Michael Portillo and Andrew Pierce to get their own shows.
GB News has secured a commitment for a new £60 million capital injection to accelerate its growth, innovation, and investment in British journalism.
The commitment comes from existing backers Legatum Ventures Limited and Sir Paul Marshall, who have bought out Discovery Inc. following its merger with WarnerMedia earlier this year.
Chairman Alan McCormick, a partner at Legatum, said he was delighted the Series B funding round has been secured from within the GB News family.
“This is testament to our confidence in the momentum and trajectory of GB News after a very strong first year,” he said.
“Our additional investment means the channel will embark on robust and exciting plans for the next stage of its growth and development.”
Co-lead investor Sir Paul said: “This is more than a financial investment. As investors we’re proud of what GB News doing for media plurality in the UK, bringing fresh perspectives to the national conversation on issues that matter to real Britain.”
In an announcement today, Warner Bros. Discovery said the decision to sell its GB News shareholding was part of continued evaluation of its investments after the merger, a move that brought several wholly owned news assets, including CNN Worldwide, into its portfolio.
GB News Chief Executive Officer Angelos Frangopoulos thanked Warner Bros. Discovery for its vision and belief in GB News. “As our original investor, Discovery Inc. was first to see the importance of a new voice in British news broadcasting,” he said.
He added: “We’re enormously grateful to Warner Bros. Discovery for its support and wisdom throughout our start-up phase. We part as friends, and it’s been great to work with them.”
Mr Frangopoulos said the renewed investment from Legatum and Sir Paul will give GB News the financial muscle to build for the long term in a competitive market.
“We’ve already employed more than 200 journalists and now we’ll invest more deeply in a number of areas, including a new digital product suite, our technology and studio, subtitles, additional distribution platforms, and exciting new talent,” he said.
He announced the first of a series of new appointments:
- Journalist and broadcaster Camilla Tominey joins in a new senior political presenting role, in addition to her existing position at the Telegraph.
- Journalist and political commentator Andrew Pierce joins with his own show later this year, also continuing his senior editorial position at the Daily Mail
- Broadcaster and former politician Michael Portillo joins the channel’s political team and will launch his own new programme in the autumn The channel’s new initiatives will include a new weekly national poll – The GB News People’s Poll – conducted by People Polling, a member of the British Polling Council.
Mr Frangopoulos also confirmed that GB News had successfully won a competitive process to move from Virgin Media channel 626 to the more prominent 604 position.
Editorial Director Michael Booker announced that GB News would also boost its capability to broadcast from locations across the four nations of the United Kingdom.
“As the People’s Channel we are committed to serving the majority of British people, and that majority lives beyond London,” he said. “Some of our best broadcast moments have come from our live audiences around the country, so we want to go to them more often.”
The two co-founders of GB News, Andrew Cole and Mark Schneider, have resigned as Directors after Legatum and Sir Paul Marshall bought their shareholdings. Mr Schneider and Mr Cole created the GB News parent company in February 2021 and oversaw the raise that saw Discovery and other investors come in to finance the new channel.
Mr Schneider will be a member of the Editorial Committee and an adviser to the company. “I will continue to lend my full support to a successful future for the company,” he said. Mr Cole, who sat on the Editorial and Compensation committees, is leaving to dedicate more time to his rapidly growing FinTech called Glow.
Mr Frangopoulos said: “We wish to thank Andrew for his vision and support from inception to launch and beyond. He remains an avid supporter of the channel and we will miss his contribution on the board.” Mr Cole said: “It has been an honour to help create GB News. Many congratulations to senior management for the outstanding channel that they have created. Audience figures are growing, the channel output is very good, and viewer engagement is the best in the industry. Crucially, the channel serves the views of the majority of British people and not the narrow London elites as seen by the BBC and other news channels. I wish the channel every success and hope to see it become the largest news channel in the UK in the coming years.”
Co-lead investor Sir Paul Marshall said: “GB News has made an incredible impact in only 14 months. It’s building a loyal and growing audience and has surpassed our expectations to become one of the UK’s fastest-growing multi-media start-ups in years.” Sir Paul also promised: “In a world of too much groupthink, GB News will continue to provide space for genuinely independent thinking, insightful discussion, and impartial analysis. It’s passionate, it’s brave, and its best is yet to come.”
The £60 million fundraise is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.