TV Critics Tour: Koppel Lands BBC Gig


Beverly Hills, Calif.—ABC News and Discovery Channel veteran Ted Koppel will serve as a contributing analyst on BBC World News America, including coverage of the 2008 presidential race.

Addressing television critics at the Beverly Hilton Hotel via satellite, Koppel said Discovery Networks is still his primary employer, but added that he was delighted—as a British native and a naturalized U.S. citizen—to join the network he watched as a child. He's especially interested in covering either party's nominating convention, because both promise to be newsworthy.

Asked why Americans should watch the BBC for convention coverage rather than CNN, MSNBC or Fox News, Koppel shrugged and said, “it's a matter of taste.”

Matt Frei, anchor of the news operation, said the BBC's coverage will include instant reactions from around the world, adding that BBC's coverage of the elections will introduce a new governmental regime to the world.

As an aside, to explain the interest globally in American elections, Frei related an anecdote where he was buttonholed by his plumber at home in England, who pressed Frei to explain American superdelegates.

Koppel will converse with Frei on World News America and create “illustrated essays” featuring news footage to complement his commentary.

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