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February 26, 2024

Martha Kearney to leave BBC Radio 4 Today programme after election

Kearney will leave the flagship morning programme after six years presenting.

By Charlotte Tobitt

Martha Kearney will leave the BBC Radio 4 Today programme after the upcoming general election.

Kearney has been one of the flagship show’s main presenters for six years after she did a job swap with Sarah Montague, who moved to Kearney’s previous role at World At One.

She will continue to present other programmes on Radio 4 but said she wanted to work in “pastures new” and would not miss the early alarm clock.

Kearney said: “I have loved working on Today with its incredible reach and influence but now it’s time to move on to pastures new – literally. I am really looking forward to sharing my passion for nature in an exciting new series as well as a much-loved favourite programme. And I won’t be missing that 3am alarm call.

“I have been planning my move for a while now and the general election, which will be my eleventh, is the right point to move on.”

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The date of the next UK general election, which must be held by 28 January next year, has not yet been set but it is expected in the autumn.

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Today’s other main presenters are Nick Robinson, Amol Rajan, Justin Webb and Mishal Husain.

Kearney has worked at the BBC since 1988 and her other previous roles have included Newsnight political editor for seven years and regularly presenting Woman’s Hour from 1998 to 2007. She began her career as a phone operator for LBC.

After the election Kearney will continue to present episodes of BBC Radio 4 countryside magazine programme Open Country and new nature-focused interview show This Natural Life.

BBC director-general Tim Davie described Kearney as “an outstanding Today presenter, thanks to her hallmark incisive questioning, warmth, and connection with the audience. She is an immensely respected and popular journalist, and I’d like to thank her on behalf of the BBC and her millions of listeners”.

Today editor Owenna Griffiths said: “It’s been my great privilege to be Martha’s editor both at The World at One and Today. She’s a journalist with great tenacity, insight and a wonderfully broad range of interests. Above all she’s a warm and generous colleague who will be missed by me and the team.”

In the latest RAJAR radio listening figures the Today programme saw its weekly (Monday to Friday) reach down by 9% year-on-year to 5.6 million although it stayed relatively steady compared to Q3, growing by 1%.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
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  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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