Justin Webb replaces Ed Stourton on Today programme

Ed Stourton is leaving the Today programme next year after a decade presenting the Radio 4 flagship morning news programme to ‘concentrate on other BBC projects’.

The BBC announced this afternoon that his replacement will be Justin Webb, the BBC’s north America editor, who will return to London to take up the new job from next October.

Webb is a former BBC Breakfast News and Six O’Clock News presenter, who spent three years as the BBC’s Europe correspondent before moving to the US, where he led the broadcaster’s coverage of the US election, reporting for radio, television and online.

‘[Today] has been a part of my BBC life for many years and more importantly it’s a part of British life,” Webb said in a statement.

‘It’s an honour to have the chance to join the team.There isn’t a more challenging job, or a more satisfying job, in British broadcasting.”

Ed Stourton was a founder member of Channel 4 News in 1982, rising from scriptwriter to producer, duty home news editor, chief sub-editor and Washington correspondent.

He joined the BBC in 1988 as Paris correspondent before returning to ITN two years later as diplomatic editor.

His second spell at the BBC began in 1993, where he presented the One O’Clock News for six years and moved to Today in January 1999.

The Radio 4 morning news programme is fronted by two presenters each day, drawn from a rota of five. The other four presenters are John Humphrys, Sarah Montague, James Naughtie and Evan Davis, the former BBC economics editor.

According to the latest set of Rajar audience figures, covering the three months from mid-June to mid-September, the Today programme had an average weekly audience of 6.1m – up from 5.9m in the same period last year.

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