Newsnight editor Ian Katz is leaving the BBC to become director of programmes at Channel 4.
Sent an email to the Newsnight team, Katz said he was “excited” to take on the new role, but “very sad” to leave the current affairs show.
Katz has been at the forefront of the BBC Two’s late-night news program since 2013 and has overseen major changes there.
The 50-year-old already had a career in journalism and was deputy editor of The Guardian.
In the email, Katz said: “The last four years have been some of the toughest of my professional career, but also, without doubt, the most rewarding.”
He added that the Newsnight team were “the most remarkable group of journalists and people – ridiculously talented, relentlessly contrary, extraordinarily warm, and at times very funny”.
Katz said he still enjoyed watching the show “religiously” and admire from afar.Fantastic instincts’
Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon said: “Ian is an inspirational leader who assiduously built and nurtured the talent and teams trained.
“He has a fantastic instinct and intelligence, the large publisher of strength and is a result of creative and innovative digital, that lives and breathes the Channel 4 values”.
The BBC director of news James Harding, congratulated Katz, saying that his departure would be a “great loss” to the corporation.
In a statement, Harding, ” said Katz time in Newsnight “has restored its reputation for courageous journalism, powerful, film, and rigorous intelligence process in the tv”.’Robust exchange’
Katz oversaw a series of changes to the Newsnight in the air from the line, including the departure of Jeremy Paxman, after 25 years in the program.
In an interview with the Evening Standard in 2014, Katz admitted that he had not seen eye-to-eye with the presenter and said that the couple had suffered a “robust exchange” during their time together.
Katz is credited with bringing a lot of key talent for the BBC, including the recruitment of Laura Kuenssberg of ITV.
And brought new presenters including Evan Davis and LBC’s James O’brien.
Katz will begin his new role in January, taking over for Ralph Lee. His successor at Newsnight has yet to be announced.
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