GB News announces ‘exciting new talent' joining the channel
Great British Railway Journeys presenter Michael Portillo is among the first of a series of new appointments at GB News, the broadcaster said.
The former cabinet minister, 69, joins the channel’s political team and will be launching his own programme in the autumn.
His previous TV shows include Great Continental Railway Journeys, Great Asian Railway Journeys and Great American Railroad Journeys.
Journalist and political commentator Andrew Pierce will also have his own show later this year while continuing his senior editorial position at the Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, journalist and broadcaster Camilla Tominey joins in a new senior political presenting role, in addition to her existing position as associate editor at the Telegraph.
The channel’s new initiative will include a weekly national survey titled The GB News People’s Poll, the broadcaster said.
Chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos also confirmed that GB News has successfully won a competitive process to move from Virgin Media channel 626 to the more prominent 604 position.
The new recruits come after the channel secured a £60 million investment from existing backers Legatum Ventures Limited and Sir Paul Marshall, who bought out Discovery Inc following its merger with WarnerMedia earlier this year.
Warner Bros Discovery said the decision to sell its GB News shareholding was part of a “continued evaluation” of its investments after the merger – “a move that brought several wholly owned news assets, including CNN Worldwide, into its portfolio”.
Mr Frangopoulos said GB News is “enormously grateful” to Warner Bros Discovery for its “wisdom and support” through the start-up phase and they “part as friends”.
He added that the renewed investment will give GB News the “financial muscle” to build for the long term in a competitive market.
He said: “We’ve already employed more than 200 journalists and now we’ll invest more deeply in a number of areas, including a new digital product suite, our technology and studio, subtitles, additional distribution platforms, and exciting new talent.”
The two co-founders of GB News, Andrew Cole and Mark Schneider, both resigned as directors after Legatum and Sir Paul bought their shareholdings.
The £60 million fundraise is expected to be completed in the next few weeks, a statement said.