Nearly a year after the controversial merger of its international and UK news channels, which saw popular presenters sidelined, the BBC is bringing back three as new chief presenters.
- New appointments follow the departure of Yalda Hakim, plus other changes within BBC News.
- Annita McVeigh, Ben Brown and Geeta Guru-Murthy return to the channel
- But Martine Croxall, Karin Giannone and Kasia Madera remain off air.
Last April’s merger of the UK BBC News channel with BBC World News saw the global channel’s line-up of daytime presenters retained at the expense of UK presenters.
The BBC has now confirmed that Annita McVeigh, Ben Brown and Geeta Guru-Murthy will return to the combined channel soon. Since the merger, Ben Brown has been presenting the BBC News at 1. He’ll continue to combine his role on the 1 o’clock news bulletin with News channel shifts.
Since merging the two services, the BBC has made a number of tweaks and reversed some changes, without admitting failure. Most notably, Nicky Campbell’s morning radio simulcast was quietly reduced to one hour and then dropped altogether. The programme disappeared in October, giving way to rolling news coverage of the developing situation in Gaza and Israel, but was never reinstated.
The balance between UK and international news stories has also been tweaked during certain times of the day and the 10:30am news slot is UK only.
Three of the original news channel presenters remain without a current job title and remain on BBC payroll. They are Martine Croxall, Karin Giannone and Kasia Madera. The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) continues to support their case.
Annita McVeigh, Ben Brown and Geeta Guru-Murthy join Christian Fraser, Matthew Amroliwala, Lucy Hockings and Maryam Moshiri in London. Overnights are presented from Washington DC and Singapore.