The Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow is to step down after 32 years as anchor of the broadcaster’s flagship news programme.
Snow, 73, is the longest-serving presenter in the show’s history and will leave the programme at the end of the year. He will continue to work with Channel 4 on longer-form broadcasting projects next year, and will “represent the channel in other matters”, while also focusing on charity work.
“After three incredible decades on Channel 4 News, it is time to move on,” he said. “I am excited by the many things I want to accomplish but I have to say I have enjoyed every minute of my time with the programme. I feel proud to have contributed to Channel 4 News, let alone to have anchored the programme for the last 32 years. I’m looking forward to new adventures and new challenges.”
Snow, who has fronted Channel 4 News since 1989, started his career in journalism in 1973 for Independent Radio News, LBC. In 1976 he joined ITN, the maker of news for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, holding the roles of Washington correspondent and diplomatic editor in the 1980s before his move to front Channel 4 News.
In a 45-year career at ITN he has covered events from the fall of Idi Amin in Uganda to war, conflict and revolution in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the fall of the Berlin Wall, release of Nelson Mandela and numerous elections.
“It has brought me adventure, as well as sorrow in some of the stories that I have had to report,” he said. “But also joy in reporting others, but above all, it has brought me community in working with the most fantastic group of people who are bound in intellect, humour and understanding.”
Deborah Turness, the chief executive of ITN, said that “there is only one Jon Snow – when they made him they broke the mould” while Ben de Pear, the editor of Channel 4 News, said Snow had been the “driving force” behind the show for the past three decades.
Snow has said that the coronavirus has been the “biggest thing since the second world war” and the most significant event he has reported on, even recent wars, which “aren’t things that came to visit our homes”.
Tributes flooded in after the announcement, with the presenter Cathy Newman tweeting that it had been a “total privilege” to work with Snow, who is a “titan of British broadcasting, a brilliant colleague, mentor and friend”.
Fellow presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy described Snow as a “national treasure”. “For 23 years I’ve sat next to him watching and learning from his extraordinary passion, energy and commitment.”
Last year, Channel 4 News established a hub in Leeds, where the broadcaster has established a new “national headquarters” as part of a drive to geographically diversify outside London, where the show is regularly co-anchored.
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