Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel have announced they are leaving the BBC to join media group Global.
They will front a new podcast for Global Player, host a radio show together on LBC, and provide commentary and analysis for the station’s website.
Maitlis joined the BBC in 2001 and has presented Newsnight since 2006, winning a Royal Television Society award for her interview with the Duke of York in 2019, while Sopel joined the broadcaster in 1983 and was formerly its North America editor.
Nevertheless, it will be a wrench to leave the BBC after 20 phenomenal years. I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had there. More than anything I’m grateful to have worked with the most incredible people – many of whom are dear friends. I owe my BBC colleagues everything.
— emily m (@maitlis) February 22, 2022
The pair previously hosted the BBC’s popular Americast podcast together.
The announcement comes after veteran political interviewer Andrew Marr left the BBC for a show on LBC and to focus on writing for newspapers.
Maitlis said: “We are just so delighted to be launching this brand new podcast – which will build on everything we’ve achieved with Americast over the last few years – and it will find new audiences and a new home with Global.
“I couldn’t be more excited.”
On Twitter, she said it was “a wrench to leave the BBC after 20 phenomenal years”.
She added: “I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had there. More than anything I’m grateful to have worked with the most incredible people – many of whom are dear friends.
“I owe my BBC colleagues everything.”
Sopel said: “I’m delighted to be joining Global with my great friend and colleague, Emily Maitlis.
“We’ve been blown away by the reception for Americast, and are so excited that Global has given us the opportunity to build on this success by creating this innovative news podcast.
“This is an unmissable opportunity.”
Some work news: @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. pic.twitter.com/P1y9UZYUyp
— Jon Sopel (@jonsopel) February 22, 2022
Sopel added on Twitter that he was “sad to leave the BBC which has been home for so long”.
The deal will also see Dino Sofos, founder of audio production company Persephonica, join Global as their new podcast’s executive producer.
Sofos is the former head of BBC News Podcasts and created the Brexitcast, Newscast and Americast formats.
Founder and executive president of Global Ashley Tabor-King said: “Emily and Jon are world-class broadcasters and journalists, and it’s an incredibly exciting time to be welcoming them to the Global family.
“LBC has seen record-breaking growth, there’s tremendous appetite for visualised shows on Global Player, and original journalism by our teams on lbc.co.uk is in millions of news feeds every month.”
We’re very sorry to see the departure of @maitlis from Newsnight – she’s been a formidable lead presenter, and on a personal level a great friend. Look forward to seeing what she can achieve in her next gig.
— Stewart Maclean (@stewartmaclean) February 22, 2022
Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman was among those congratulating the pair on the move, writing on Twitter: “Big loss for the Beeb and a coup for Global.”
Stewart Maclean, acting editor of Newsnight, said: “We’re very sorry to see the departure of @maitlis from Newsnight – she’s been a formidable lead presenter, and on a personal level a great friend. Look forward to seeing what she can achieve in her next gig.”
During her time on the flagship news and current affairs programme, Maitlis was involved in a number of rows over impartiality.
In June, she was reprimanded by the broadcaster after she shared a Twitter post by Piers Morgan about the pandemic which it described as “clearly controversial”.
The post said: “If failing to quarantine properly is punishable by 10yrs in prison, what is the punishment for failing to properly protect the country from a pandemic?”
In the same year, the BBC ruled that a monologue by Maitlis on Newsnight about the row over Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham breached impartiality rules.
Jonathan Munro, interim director of BBC News, praised the pair for their work at the broadcaster.
He said in a statement: “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.”