GB News reveals new investment and creation of 140 jobs

PA

Bosses of news channel GB News have confirmed two new backers for its 24-hour TV and online service set to launch in the UK later this year, including the creation of 140 jobs.

In the latest funding round, Dubai-based investment group Legatum and one of the UK's most prominent hedge fund managers, Sir Paul Marshall, have added their names alongside US broadcasting giant Discovery Inc.

The move means bosses at the news service will start recruiting 120 journalists and 20 support roles for the project chaired by former BBC presenter Andrew Neil.

Legatum is known for its funding of think tank the Legatum Institute, which launched in 2007. It also produces the closely followed annual Prosperity Index, alongside investment and research divisions.

Sir Paul is the co-founder of hedge fund Marshall Wace and was a donor to the Vote Leave campaign. His stake in GB News will be in a personal capacity, the company added.

The businessman is also co-founder and chairman of ARK Schools, a multi-academy trust of 38 schools, and funded political website UnHerd.

Mr Neil, who will also host a prime-time programme on GB News, said he was hugely encouraged by the confidence investors had shown in the business.

He added: "We're thrilled to have such a broad range of high-calibre investors who share our belief that many British people are crying out for a news service that is more diverse and more representative of their values and concerns.

"GB News is a massive undertaking in a fiercely competitive market but we're confident there's an appetite for a fresh approach to news in Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland."

Chief executive officer Angelos Frangopoulos said GB News was an opportunity to add plurality to the UK media sector that is not so London-centric.

He said: "This is a significant investment in British journalism at a time when it's needed most."

Discovery Inc, the US-based network which has a documentary partnership with the BBC in the UK, was the first major investor with reports of it investing around £20 million.

The full amount raised was not revealed but is understood to be in the region of £60 million.

The channel says it expects to reach 96% of British television households via Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, YouView and Freesat. It will also have streaming, video-on-demand and audio services.

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