Less than four months after being promoted to a lucrative international news position at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), journalist Yalda Hakim is leaving the publicly-owned network to join its commercial rival.
On Thursday, Comcast’s Sky Group said Hakim has agreed to accept a role with its Sky News channel that will include presenting a new prime-time international news program starting later this year.
“I am honored and excited to be joining Sky News as lead world news presenter. I have long admired Sky for its smart, fearless and world-class reporting,” Hakim said in a statement emailed to The Desk on Thursday. “At a time when global media must work harder than ever to earn the confidence of our viewers, I look forward to giving my all as part of one of the most talented and accomplished news teams anywhere.”
Prior to joining Sky News, Hakim served as the chief presenter for the BBC News channel, where she hosted the flagship international news program “The Daily Global.”
At Sky News, Hakim will present a new international-focused news program that will be broadcast on the channel and distributed across various digital platforms, including the global streaming variant of Sky News, which is available in nearly 140 countries.
“We’re so excited to have Yalda join Sky as our lead world news presenter,” David Rhodes, the executive chairman of Sky News Group, said on Thursday. “Sky News has always featured an award-winning international news report, with Alex Crawford, Stuart Ramsay, Dominic Waghorn, and so many colleagues on the front lines of our coverage every day. Yalda bolsters this multi-platform presentation — her professional accomplishments and personal journey make her an ideal addition to our newsroom.”
Hakim was born in Kabul, but her time in Afghanistan was short: Her family fled from the country during the Soviet-Afghan war when she was just six months old. They traveled to Pakistan, where they lived for two years before immigrating to and settling in Australia.
She began her broadcast journalism career at Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a public service broadcaster that offers alternative programming targeting diverse audiences. Hakim began covering international news and political affairs for the SBS program “Dateline” in 2008, and then took on an additional role as a journalist for “SBS World News Australia.”
Hakim moved to the BBC in 2012, where she started as an international correspondent for BBC World Service. She began producing documentaries that aired on the domestic BBC News Channel as well as the network’s flagship magazine program “Newsnight.” In February, she was promoted to the role of chief presenter for BBC News after the domestic and international channels merged.