19 Jul 2011 at 21:38
Word reaches me (not via hacked voicemails) that Newsnight political editor Michael Crick is on his way to Channel 4 News. Since Cathy Newman became a news anchor, there has been a vacancy in the political department there, although it is hard to see why a Newsnight political editor would take a cut in status. I am assuming Gary Gibbon isn’t going anywhere… [UPDATE: He isn’t]
This is the second high profile political loss for the BBC. Laura Kuenssberg is off to ITN to take over as Business Editor. And Matt Frei also joins Channel 4 News from the BBC in the Autumn.
For Michael Crick, this is a return to his spiritual home, as he worked for Channel Four News in the 1980s. Michael has just told me: “After 19 very happy years on Newsnight, it was clearly time to move on. I’m looking forward to wonderful new challenges and returning to my roots at ITN, and at Channel 4 News, of which I was a founder member.”
UPDATE 11.29: Here’s the Channel 4 News Press Release.Channel 4 News has announced that Newsnight’s Political Editor Michael Crick will join the programme. He will become Political Correspondent, taking the role vacated by Cathy Newman – who is set to become a regular presenter alongside Jon Snow and Krishnan Guru Murthy. The move represents something of a homecoming for Crick, who was a founding member of the Channel 4 News team when the programme launched in 1982. Then, he was Washington Correspondent. He joined the BBC in 1990, working first on Panorama, and then joining Newsnight in 1992. Crick has won two RTS awards – one for his coverage of the 1988 US election, and one for a special Panorama programme on the life of Jeffrey Archer. He has written several books – including biographies of Alex Ferguson, Jeffrey Archer and Michael Howard. Richard Nixon famously said that whilst visiting the Oxford Union in 1978, his toughest question came from Crick, then a student. Crick will work alongside Channel 4 News’ award-winning Political Editor Gary Gibbon. This year, Gibbon was named the RTS’ Specialist journalist of the Year. Of the appointment, Editor Jim Gray said: “It’s thrilling to have an established, experienced name like Michael join our team. He has a remarkable track record of finding things out that people don’t want unearthed. He is a formidable investigative journalist. With him in this role, and Gary continuing to lead our coverage as Political Editor, we have the perfect political team in place.” Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4 says: “Michael has a talent for asking the awkward question, for spotting duplicity or ambiguity and cutting through it – and we can’t wait for him to bring this to Channel 4 News.” Of the move, Michael Crick says: “Channel 4 News has a reputation for an indepth, analytical and cheeky approach to politics, and I look forward to delivering exactly that. Whilst I am sad to leave Newsnight after 19 happy years, I have always admired Gary Gibbon’s journalism and it’s fantastic to be returning to my ITN roots to join him and the rest of the Channel 4 News team.” Notes to Editors: • The announcement is the latest in a series of high profile appointments by Channel 4 News. • The BBC’s Washington Correspondent Matt Frei is set to join in September – still covering the Washington brief, but also taking on some presenting duties. • Newsnight’s Correspondent Jackie Long has joined as Social Affairs Editor. • And Morland Sanders, currently a correspondent for ITV’s Tonight and Radio 4 is set to join as North of England Correspondent. • The programme has also announced it is looking for its first ever weather presenter