GB News has hired the editor of the Sunday Express to bolster its “editorial leadership” following the acrimonious departure of Andrew Neil.
Michael Booker will become editorial director of the fledgling news network in an attempt to draw a line under last month’s resignation of its chairman and lead presenter.
GB News has been hit by a string of high-profile resignations since launching four months ago.
John McAndrew, the director of programming, and Gill Penlington, a senior executive producer, have both quit the channel.
Mr Booker will oversee the editorial output of GB News’ 120 journalists across TV, radio and online.
He said: “GB News is without doubt one of the most exciting opportunities in British journalism for years. The chance to be part of it is just too good to miss.”
A former deputy editor of the Daily Express, Mr Booker has spent the past three years editing its Sunday sister title. He has already appeared as a newspaper reviewer on the channel.
The GB News chief executive, Angelos Frangopoulos, said Mr Booker had a “sharp instinct for the real stories impacting people across the United Kingdom, and a deep understanding of how to include their voices in the national conversation”.
The Australian is trying to steady the ship after being hit with a rocky start punctuated by technical woes, an advertising boycott and dwindling audience figures.
It has been rocked by the noisy exit of Mr Neil, the former Sunday Times editor who quit the channel last month over claims the technical problems and start-up culture was “affecting his mental health”.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Frangopoulos dismissed claims that Mr Neil had been frozen out of decision-making as “absolute rubbish”.
Meanwhile, GB News is poised to recruit 60 staff to support its digital push to reach even more viewers on social media platforms.
A new team has been hired to produce more than 180 news bulletins a week after viewers called for headline updates between the channel’s welter of opinionated programming.
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