29 Apr 2021

Jon Snow to step down as Channel 4 News presenter at end of 2021

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow has decided to step down from his role from the end of the year after 32-years at the helm of the flagship news programme.

The acclaimed broadcaster and journalist, whose career at ITN has spanned 45 years, will leave the programme as the longest-serving presenter in the show’s history but will continue to work with Channel 4 in 2022.

He will front longer form projects for Channel 4 and represent the Channel in other matters. He will also focus on his charities and some of his many passions in life, peoples’ stories, inequality, Africa, Iran and the arts.

Presenter Jon Snow: “After three incredible decades on Channel 4 News, it is time to move on. 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.

“It has brought me adventure, as well as sorrow in some of the stories that I have had to report and 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.

“Together, we have forged a wonderful service. 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.”

Jon began his career in journalism for Independent Radio News, LBC in 1973. He started at ITN in 1976 and served as Washington correspondent (1983–1986) and as diplomatic editor (1986–1989) before becoming the main presenter of Channel 4 News in 1989.

Since then, he has travelled the world to cover the news – from the fall of Idi Amin in Uganda; the Revolution in Iran as well as interviews with its leaders; the wars in Iraq and conflicts in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the release of Nelson Mandela; earthquakes in Kashmir, Japan and Haiti; and the elections of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Tony Blair and Barack Obama to name but a few.

His many awards include the Richard Dimbleby BAFTA award for Best Factual Contribution to UK Television (2005), and Royal Television Society awards for Journalist of the Year (2006) and a five times winner of Presenter of the Year. In 2015 Jon was honoured with a BAFTA Fellowship – the highest accolade BAFTA gives for “outstanding and exceptional contribution” to the film, television and games industry. He was also made an Honorary Graduate by the University of Liverpool in 2011, by Sussex University in 2015 and by Keele University in 2018.

In 2017 Jon delivered the prestigious MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival and called out organisations for lack of diversity across the media and said news providers had to become more diverse in order to reflect the population more accurately.

Channel 4 News, editor, Ben de Pear, said: “Jon has been the driving force behind Channel 4 News for the last 30 years. His fearless journalism, inherent compassion, a nose for a good story as well as sympathy for the underdog have been powered by relentless energy, charm and a mischievous sense of fun. It has been a great honour to be his editor and friend, and I know that everyone at Channel 4 News and ITN feels that he is far more than a colleague.

“As well as his support and friendship to fellow workers, for decades he has worked tirelessly for a multitude of charities and causes beyond the public gaze and for no other reason than to help those less fortunate than himself.

“He may be leaving us after decades on the front line of history, but his contribution will live on and undoubtedly continue elsewhere. He is a wonderful man, and it has been an honour to call Jon our friend and colleague.”

Deborah Turness, Chief Executive Officer, ITN, said: “Over a lifetime dedicated to journalism, and in a life devoted to fairness and humanity, Jon Snow has earned a unique and special place in the hearts of the British audience. There is only one Jon Snow – when they made him, they broke the mould. His warmth, intellect and decency have always prevailed, even as he held the powerful to account and sought justice for the weak and powerless.”

Channel 4 Chief Content Officer, Ian Katz, said: “No-one can match the colossal contribution Jon has made to both broadcast journalism and Channel 4 over more than three decades. He’s a talismanic figure whose combination of integrity, humanity and mischief helped make him the most trusted and well-loved news presenter of his generation, and the embodiment of everything Channel 4 aspires to be.

“I’m immensely grateful for everything Jon has done to help establish Channel 4 News as Britain’s most trusted TV news programme and delighted that he will continue to appear on the channel after he steps down from presenting the News.”