Monday, November 28, 2022

John's back

There will be some anxiety about the impending arrival of John Lucius McAndrew at the helm of BBC News programmes. 

John, 52 (Backwell Comprehensive, Somerset and Liverpool John Moores University) was born in Bristol and thus is naturally a Manchester United fan. From 2017 to August 2020, he was part of the team trying to start a NBC/Sky News global service; the strategy belonged to one Deborah Turness.  Presenters like the BBC's Matthew Price were hired. It was cancelled, with dozens of journalists out of work, and a half-built studio at Osterley left behind. Maybe John can follow through with some magic dust on the merger of BBC World and BBC News channels.... 

Other McAndrew successes include Sky News' The Pledge, a chat show launched in 2016, with panellists including Greg Dyke, Nick Ferrari, June Sarpong and Baroness Mone, among others. Later that year he left Sky and ended up at ITV producing The Agenda with Tom Bradby. Panellists included Emma Barnett, Nigel Farage and Michelle Dewberry. Then there was ITV's After the News, in 2017, featuring Nick Ferrari and Emma Barnett. 

More recently, people will remember his role as Director of News Programmes at GB News, the talent he hired, including Michelle Dewberry, and the technology he endorsed.  His cv says he was contracted for a year (spookily arriving in October 2020, just as Sir Robbie Gibb departed as editorial adviser) but, of course, he resigned a month after launch, in the row over Guto Harri taking the knee on air. 

There will be some who remember him from the start of his journalistic career - at BBC News Online in 1994, straight from university. He left in 2005, as Editor of The Daily Politics, which he launched with presenters Andrew Neil and Daisy Sampson.  

John married Daisy Sampson in 2008. His sister Kate is billed as Chief of Staff to the CEO, BBC News on Linkedin. 

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