BBC Nolan Show's top man makes move to £75k job in Stormont
Stephen Nolan has suffered a massive blow after his leading editor quit for a top post at Stormont.
One of Northern Ireland's most respected journalists, David Gordon, who is credited as the driving force behind the success of the 'biggest radio show in the country' is to become the Executive's new spin doctor.
The 51-year-old has been the editor of the Nolan Show for three years after the BBC brought him in to add his heavyweight political clout to the popular Radio Ulster morning show.
Mr Gordon, a former political editor of the Belfast Telegraph, will earn an annual salary of £75,000 as the most senior spokesman for the First and Deputy First Ministers.
Mr Nolan described him as the "most talented, knowledgeable political journalist".
"The Nolan Show has held Stormont to account for many years now and David has been at the very heart of this," the broadcaster said.
"He is a political anorak, the very best and the most decent. His journalism is aggressive, but fairness and integrity is always his core bottom line."
Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness issued a statement saying it was a "joint appointment". They added: "We are delighted that David, an experienced and well-regarded journalist, has agreed to take up this post.
"This is a joint appointment, reflecting the Executive's shared commitment to communicate effectively and move forward together, and we look forward to working closely with David as our Executive Press Secretary."
Mr Gordon - who is replacing another former BBC journalist, Stephen Grimason, at Stormont - described his new post as an exciting challenge.
He said: "This is an opportunity I simply could not turn down.
"I will enjoy getting a different perspective on the interaction between journalists and Government.
"Journalists have a duty to hold politicians to account and ask the tough questions that need to be asked."