BBC Newsnight editor becomes the latest talent to walk as brain drain continues: Lewis Goodall announces he is ditching the broadcaster to join Emily Maitlis at Jon Sopel at Global radio
- Lewis Goodall set to join Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel as co-host on LBC podcast
- Mr Sopel and Ms Maitlis have a news podcast, made by star producer Dino Sofos
- The broadcasters’ move to Global is latest drain from the BBC to LBC’s owner
- Andrew Marr moved over late last year, and he will host a new show in 2022
The BBC brain drain continued today as Lewis Goodall announced he is ditching the broadcaster to join Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel as a co-host on their LBC news podcast.
The Newsnight editor will leave his role at Broadcasting House and join Leicester Square-based Global, which is also home to Nick Ferrari, Eddie Mair, Shelagh Fogarty and James O’Brien.
He will become Global’s new analysis and investigations editor, while being a co-host on Ms Maitlis and Mr Sopel’s daily news podcast.
Mr Goodall – whose salary is not published by the BBC, suggesting it is under £150,000 – is the latest top news star to jump ship at the corporation, which is facing a £1.4billion hole in its finances after the licence fee was frozen until 2024.
Mr Goodall said he will be leaving the current affairs show for his new role in September.
The 32-year-old, who joined Newsnight as policy editor in January 2020, said it has been a ‘privilege’ to work on the programme but it is ‘so important to keep yourself challenged’.
His exit follows Dan Walker, who earlier this year left BBC Breakfast to join Channel 5’s nightly news gig for a reported £1.5million. Other top names who have left in recent months include Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel.
Lewis Goodall announced he is ditching the broadcaster to join Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel as a co-host on their LBC news podcast
Emily Maitlis, former BBC Newsnight journalist, said she is ‘utterly delighted’ that Goodall was moving over to Global
Mr Goodall will become Global’s new analysis and investigations editor, while being a co-host on Emily Maitlis (right) and Jon Sopel’s (left) daily news podcast
In a tweet this morning, he wrote: ‘My brief will be to supercharge the organisation’s video output. ‘What does that look like? Much more to come but we have big plans. I’ll be reporting on and breaking stories in the UK and beyond.
‘Global has reinvented radio – its ambitions for podcasting and quality video journalism (and how all three work together) are just as big.
‘This of course sadly means I’ll be leaving wonderful Newsnight. This programme is in my bloodstream. I’m so passionate about it. It is utterly indispensable. I love the team.
‘It’s been a privilege to work there under two great editors and it runs through me like a stick of rock. I was a young producer there. I came back as policy editor and I couldn’t have been happier.
‘To the sad, politics-obsessed Brummie teenager inside me who used to watch the show in his bedroom as a kid night after night, to hear ‘”and here’s our policy editor, Lewis Goodall”… is thrilling to me – every single time.
‘But it’s so important to keep yourself challenged and that’s what I’m doing here. The chance to create entirely new things was tantalising – especially with such a fantastic team.’
Ms Maitlis and Mr Sopel announced in February that they would be leaving the BBC for their new venture at Global.
One LBC insider previously told MailOnline that Ms Maitlis will now be on ‘at least’ £400,000-a-year, with Mr Sopel likely to be through the £300,000-a-year barrier, but it ‘could be more’ because of the number of projects they will work on together.
Ms Maitlis and Mr Sopel announced in February that they would be leaving the BBC for their new venture at Global
After six years at the helm of BBC Breakfast, Dan Walker, 45, (left) presents Channel 5’s evening bulleting at 5pm on Monday, June 6 alongside Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije (right)
Ms 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.
However, BBC insiders said they believed Ms Maitlis, 51, quit in part because she was ‘frustrated’ at being repeatedly ‘ticked-off’ by bosses over impartiality issues, following tweets and on-air comments about the pandemic, the Tory Government and Boris Johnson’s former chief aide Dominic Cummings.
Tom Cheal, managing editor of LBC, said: ‘I’m delighted that Lewis will be joining Emily and Jon for our new Global podcast. ‘Lewis combines expansive knowledge of the inner workings of Westminster with brilliant storytelling, and impactful, agenda-setting reporting which will be a core focus as we continue to enhance our video output.’
