New North American editor appointed in BBC News senior shake-up

BBC newsreader Jon Sopel (pictured, right) has been appointed North American editor of BBC News in what the corporation has described as "a major 'musical chairs' moment". 

Sopel will replace Mark Mardell, who is to move to BBC Radio 4 to become the presenter of The World This Weekend and The World at One on Fridays, taking over from Shaun Ley.

Ley will remain as part of the Radio 4 team, but will feature more on television news output such as Hardtalk. He will also present for BBC World TV and World Service radio.  

Meanwhile, Kayta Adler (pictured, left) has been appointed as Europe editor, replacing Gavin Hewitt, who was made BBC News chief correspondent last month. 

Ian Pannell (pictured, centre) has also been made international correspondent "in recognition of his award-winning coverage of global affairs", said a BBC spokeswoman.

The editor of The World at One and The World This Weekend, Nick Sutton, said: "Mardell arrives at a time when the programmes are editorially strong with record audiences.

"I'm sure listeners will appreciate the many years of forensic and analytical reporting from Westminster, Europe and the United States that Mark brings with him."

Mardell said: "I am delighted and very excited to be presenting one of Radio 4’s most important news programmes helping define both the British political conversation and reporting on the huge changes going in the world."

"What is decided in Washington affects the whole world, and it will be a great challenge to report on the workings of the White House and Congress – and of course following the next presidential election," said Sopel. 

Adler, who will be based in Brussels, speaks Italian, Spanish, German and French and has previously worked in the Middle East and Madrid. She said: "With the prospect of a UK referendum on EU membership and an increasing sense of euro-scepticism across the continent, this is a defining moment for the future of Europe."

Pannell added: "It is a chance to provide engaging and meaningful first-hand reporting from America and around the globe that goes beyond the headlines.

"The challenge is to enhance our understanding of a changing and sometimes unstable world to audiences in Britain and beyond."

 

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