Andrew Neil blasts GB News over technical errors on launch date – ‘Went from bad to worse! | UK | News

0

Andrew Neil quizzed on GB News departure by Fiona Bruce

The pillar of British journalism, who stepped back from the newly launched GB News, has laid bare his near collapse from his experience at the broadcaster. Admitting he “came close to a breakdown,” Mr Neil claimed the number of technical disasters left him “in despair”.

“It was terrible, it was terrible,” he told the Daily Mail.

The launch night in June was plagued with technical errors from sound to lighting but Mr Neil claimed the problems became worse.

“It just went from bad to worse,” he said.

“There was one day we spent the whole day preparing the programme and fixing up a number of interviews down the line [meaning remotely, rather than in the studio] because that was the business model.

Andrew Neil

Andrew Neil, former chairman of GB News (Image: PA)

Andrew

Andrew Neil (Image: BBC)

“At one minute to eight [his flagship show was broadcast live at 8pm] I sat down, earpiece in, microphone on, only to be told by the director we had no external communications, so I had no guests.”

On another occasion, Mr Neil claimed one night, the technology failed with just 15 seconds until air time.

He added: “At one stage, we were waiting to go on air and the whole system went down. It had to be rebooted and we only managed it with 15 seconds to spare.

“That stress was just huge. It meant you couldn’t think about the journalism.

“You were just constantly wondering: ‘Will we make it through the hour?’ By the end of that first week, I knew I had to get out.

“It was really beginning to affect my health. I wasn’t sleeping. I was waking up at two or three in the morning.”

In the interview Andrew Neil compared the start-up to Sky News’ launch in 1988 which he oversaw with Rupert Murdoch.

He said: “At Sky, we’d had three weeks of rehearsals before going on air.

Andrew Neil

Andrew Neil on BBC’s Question Time (Image: BBC)

“GB News barely had a week and there were so many hitches with the technology. The CEO wanted to get on air, even if it was ramshackle, and then improve things.”

Before the launch Mr Neil said: “We’re launching a boat that’s only half-built. We’ll build the rest when it’s floating.

“I’m not a shipbuilder, but it seems to me if you launch a boat that’s only half-built it will sink.”

Andrew made the official announcement he was quitting GB News as chairman and lead presenter earlier this month on Twitter.

GB News

Andrew Neil on launch of GB News (Image: GETTY)

Last week the Ex-GB News chair was publicly critical of the news channel during his appearance on BBC’s Question Time.

In his first television appearance after stepping down from GB News, he said: “More and more differences emerged between myself and the other senior managers and the board of GB News.

“Rather than these differences narrowing they got wider and wider.”

Responding to Andrew’s account of the situation, a spokesman for GB News told the Daily Mail that “at no point” did Mr Neil raise his concerns.

GB News

GB News Tonight Live panel (Image: GB News)

They said: “At no point did Andrew raise concerns of the editorial direction of GB News moving to the right. As with all companies, decision-making rests with the board, and GB News is no different. As a member of the board, Andrew had the same rights and abilities to raise concerns, and he was privy to all decisions.

“The launch date of GB News was set to accommodate Andrew’s own travel plans. Indeed, contrary to management’s wishes, it was Andrew who insisted the launch date be announced, failing which he refused to travel to London for it.

“At no time did Andrew ask to be executive chairman and at no point was this offered to him. He was always a non-executive chairman. He had ‘full say over programming decisions and talent.’

They continued: “The board allowed Andrew time off over the summer to recharge his batteries. He subsequently asked to leave and the board agreed to this request. The terms of his departure were properly negotiated and documented, with Andrew taking legal advice throughout.

DON’T MISS
GB News’ Colin Brazier slams BBC ‘where is the alternative?’ [REVEAL]
Andrew Neil slammed for deserting GB News too soon [ANALYSIS]
Andrew Neil blasts GB News for shoddy launch [INSIGHT]

Andrew Neil

Andrew Neil (Image: GETTY)

“The fact that he has chosen to ignore these terms and make his departure unnecessarily contentious and public is a decision he will have to live with.”





Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.