BBC News announces four senior appointments

It is a huge honour to take on the role of North America Editor. 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.Jon Sopel
Date: 29.04.2014     Last updated: 29.04.2014 at 17.39
Category: News; Corporate
BBC News has today announced four senior appointments which will strengthen the BBC’s news coverage, both internationally and at home.

Jon Sopel has been appointed as North America Editor. He replaces Mark Mardell, who will become the presenter of Radio 4's The World This Weekend and also present The World At One on Fridays. Katya Adler has been appointed as Europe Editor, taking over from Gavin Hewitt. Ian Pannell becomes International Correspondent, in recognition of his award-winning coverage of global affairs.

On the international news appointments, Jonathan Munro, Head of Newsgathering BBC News says: "These three appointments are designed to strengthen the BBC's key Foreign News team. Jon has years of experience in covering stories of huge significance at home and abroad. He has delivered countless exclusive interviews, and been on location to witness some of the biggest events of the last two decades. Katya will bring a whole new dimension to our coverage of European affairs, at a time when the nations and institutions of Europe face a series of defining decisions. Only this week Ian’s exclusive report from Aleppo cemented his reputation as a correspondent at the very top of the industry.”

On the appointment of Mark Mardell, Nick Sutton, Editor of The World At One and The World This Weekend, says: “I'm delighted that Mark will be joining the team. He 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."

Jon Sopel is currently a lead anchor on BBC World News and a presenter on BBC One. He served as Chief Political correspondent for BBC News before spending four years as the BBC’s Paris correspondent. In 2005 he became main presenter on The Politics Show on BBC One where he interviewed the most senior political figures in the UK and abroad and was made political journalist of the year in 2007.

Jon has reported from across the globe. He has presented the BBC’s coverage of the last three US presidential election campaigns, and has recently returned from covering the Indian election.

“It is a huge honour to take on the role of North America Editor. 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. But it’s about bringing the whole of the US alive to our audience and I will relish travelling widely in this fascinating, complex and beautiful country,” said Jon Sopel.

In her new role as Europe Editor, Katya Adler will be based in Brussels.

Katya regularly presents for BBC World News and, in her current role as world affairs correspondent, she works extensively across Europe. Her BBC Two documentary This World: Spain’s Stolen Babies was runner-up for an RTS award and nominated for the Prix Europa. She has live-anchored elections across Europe and has produced several in-depth news reports for Newsnight. She also speaks fluent Italian, Spanish, German and French.

After a stint as the BBC’s Berlin Correspondent, Katya became Europe Reporter for BBC World Service radio's news programmes. She has also been the BBC's Madrid Correspondent and Middle East Correspondent.

“I am very much looking forward to taking on the role of Europe Editor,” says Katya Adler. “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.”

Ian Pannell also takes up a new position as International Correspondent. He will continue to be based in Washington and will have a global brief, covering the world's key breaking and developing news stories and continuing his ongoing commitment to Syria.

Ian is currently a BBC correspondent who has previously covered Washington, the Middle East and Kabul. In 2013, he was awarded the esteemed David Bloom Award, an RTS award for International News Coverage and an Emmy Award in recognition of his reporting from Syria. As part of BBC’s Syria team, Ian also received a prestigious Peabody award for up-close coverage of Syria’s civil war, which they said ‘had no equal in 2013’.

"This is an incredibly exciting opportunity. 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. To do this for a news organisation whose commitment to foreign-affairs remains second to none is a great honour," says Ian Pannell.

Mark Mardell moves from his role as the BBC’s North America Editor and joins the team at Radio 4 to present The World This Weekend and The World At One on Fridays. Mark had a successful five years as North America Editor and prior to this was the BBC’s first Europe Editor. Earlier, he worked for the BBC at Westminster for over 10 years, including a role as Chief Political correspondent. 

Mark says: “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."

Shaun Ley will remain as a member of the team on Radio 4. He will also be building on his regular appearances on BBC World News, Hardtalk, and other World Service output as well as across the BBC’s TV news channels.

AH2