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Newsnight editor Ian Katz leaving the BBC for Channel 4

Newsnight editor Ian Katz is leaving the BBC to take up one of the most influential roles in British television: director of programmes at Channel 4.

    (Picture: YouTube)
    (Picture: YouTube)

    Newsnight editor Ian Katz is leaving the BBC to take up one of the most influential roles in British television: director of programmes at Channel 4.

    The former deputy editor of the Guardian will be responsible for commissioning programmes for Channel 4 and managing its schedule. He will be taking over from Jay Hunt, who has moved to Apple.

    Mr Katz was in charge of the late-night news programme from 2013 and said in an email sent to the team: "The last four years have been some of the toughest of my professional career, but also undoubtedly the most rewarding."

    He oversaw a number of changes during his tenure, including the departure of Jeremy Paxman after 25 years on the programme and the introduction of new presenters such as James O'Brien and Evan Davis. He also succeeded in stabilising declining viewing figures, after joining the programme in the wake of a crisis involving its representation of Jimmy Savile's sex crimes.

    Mr Katz will start at Channel 4 in January. He said in a statement confirming his move: “I’m impossibly excited to be joining a broadcaster whose unique combination of innovation, risk-taking and elan I have admired for decades as a viewer – and more recently as a frequently envious rival,” adding on Twitter: "Sad to leave brilliant Newsnight team but thrilled and privileged to join broadcaster whose creativity bravery + mischief I have long envied".

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