BNF

BBC News Fix

  • Robert Peston leaves BBC to join ITV

    Robert Peston, the BBC’s extravagant and charismatic economics editor, has decided to leave the corporation after nearly a decade to become ITV’s new political editor after Tom Bradby left the role to take on the position as the new presenter of the ITV News at Ten.

    Peston joined the BBC in 2006 taking on the role of business editor before taking on the role of economics editor in 2013.

    As well as becoming ITV’s new political editor, he will also host a new Sunday morning political show going head-to-head with Andrew Marr. His new salary is reported to be £350,000.

    In a statement Peston said: “I am very excited by ITV’s plans to create a distinctive and authoritative new voice in news and political coverage. Leaving the wonderful BBC has been the hardest career decision of my life, but it’s impossible to turn down an opportunity like this.”

    Peston’s public negotiations with ITV led to a campaign by many of his BBC colleagues including Eddie Mair and Huw Edwards. The DIrector-General of the BBC Tony Hall also expressed his wish for Peston to stay at the BBC.

    The BBC's head of news, James Harding, said: "Robert is an exceptional journalist and broadcaster who has broken some of the most important stories of the last decade. He has brought a singular insight to difficult and complex issues and he has a style - not to mention a hairstyle - all of his own.

    The decision by Robert to leave the BBC is in some ways disappointing but it is very understandable as he is wanting to a new challenge and what could be better than leaving ITV’s political coverage. Many people will be sad to see him leave because of his eccentric character and unusual broadcasting style. His delivery has been criticised and divided viewers but he has also been praised for his coverage of the financial crisis and economic recovery.

    The BBC will be on the look for a replacement for Peston. The former chief economics correspondent, Hugh Pym, will obviously be a name considered for the role and would be an excellent successor. The deputy political editor, James Landale, may also be considered especially after he was not given the role of political editor earlier this year. If the BBC is willing to appoint an external candidate then the economics editor of Sky News, Ed Conway, would be excellent in the position.

    Jack Axford

    Co-editor, BNF

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