Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands is leaving the daily newspaper to join the BBC as editor of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Sands will leave the Standard later this year after five years in the role. She replaces Jamie Angus at the BBC, who was previously appointed as deputy director of the World Service.
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The Today show is Radio 4’s flagship news and current affairs show and claims to reach more than 7m listeners a week. Sands will be only the second woman to edit the programme.
James Harding, director of BBC News and current affairs, said in an email to staff: “Sarah is a hugely experienced and highly respected journalist… she will bring her familiar verve and her broad range of interests to the programme and will build on Today’s absolute commitment to critical and analytical journalism.”
Gwyneth Williams, controller of Radio 4, said: “I want to welcome Sarah to Radio 4. She brings long experience of leadership in journalism and will add a fresh, creative approach to the biggest hitting news programme of them all. I look forward to working with her.”
Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev said the title had been a “huge success” under Sarah’s editorship, adding: “She has been a vital part of the team since this company acquired the Evening Standard in 2009. Sarah will leave with our very best wishes for her new role.”
Sands, who also previously edited the Sunday Telegraph, said: “I am grateful to Evgeny for his support of this newspaper and guarding it against all the head winds of the industry. It has been an absolute pleasure to work for him and to be part of a first rate professional team.”
She added: “I’ve felt very close to the Today programme for more than 40 years: every listener does. It is an honour to join the team whose journalism makes such a contribution to British life.”
A new Standard editor is set to be appointed in due course.