BBC Scotland has named Martin Geissler and Rebecca Curran as the new anchors of its new flagship “Scottish Nine” news programme.
The pair, both former STV reporters, will be fronting the hour-long show from the BBC’s Pacific Quay studios in Glasgow when it launches on a new dedicated Scottish content channel in February.
BBC chiefs said Curran, a senior broadcast journalist in its Aberdeen newsroom, and Geissler, currently a news correspondent for ITN, would bring “bold, challenging and original journalism” able to compete with news programmes produced anywhere else in Britain.
The new “Scottish new hour” is planned to be the centrepiece of the new channel, which will be called BBC Scotland and will run from 7pm to midnight every night.
Announced in February 2017, it was meant to launch in the autumn of this year, but was recently put back until 2019
Geissler, from Edinburgh, has covered the second Gulf War, Hurricane Katrina, the Boxing Day tsunami in the India Ocean, the conflict in Afghanistan and the election of Donald Trump since joining ITN in 2002. He started his caereer in journalism in 1991 with the then fledgling Sky News.
Curran, who started her career in local radio with Aberdeen-based Northsound, spent three years as a reporter at STV before joining the BBC.
Curran said: “This is an amazing opportunity for me personally and
professionally, at what is an exciting time for broadcasting in Scotland.
"I've enjoyed every minute of working in the Aberdeen newsroom, covering a fantastic patch with great colleagues, but I'm looking forward to this next challenge.”
Geissler, said: “I’ve seen every stage of my career as a privilege and this is an exciting new chapter.
“The opportunity to front a fresh programme, covering the world from a Scottish perspective, was impossible to resist.
“The nine o’clock news will be a bold programme with its own character and personality, produced by a talented team. I can’t wait to get started."
BBC Scotland has already announced that Hayley Valentine, a former editor of Question Time, would be taking charge of the “Scottish Nine” programme.
She said: “Rebecca has gained a reputation as one of the BBC’s most talented reporters over the last two years, and brings with her a passion for original journalism that will continue to shape the agenda on the show every night. She’s also smart, warm and engaging.
“Martin has earned his status as one of the stand out journalists on British television, covering some of the major world events of the last 25 years.
“His knowledge of world, UK, and Scottish affairs is difficult to beat, while his hunger to get beneath the skin of a story will be a huge asset to the new programme.”
Gary Smith, head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland, added: “With Rebecca and Martin at the front of a talented team, the news at nine o’clock will be able to compete with the strongest TV news programmes in Scotland and anywhere across the UK.”