Could Jeremy Paxman look any less enamoured with the new Newsnight setup? He stopped bothering to shave as soon as the new boss, Ian Katz, turned up, and an article in Prospect magazine examines the recent high-profile departures from the programme. It criticises Katz's 'Two Kims' approach to broadcasting, which he pioneered at the Guardian, and asks whether Newsnight is doomed as a sinking ship.
'For the past two decades successive BBC2 Controllers have reportedly dreamt of getting rid of Newsnight and freeing up the post-10.30pm slot to make way for long dramas, films or late-night shows which might have a different feel from the early evening blokey fare such as QI and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. There are no hints of the programme being axed, but Paxman’s retirement will be a key turning point. What will trouble BBC executives even more is that its credibility has not fully recovered from the crisis of 2011. Above all, the crucial question is do we really need a 40-minute late-night news programme in a different news arena? If so, what should it look like?'
Mr Steerpike wonders who might fancy stepping into Paxo's shoes when he does retire? As chief correspondent and presenter, perhaps Laura Kuenssberg is being lined up as a hard-hitting replacement with experience in the business and political worlds. Or Sky's Dermot Murnaghan might fancy returning to Auntie. Or perhaps, given Katz's commitment to surprising viewers, he might go for someone rather unexpected. The Daily Mail's Tim Shipman has an irascible sense of humour and enjoys haranguing politicians, for instance. Who would Coffee House readers like to suggest?