A 24-hour news channel chaired by Andrew Neil is to begin recruiting 120 journalists after it has confirmed it has reached £60m in funding from founding investors.
GB News, which aims to launch later this year, has said that one of the UK’s most prominent hedge fund managers, Sir Paul Marshall, and Dubai-based investment group Legatum would become major shareholders in the company in addition to US broadcasting firm Discovery Inc.
More than 140 jobs including 120 journalists will be created in the channel’s plans to reach British television viewers and roll out a suite of streaming, video-on-demand and audio services.
Launching “a boldly different 24-hour television and digital news service to bring more choice to British viewers”, GB News announced its investors following a funding round which it said was significantly over-subscribed.
GB News Chairman and veteran BBC interviewer Andrew Neil, who will also host a prime-time programme on the channel, said: “We’re thrilled to have such a broad range of high-calibre investors who share our belief that many British people are crying out for a news service that is more diverse and more representative of their values and concerns.
“GB News is a massive undertaking in a fiercely competitive market but we’re confident there’s an appetite for a fresh approach to news in Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.”
Chief Executive Angelos Frangopoulos, a former Sky News Australia executive, said the launch was an opportunity to add vitally needed plurality to the UK media sector.
“GB News will be proudly independent and fearless in tackling the issues people care about, especially in communities outside London,” he said.
“We are now building a superb team who are as passionate as we are about shaking things up and really connecting with viewers.”
The news comes as the UK’s broadcast news landscape is set to change with News UK owner Rupert Murdoch also preparing to establish a TV news channel in the UK.