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GB News

So it appears as though Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) made the discovery that controversial news channel GB News isn’t all that great, as the US company announced it would sell its stake in the broadcaster.

‘Goodbye GB News’ trended on Twitter on Thursday following the news of the shareholder’s departure, as social media users shared their glee at the company’s potential demise.

Contributors challenged the claim, however, with Real Britain host Darren Grimes tweeting the channel “has just raised tens of millions, announced a new line-up and … punches above its weight against both Sky and the BBC”.

Sophie Corcoran added: “We are going nowhere. We have covered grooming gangs, immigration, vaccine injuries and question lockdowns [sic], when no other media did.

“Sorry lefties we are here to stay.”

A WBD spokesperson said in a statement to The Guardian that its decision to quit investing in GB News came after the merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia earlier this year brought organisations such as CNN Worldwide, Poland’s TVN Group and New Zealand’s Newshub.

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“In light of this, and our continued evaluation of our global and local investment portfolio, we have exited our investment in GB News and are no longer shareholders.”

We’re seriously tempted to call WBD’s decision to ditch GB News ‘Wexit’, but that would be silly.

The company was bought out by Legatum Ventures Limited and Sir Paul Marshall. Legatum lists current GB News chairman Alan McCormick as a partner, while Sir Paul is the founder of the online magazine UnHerd.

Both had already invested in GB News before WBD’s departure.

Mr McCormick said of the new £60 million cash: “This is testament to our confidence in the momentum and trajectory of GB News after a strong year. Our additional investment means the channel will embark on robust and exciting plans for the next stage of its growth and development.”

Sir Paul added: “This is more than a financial investment. As investors we’re proud of what GB News is doing for media plurality in the UK, bringing fresh perspectives to the national conversation on issues that matter to real Britain.”

Though it isn’t just Warner Bros Discovery who have abandoned the broadcaster, as its two founders, Andrew Cole and Mark Schneider, were also bought out by Legatum and Sir Paul after they sold their shares as well.

Mr Schneider said he would “continue to lend my full support” to GB News, as he will continue as an adviser and member of the company’s Editorial Committee.

Meanwhile Mr Cole will now spend more time on his financial technology or FinTech company Glow, and said he wishes the channel “every success” and hopes it will become “the largest news channel in the UK in the coming years”.

Away from the on-screen drama for GB News – involving Andrew Neil slamming the broadcaster he helped set up and the channel cancelling a presenter for ‘taking the knee’ – the broadcaster hasn’t exactly had a smooth ride in terms of money, either.

It was reported last year that initial funding for the channel of £60 million would last for three years, and in its first financial accounts for 2021 (published on Companies House in March), it was revealed GB News had an operating loss of £3 million before launching in June that year.

Legatum have said the £60 million deal is due to be completed in “the next few weeks”.

To be fair to GB News, though – because their coverage certainly isn’t – its CEO Angelos Frangopoulos claims the broadcaster will now invest in new technology, subtitles and “exciting new talent”.

It also plans to carry out weekly national polling through People Polling, a pollster which is part of the British Polling Council, in a new item cleverly titled ‘The GB News People’s Poll’.

The creativity is immaculate, folks.

As for the “exciting new talent” teased by Mr Frangopoulos, Thursday also saw the announcement that The Daily Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey will take on a “senior political presenting role”, while Daily Mail consultant editor Andrew Pierce and ex-politician Michael Portillo will have their own shows.

God help us all.

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