Ted Koppel signs on for BBC gig

ABC News vet named contributing analyst

Veteran TV journo Ted Koppel has been named a contributing analyst for the BBC.

Koppel, who’s been making in-depth documentaries for Discovery Channel since he left ABC News in 2005, will appear on both BBC America and BBC World News, “offering his expertise on major international and national news stories, including the 2008 presidential election race,” the broadcaster announced Tuesday.

Koppel will likely join the BBC’s news teams at the party conventions in Denver and Minneapolis.

Ted Koppel is the quintessential American journalist with a global perspective,” BBC exec producer Rome Hartman said in a statement. “His smart, sophisticated view of the world, and America’s place in it, makes him a perfect fit for BBC World News America. His knowledge and insight on everything, from China’s economic development to the battle for the White House, is second to none, and his analysis of stories and issues is razor-sharp,” Hartman enthused.

“The BBC has worldwide capabilities that I can’t think any American network matches,” Koppel said. “To the degree that our future in this country is dependent to any extent on what’s happening in the rest of the world — which you won’t hear about a great deal on the American networks — then the BBC can be very, very helpful.”

Koppel added that he was born in the U.K. and lived there until he was 12. “It’s a particular pleasure for me now, as a U.S. citizen and longtime American journalist, to have been asked to join BBC America as a contributor,” he said.

Koppel will continue in his full-time position as managing editor of Discovery Channel, which he joined after a 42-year career at ABC News.

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