Andrew Neil exits GB News raising uncertainty over channel’s future...

Andrew Neil exits GB News raising uncertainty over channel’s future...

Postby dutchman » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:15 am

Reports of friction between veteran broadcaster, the station’s chief executive and faction pushing for populist approach


The veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil has stepped down as chair and presenter of GB News just three months after the channel first aired, the clearest sign yet of friction at the right-leaning UK television station.

GB News confirmed Neil’s departure on Monday after people close to the channel said the 72-year-old journalist’s relations with the station’s chief executive, Angelos Frangopoulos, had broken down.

The departure of Neil has raised questions about the future of the station and its other presenters. The media heavyweight’s leading role had helped persuade other noted TV personalities to take part in the project, including former BBC journalist Simon McCoy and Kirsty Gallacher, previously of Sky Sports News.

His exit has signalled strain between those at the channel, led by Neil, who believed it should be a right-of-centre but mainstream alternative to the BBC and Sky, and another faction eager for a more populist approach.

GB News has made a series of changes to its schedule, including bringing in Nigel Farage, former UK Independence party leader, as a top presenter. Broadcasters who have voiced scepticism about coronavirus lockdown have been brought on board, such as political commentator Patrick Christys and comedian Mark Dolan.

Since launching, the channel has been plagued by technical glitches and other production problems which have caused further friction.

In a statement, Neil said: “I am sorry to go but I have concluded it’s time to reduce my commitments on a number of fronts. Over the summer I’ve had time to reflect on my extensive portfolio of interests and decided it was time to cut back.”

He added: “I wish GB News well in continuing to fulfil its founding promise and mission to reach audiences currently underserved by existing news broadcasters.”

Neil left the BBC last year to chair GB News, whose investors include the US media group Discovery. He also presented a primetime politics and news programme.

But the launch of the station in June was beset with problems, and two weeks later Neil took a break from his slot and has not appeared on the channel since.

GB News said: “Andrew is without doubt one of the finest journalists and interviewers in this country. GB News thanks him for his 12 months of leadership, wisdom and advice and we wish him well.”

The station added that Neil would contribute to GB News as a “regular guest commentator”.

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Re: Andrew Neil exits GB News raising uncertainty over channel’s future...

Postby rebbonk » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:06 pm

Farage is going to be the frontman from here on in. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but I do like the refreshing approach of GB news.
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