BBC hires ITN boss to head news & current affairs

Deborah Turness

The BBC has appointed ITN boss Deborah Turness as the CEO of BBC News and Current Affairs.

The executive will be charged with leading the broadcaster’s news coverage across TV and digital, along with setting the agenda for its online news coverage. She will have responsibility for a team of around 6,000 people who in turn broadcast to 456 million people across the world in more than 40 languages.

Turness, who will also be nominated to join the BBC Board, replaces Fran Unsworth, who is retiring and leaves the BBC at the end of January. She is currently the CEO of ITN, and prior to that served as the first president of NBC News International. Turness also served as the editor of ITV News, where she was the broadcaster’s first female editor, and has also worked for Channel 4.

Tim Davie, BBC director general, said: “I’m delighted Deborah Turness is joining the BBC as our CEO for BBC News and Current Affairs. Deborah brings a wealth of experience, insight, first-class editorial judgement, and a strong track record of delivery.

“She is a passionate advocate for the power of impartial journalism and a great believer in the BBC and the role we play, in the UK and globally. She will do a brilliant job of leading our news and current affairs as we deliver on the BBC’s public service mission in the digital age.”

Turness added: “In the UK and around the world there has never been a greater need for the BBC’s powerful brand of impartial, trusted journalism. It is a great privilege to be asked to lead and grow BBC News at a time of accelerated digital growth and innovation, when its content is reaching more global consumers on more platforms than ever before.”

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