BBC bosses ‘allowed Lewis Goodall to leave Newsnight to solve problem of left-wing bias after reporter tired of corporation’s drive for impartiality’
- Lewis Goodall set to join Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel as co-host on LBC podcast
- He is the latest star to have become frustrated by broadcaster’s impartiality rules
- But BBC bosses are said to have let him walk away without a counter-offer
- They see it as an opportunity to reset the flagship programme, reports suggest
BBC bosses allowed reporter Lewis Goodall to leave Newsnight to solve the corporation’s ‘problem of left-wing bias’, reports claim.
The flagship programme’s policy editor is ditching the broadcaster to join Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel as co-host on their LBC news podcast, after apparently becoming tired of the BBC’s drive for impartiality.
However, corporation chiefs are said to have let the 32-year-old – a former Labour activist who previously worked for a Left-wing think tank – walk away without a counter-offer, viewing his departure as a chance to reset the show.
One insider told the Telegraph: ‘This is an important programme and one that it is vital we get right.
‘We are determined to do that, and when people move on it creates opportunities.’
Lewis Goodall announced he is ditching the broadcaster to join Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel as a co-host on their LBC news podcast
Emily Maitlis, former BBC Newsnight journalist, said she is ‘utterly delighted’ that Goodall was moving over to Global
Goodall announced his career move on social media, saying that he is ‘delighted’ about the new adventure
But Mr Goodall is the latest talent to have become frustrated with the way the BBC management was interpreting director general Tim Davie’s drive for impartiality, the Guardian reports.
Journalists have reported struggling to interpret exactly what that looks like, though – amid claims of increased pressure from the government on certain stories and management second-guessing potential objections from Downing Street.
Mr Goodall’s exit follows that of Dan Walker, who earlier this year left BBC Breakfast to join Channel 5’s nightly news gig for a reported £1.5million and Ms Maitlis and Mr Sopel themselves.
One LBC insider previously told MailOnline that Ms Maitlis will now be on ‘at least’ £400,000-a-year, with Mr Sopel likely to be through the £300,000-a-year barrier, but it ‘could be more’ because of the number of projects they will work on together.
Ms Maitlis joined the BBC in 2001 and has presented Newsnight since 2006, winning a Royal Television Society award for her interview with the Duke of York in 2019, while Mr Sopel joined the broadcaster in 1983 and was formerly its North America editor.
However, BBC insiders said they believed Ms Maitlis, 51, quit in part because she was ‘frustrated’ at being repeatedly ‘ticked-off’ by bosses over impartiality issues, following tweets and on-air comments about the pandemic, the Tory Government and Boris Johnson’s former chief aide Dominic Cummings.
In a tweet yesterday, Mr Goodall wrote: ‘My brief will be to supercharge the organisation’s video output. ‘What does that look like? Much more to come but we have big plans. I’ll be reporting on and breaking stories in the UK and beyond.
‘Global has reinvented radio – its ambitions for podcasting and quality video journalism (and how all three work together) are just as big.
Ms Maitlis and Mr Sopel announced in February that they would be leaving the BBC for their new venture at Global
‘This of course sadly means I’ll be leaving wonderful Newsnight. This programme is in my bloodstream. I’m so passionate about it. It is utterly indispensable. I love the team.
‘It’s been a privilege to work there under two great editors and it runs through me like a stick of rock. I was a young producer there. I came back as policy editor and I couldn’t have been happier.
‘To the sad, politics-obsessed Brummie teenager inside me who used to watch the show in his bedroom as a kid night after night, to hear ”and here’s our policy editor, Lewis Goodall’… is thrilling to me – every single time.
‘But it’s so important to keep yourself challenged and that’s what I’m doing here. The chance to create entirely new things was tantalising – especially with such a fantastic team.’
MailOnline has approached the BBC for comment.
The BBC ‘brain drain’: How top talent like Sopel, Marr and Maitlis walked out on top salaries in row over ‘frustrating’ impartiality rules
Emily Maitlis was the former host of BBC Newsnight and had worked at the broadcaster since 2001.
In 2022, she left former to host a daily radio show and podcast for LBC with BBC journalist Jon Sopel, who had worked a variety of top-dog roles there since 1983.
The broadcasters earned more than £550,000 at the BBC, but they have been given pay rises of £75,000 or more, experts predicted.
Andrew Neil and Simon McCoy have also left the BBC in the last two years.
As has Andrew Marr – who is said to have admitted he was prompted to leave the BBC because of his desire to speak freely on major issues, including climate change and politics.
Maitlis, Sopel and Marr jumped ship for LBC in a golden handcuffs deal expected to earn them huge pay rises.
Dan Walker also announced he left the BBC to be lead anchor on Channel 5’s revamped 5News team – where he’ll make around £350,000.
Dan Walker was the latest on-air star to ditch the BBC after he joined Channel 5 News. He is pictured on BBC Breakfast
Pictured: Andrew Marr presents new radio shows on LBC and Classic FM