Michael Crick has been appointed political editor of BBC2's Newsnight.
He succeeds Martha Kearney, who is moving to Radio 4 programme The World At One.
Crick, who is known for his irreverent reporting style, has worked on BBC2's flagship current affairs programme since 1992.
Born in 1958, he was educated at Manchester Grammar School and read philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University, where he founded the Oxford Handbook, edited Cherwell and was president of the Oxford Union.
Former US President Richard Nixon visited the Union in 1978 and subsequently wrote that the most difficult question he faced came from Crick.
Crick was a founder member of Channel 4 News in 1982 and became the programme's Washington correspondent in 1988.
In 1990 he moved to the BBC and spent two years on Panorama before joining Newsnight.
He has won two Royal Television Society Awards – the first for his coverage of the 1988 US election and the second for a Panorama special on the life of Jeffrey Archer.
His books include biographies of Michael Heseltine, Michael Howard and Sir Alex Ferguson. In 1996 he produced The Complete Manchester United Trivia Fact Book.
Martha Kearney will take over as main presenter on The World At One next month.
She replaces Nick Clarke, who died in November.