Something of a star
Tonight marks the end of an era for BBC News.
Evan Davis is leaving his post as economics editor - and going on a year-long attachment to Radio 4 as a presenter of the Today programme. It's a great move for him - but we're feeling more than a little sad on the Ten O'Clock News.
I could try to sum up why we'll miss him - but someone has already done it perfectly. Ipsos Mori were looking for someone who personifies how they want to be seen - they hit on Evan and this is how they described him:
"Fun, quirky, lively, outspoken but apolitical, approachable, explains the complex simply (eg Evanomics); uses technology (his blogging); commonly cited and sought out for opinion. Seems passionate and interested in what he’s doing. Not just a corporate clone or hack."
They could also have written "self-deprecating". When I first joined BBC News a couple of years ago, Evan dropped by to give me an idea of what I could expect from him and his presenting style - he was laughing hard when he said The Sun's Garry Bushell had seen one of his early TV appearances and described him as "a cross between Gollum and a needy vicar".
So how did he go from being bullied by TV critics to being one of the most respected people in journalism? For me it's because Evan took the road less travelled. Some journalists can be showy and hyperbolic - in trying to get people interested in what they have to say, they can oversell their stories. Evan has always been utterly clear that economics is rarely an area of blacks and whites, but varying shades of grey - a world where things tend to happen in increments over a long cycle, not easily matching the hourly demands of modern broadcast news.
I once told him a literary anecdote about Samuel Taylor Coleridge not being impressed by William Wordsworth's poem Daffodils - Coleridge's point was that if you are going to get that excited about some daffodils, what are you going to say when it really matters? Evan agreed that he would have been very much on Coleridge's side. It's that unwillingness to shout loud about everything that made Evan saying a fundamental shift was happening in the global economy last autumn pack a real punch.
Over the last few months Evan has been leading the way in pointing out that the world's economy is slowing down, that slowdown will hurt - but how much will depend on the skill of the world's central banks. As other journalists have struggled to see their way through the complexities of the economy Evan has been clear and right time after time.
Evan has been unique; he's also become something of a star - but most of all he's been a brilliant journalist.
He's followed by Stephanie Flanders - another first class journalist with a style of her own, I'm sure she will be equally successful.
Update, Thursday 20 March: And here's Evan's last piece from the Ten O'Clock News.