Bosses of news channel GB News have confirmed two new backers for its 24-hour TV and online service set to launch in the UK later this year, including the think tank the Legatum Institute and Vote Leave donor Sir Paul Marshall.
The Dubai-based investment group and one of the UK’s most prominent hedge fund managers, Sir Paul, have added their names alongside US broadcasting giant Discovery Inc.
The move means bosses at the news service will start recruiting 120 journalists and 20 support roles for the project chaired by former BBC presenter Andrew Neil.
Legatum is known for its funding of think tank the Legatum Institute, which launched in 2007.
It also produces the closely followed annual Prosperity Index, alongside investment and research divisions.
Sir Paul is the co-founder of hedge fund Marshall Wace and was a donor to the Vote Leave campaign. His stake in GB News will be in a personal capacity, the company added.
The businessman is also co-founder and chairman of ARK Schools, a multi-academy trust of 38 schools, and funded political website UnHerd.
Mr Neil, who will also host a prime-time programme on GB News, said he was hugely encouraged by the confidence investors had shown in the business.
He added: “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 officer Angelos Frangopoulos said GB News was an opportunity to add plurality to the UK media sector that is not so London-centric.
He said: “This is a significant investment in British journalism at a time when it’s needed most.”
The channel says it expects to reach 96% of British television households via Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, YouView and Freesat. It will also have streaming, video-on-demand and audio services.
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