The deal will also see Dino Sofos, founder of audio production company Persephonica, join Global as its new podcast’s executive producer. Sofos is the former head of BBC News Podcasts and created the Brexitcast, Newscast and Americast formats.
He tweeted that he is ‘absolutely delighted’ Goodall is joining the presenting line-up, while Ms Maitlis added that she is ‘utterly delighted’ to have him on their team.
Mr Sopel said: ‘You’re going to be a huge asset, and it’s going to be one helluva ride.’
Mr Goodall’s announcement comes amid a string of high-profile departures from the BBC, including veteran journalist Andrew Marr, who said he was moving to Global after 21 years with the corporation last November.
Marr joined the broadcaster as political editor in May 2000 and later spent 16 years at the helm of his own Sunday morning show.
In February 2020, former deputy political editor John Pienaar announced he was leaving the BBC to join Times Radio after nearly three decades.
Later that year, the Andrew Neil Show was a casualty of BBC cuts, following the broadcaster’s announcement in 2016 that it needed to save £800 million, with around £80 million of that figure coming from news.
Goodall announced his career move on social media, saying that he is ‘delighted’ about the new adventure
Jon Sopel – who was also a BBC veteran until he moved over to LBC – wished Goodall well and said he will be a ‘huge asset’
Neil later announced that he was to be the face and chairman of GB News, signalling the end of his relationship with the BBC, where he has been one of the most respected political interviewers.
The former Sunday Times editor has since stepped down from GB News, joining Channel 4 for a new Sunday night political show which launched in May.
However, in April the BBC dismissed the brain drain of top talent ditching the broadcaster as ‘people come, people go’.
Insiders said there was always a ‘natural point where people move on’ but there are mounting fears the Corporation will be left with a lack of experienced presenters.
A BBC source told MailOnline: ‘People come, people go, but we have lots of existing talent and new and emerging stars and there is always a natural point where people move on.’
Meanwhile, insiders at the BBC have hit out at the corporation for spending up to £10million on a new ‘curvy’ studio amid fears that 100 staff members could lose their jobs in a merger of its news channels.
Presenter Huw Edwards unveils BBC News’ new state-of-the-art studio last week. The newly refurbished studio will be home to BBC News at Six and Ten, as well as London bulletins
The newly refurbished studio – complete with a curved catwalk and large vertical screen to display social media posts – was a well kept secret for months until it was unveiled last week.
The BBC invested in the renovation before drawing up plans to combine its UK and world news channels, The Times reports.
The merger is expected to lead to redundancies and has left some insiders angry at the ‘obscene’ expenditure on the new studio.
A source said the backdrop ‘will be on air for three half-hour bulletins a day’ while harsh cuts are imposed on the rolling news channels.
The BBC ‘brain drain’: How top talent like Sopel, Marr and Maitlis walked out on top salaries in row over ‘frustrating’ impartiality rules
Emily Maitlis was the former host of BBC Newsnight and had worked at the broadcaster since 2001.
In 2022, she left former to host a daily radio show and podcast for LBC with BBC journalist Jon Sopel, who had worked a variety of top-dog roles there since 1983.
The broadcasters earned more than £550,000 at the BBC, but they have been given pay rises of £75,000 or more, experts predicted.
Andrew Neil and Simon McCoy have also left the BBC in the last two years.
As has Andrew Marr – who is said to have admitted he was prompted to leave the BBC because of his desire to speak freely on major issues, including climate change and politics.
Maitlis, Sopel and Marr jumped ship for LBC in a golden handcuffs deal expected to earn them huge pay rises.
Dan Walker also announced he left the BBC to be lead anchor on Channel 5’s revamped 5News team – where he’ll make around £350,000.
Dan Walker was the latest on-air star to ditch the BBC after he joined Channel 5 News. He is pictured on BBC Breakfast
Pictured: Andrew Marr presents new radio shows on LBC and Classic FM