Sunday Express editor Mick Booker is joining TV channel GB news as editorial director.
He joins the channel following the acrimonious departure of Andrew Neil as chairman and star presenter.
Within a month of the channel’s launch presenter Guto Harri was fired for “taking the knee” on air. Director of programming John McAndrew also quit back in July amid the fallout from the Hari row.
This week GB News began supplementing its opinion-led coverage with half-hourly news bulletins for the first time.
Booker is a frequent figure on TV, contributing to the press reviews on Sky News and the BBC News Channel.
Booker has been editor of the Sunday Express for three years and was previously deputy editor of the Daily Express. He started his career at the Ross Parry Press Agency in Leeds before moving on to the Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday.
GB News said: “In his new role he will provide editorial leadership across all GB News platforms including television, radio and digital, as well as to the channel’s 120 journalists.”
Chief Executive Officer Angelos Frangopoulos said: “Michael has a sharp instinct for the real stories that impact the people of the United Kingdom, and a deep understanding of how to include their voices in the national conversation.”
Booker said: “GB News is without doubt one of the most exciting opportunities in British journalism for years. The chance to be part of it is just too good to miss.”
The Daily Express campaigned for Britain to leave the EU, a stance which would appear to chime with the GB News remit to appeal to UK audiences outside London which it believes other media have ignored.
PR Rachel Spencer has written an endorsement for Booker on LinkedIn. She said: “Mick is the nicest editor in Fleet Street. I have known Mick since I first went freelance in 2006 when he was on the Daily Star and I went to meet him in London. He was so friendly and approachable, nothing like I was used to.
“And since then I’ve worked with him on probably hundreds of stories. I love dealing with him, he’s fair, professional, a laugh and an all-round good egg.”