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New Executive Editor of Newsnight announced

BBC

New Executive Editor of Newsnight announced

The Beeb are changing the format of the programme…

Jonathan Aspinwall has been announced as the new Executive Editor of Newsnight. Jonathan will lead Newsnight as it evolves into a debate, discussion and interview-based programme.

Jonathan Aspinwall:

“I’m delighted to be joining the brilliant and talented Newsnight team ahead of the UK and US Elections. We’ll be building on Newsnight’s formidable reputation for the biggest interviews and sharp analysis. I can’t wait to get started.”

Jonathan currently runs BBC News Podcasts including Newscast and Newscast TV, Americast, Ukrainecast, The Global Story and the controversial The Shamima Begum Story series. He joined the BBC in 1997 and has held senior editorial roles across TV, radio and digital including as Deputy Editor of BBC Breakfast, Senior News Editor at World TV and Editor of 5 Live’s Late Night Output. He has also edited Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.

It was announced in October last year that as part of the changes Kirsty Wark had decided to step down as a lead presenter at Newsnight after the next election. She has presented the programme for over 30 years. Kirsty is the programme’s longest-serving presenter, having joined it in 1993. During her time with the weeknight current affairs series she has covered eight Prime Ministers and interviewed many prominent politicians and cultural figures, including the final interview with the playwright Harold Pinter.

The other most famous face of Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman who called time with the show in 2014, having first hosted it in 1989

Speaking last year Kirsty said of her pending departure, ‘[In 2022] I spoke to both to the Director General Tim Davie and to Stewart and signalled my desire to end my three decade run on the show after the next election, and that’s the plan. When the time comes it will be a massive wrench. However, I’ll be leaving Newsnight but not the BBC. I’ll still be presenting The Reunion and Start the Week on Radio 4, TV documentaries too as well as finishing, finally, my third novel. There are exciting times ahead.’

Kirsty reported and presented from Scotland after the 1996 Dunblane massacre. She conducted the only interview with Lord Macpherson following his inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and in America interviewed victims of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro. Alongside Newsnight itself, Kirsty presented the programme’s arts strand Newsnight Review for more than a decade.

John McAndrew, Director of News Programmes:

“Jonathan’s sharp news sense, creativity and experience of developing new formats make him the perfect person to oversee Newsnight as it enters a new phase. He will ensure that it remains the destination for intelligent debate, analysis and forensic interviews. I would also like to thank Rosie Seed and Becky Emmett who have led the Newsnight team throughout the interim period, maintaining the programme’s high editorial standards and leading the way on some of the biggest stories of the year.”

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