News UK has announced that renowned political broadcaster John Pienaar will host the Drive Time show on Times Radio.
John Pienaar is one of the most familiar voices in UK broadcasting, with a 30 year career at the heart of Westminster, most recently as Chief Political Correspondent at BBC Radio 5 Live and as the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor. He also hosts the highly regarded Pienaar’s Politics show and podcast. His new Drive Time show on Times Radio will deal with the issues of the day in Westminster and beyond.
Pienaar said: “It’s been a huge pleasure and a great privilege to work at the Beeb. Now, I couldn’t be more thrilled about joining the greatest and oldest title in journalism – in such a new and ambitious project on the digital front line. The guiding aim is to offer listeners high quality discussion and analysis of the stories and issues of the day, and make it a compelling, enjoyable listen. I can’t wait to get started.”
Pienaar is the first signing to Times Radio, which will bring together the peerless journalistic expertise of The Times and The Sunday Times with the speech radio and podcasting experience at Wireless, the company behind talkSPORT, talkRADIO and Virgin Radio UK. Times Radio will provide provocative, well-informed, entertaining and useful discussion covering the key stories of the day, providing the perfect complement to the print and online offer.
Times Radio Launch Director Stig Abell said: “John Pienaar is one of the most familiar and well-respected voices in broadcasting. His knowledge, warmth and ability to make the complex and contrary understandable will create immense value for our listeners. I’m delighted he’s signed up to what I hope will be a new destination for those people hungry for quality reporting and trusted, expert analysis.”
Former BBC Radio 5 Live Editor Tim Levell has been named as Programme Director for Times Radio, and will work alongside Stig Abell and Wireless National Speech Radio Controller Liam Fisher.
The station will launch later this year and broadcast on DAB, online and via app and smart speakers. The station will be ad break free, with commercial opportunities for sponsors across the schedule.