Shockwaves this morning in both Fleet Street and BBC land as the news comes in the Guardian’s bridesmaid, but never the bride, Ian Katz, is finally bored of waiting for Alan Rusbridger to retire and has jumped ship to the BBC.
The Guardian’s deputy editor will be announced today as the next editor of Newsnight, in an attempt to rearrange the deckchairs on the Beeb’s hallmark current events show, which is still struggling to recover from the Jimmy Savile cover up.
Katz is not the first left-winger to be appointed by the corporation’s new boss Tony Hall. In recent weeks Labour’s James Purnell has been appointed to an executive role while the former Times editor James Harding — forced out by old Rupe for his less-than-dry views — has been brought in to head up their news operations. As one BBC insider lamented tonight: ‘welcome to Labour BBC.’
Bizarrely as the former Director General Mark Thompson plods on with his career at the New York Times with zero print experience, his old haunt is swelling with print hounds with zero experience of the box. What could possibly go wrong?
UPDATE: A government source whispers to me:
‘Another bloody lefty joins the BBC. Wasn’t he the one that claimed he warned No.10 about Andy Coulson?
Turned out to be a some conversation he had with Steve Hilton where he simply repeated loads of allegations that were already public.’
More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us.