emily Maitlis and I are going to launch a brand, spanking new podcast with Global. We’re excited to be working with them on this innovative project. Opportunities like this just don’t come along very often. But am sad to leave the BBC which has been home for so long.”
BBC News Interim Director Jonathan Munro said: “We’d like to thank both Emily and Jon for their many years of sterling service to the BBC and wish them the very best in their new endeavours at Global.”
The departures are a big blow for BBC News, which has also lost Sunday morning host Andrew Marr recently and is soon to see Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg step down as new CEO Deborah Turness prepares to take over.
The News team has come in for criticism over the past months for interviews with Novak Djokovic and U.S. lawyer Alan Dershowitz, while a redundancy program that has seen around 450 people leave the division recently concluded.
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