John Pienaar, the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor, is leaving the corporation to join the soon to be launched digital station Times Radio.
Pienaar is one of the most familiar voices in UK broadcasting, with a 30 year career at the heart of Westminster, most recently as Chief Political Correspondent at BBC Radio 5 Live and as the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor.
He’s the first signing to be announced by Times Radio and will present the Drive Time show which the station says, will ‘deal with the issues of the day in Westminster and beyond’.
Speaking about his new appointment, John Pienaar said: “It’s been a huge pleasure and a great privilege to work at the Beeb.
“Now, I couldn’t be more thrilled about joining the greatest and oldest title in journalism – in such a new and ambitious project on the digital front line.
“The guiding aim is to offer listeners high quality discussion and analysis of the stories and issues of the day, and make it a compelling, enjoyable listen. I can’t wait to get started.”
Personal news: after nearly three decades at the BBC I am leaving to join the soon-to-be-launched Times Radio as Drive Time presenter. 1/2
— John Pienaar (@JPonpolitics) February 17, 2020
5 Live has confirmed that John has left the BBC and yesterday (Sunday 16 February) was his last Pienaar’s Politics on the station.
Controller Heidi Dawson said: “John has been one of the great voices of 5 Live and has expertly guided our listeners through recent political events. We’d like to thank him for everything he has done for the station and wish him well for the future.
“We will continue to have a politics programme on 5 Live and will make an announcement about the presenter soon. In the meantime, a variety of different presenters will work on the show.”
Times Radio, which was announced by News UK last month as a rival to Radio 4, is due to launch across the UK on DAB later this year and will be commercial free, but with a station sponsor.