ITN boss Deborah Turness, 54, is confirmed as new BBC News chief

ITN boss Deborah Turness, 54, is confirmed as new BBC News chief executive as she replaces the departing Fran Unsworth in £400,000-a-year role

  • Deborah Turness will take over from Fran Unsworth who is leaving BBC at the end of this month after 40 연령
  • Mother-of-two Turness, 54, only began role at ITN last April having been at NBC News prior to that since 2013
  • BBC will pay her a salary of £400,000, an increase on Unsworth’s by £60,000, but start date is unconfirmed
  • Boss Tim Davie is said to have made further efforts to convince her to join after she initially turned down role
  • ITN chief executive Deborah Turness was today announced as the BBC‘s new £400,000-a-year chief executive of news and current affairs as she prepared to take over from the outgoing Fran Unsworth.

    Ms Turness, 54, who is a married mother-of-two, only began her role at ITN last April having been at NBC News prior to that since 2013, where she became the first female president of a US network news division.

    중에서 2004 과 2013 she was editor of ITV 뉴스 – the first woman to hold the role. The BBC will pay her a salary of £400,000, an increase on Unsworth’s by around £60,000, but her start date is yet to be confirmed.

    BBC director-general Tim Davie was said to have been very keen on Ms Turness taking the role, but had to make further efforts to convince her to join after she initially turned it down. Mr Davie and Ms Turness spoke at the Royal Television Society media conference in Cambridge last September, and she even interviewed him on stage.

    Unsworth, 64, is now retiring after four years in the role and more than 40 years working for the BBC, and is set to leave the corporation at the end of this month. Her departure was announced by the BBC four months ago.

    There had been speculation that Unsworth’s deputies Jonathan Munro, deputy director of BBC News, and Jamie Angus, senior controller of BBC News output and commissioning, were frontrunners. Others linked to the role in recent weeks included RTE news chief Jon Williams and Sky News director of content Cristina Nicolotti Squires.

    Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom’s director of content and media policy, and BBC Radio 4 presenter Nick Robinson were also tipped. The Times claimed last week there was a ‘mystery outsider’, but this now appears to have been Ms Turness.

    Mr Munro was seen as a controversial candidate because he was involved in rehiring Martin Bashir in 2016 as BBC religious affairs correspondent despite the reporter’s Panorama interview with Princess Diana two decades earlier.

    Mr Munro had carried out background checks and was told Mr Bashir had forged documents to secure the chat. He presented this to then-news chief James Harding who took responsibility for Mr Bashir’s return. The decision to hire him was then reviewed by former BBC executive Ken MacQuarrie, who cleared those involved of wrongdoing.

    지금, the position has been confirmed as going to Ms Turness, and she said in a statement: ‘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.

    ITN chief executive Deborah Turness has today been announced as the BBC's new chief executive of news and current affairs

    ITN chief executive Deborah Turness has today been announced as the BBC’s new chief executive of news and current affairs

    Ms Turness replaces Fran Unsworth (위) who is retiring after four years in the role and will leave at the end of January

    Ms Turness replaces Fran Unsworth (위) who is retiring after four years in the role and will leave at the end of January

    BBC director-general Tim Davie speaks with ITN chief executive Ms Turness at the RTS Cambridge Convention last September

    BBC director-general Tim Davie speaks with ITN chief executive Ms Turness at the RTS Cambridge Convention last September

    BBC director-general Tim Davie 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 judgment, and a strong track record of delivery.

    How Deborah Turness made her name in TV by doorstepping Jacques Chirac while on work experience in France

    Deborah Turness, 54, was born in Rushden, Hertfordshire, and has a degree in French and English literature from Surrey University.

    She also took a post-graduate journalism course at the University of Bordeaux, when she first joined ITN as a freelancer.

    While on work experience at ITN she had her big break by securing an exclusive interview in 1998 with the then-French president Jacques Chirac after being sent to doorstep him when Jon Snow’s producer fell ill. Ms Turness cornered him at a rally before getting an interview which was the lead story on the News at Ten.

    She then worked in the foreign, home and planning desks of ITN before joining the North of England bureau. Ms Turness was ITN’s Washington Bureau producer while Bill Clinton was in the White House and also spent time in Bosnia during the Balkans War.

    에 1997, she was involved in launching 5 News on Channel 5 before moving to Channel 4 as editor of its breakfast programme, RI:SE. She was then appointed as ITV News deputy editor in 2002 before becoming editor two years later in 2004. This made her the network’s first female editor and the youngest ever editor of ITV News.

    During her tenure, ITV won an Emmy and three consecutive Bafta awards along with several RTS Programme of the Year awards. She also did a mini-MBA course at Ashridge Business School while in the role.

    Ms Turness joined NBC News in 2013, becoming the first woman in US history to be president of a network news division. 거기, she led a team of more than 3,000 journalists and technicians and was responsible for all editorial content and commercial revenues for NBC News. This included the network’s major brands including Today, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press and Dateline.

    She then joined ITN as chief executive in April 2021 and worked on its three major business areas of newsrooms, long-form production and commercial/branded content.

    Ms Turness is married to former ITN producer John Toker and they have two children, 8 세 12. Her hobbies are said to include paddle boarding, wild swimming and cooking.

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    ‘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.

    Ms Turness was born in Rushden, Hertfordshire, and has a degree in French and English literature from Surrey University.

    She also took a post-graduate journalism course at the University of Bordeaux, when she first joined ITN as a freelancer.

    It was while on work experience at ITN that she had her big break by securing an exclusive interview in 1998 with the then-French president Jacques Chirac after being sent to doorstep him when Jon Snow’s producer fell ill.

    Ms Turness managed to corner him at a rally before getting an interview which was the lead story on the News at Ten. She then worked in the foreign, home and planning desks of ITN before joining the North of England bureau.

    Ms Turness was ITN’s Washington Bureau producer while Bill Clinton was in the White House and also spent time in Bosnia during the Balkans War.

    에 1997, she was involved in launching 5 News on Channel 5 before moving to Channel 4 as editor of its breakfast programme, RI:SE.

    She was then appointed as ITV News deputy editor in 2002 before becoming editor two years later in 2004. This made her the network’s first female editor and the youngest ever editor of ITV News.

    During her tenure, ITV won an Emmy and three consecutive Bafta awards along with several RTS Programme of the Year awards. She also did a mini-MBA course at Ashridge Business School while in the role.

    Ms Turness joined NBC News in 2013, becoming the first woman in US history to be president of a network news division.

    거기, she led a team of more than 3,000 journalists and technicians and was responsible for all editorial content and commercial revenues for NBC News.

    This included the network’s major brands including Today, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press and Dateline.

    다만 18 months into her time at NBC, Ms Turness survived a huge row that threatened to bring her down when presenter Brian Williams admitted in 2015 that he had exaggerated stories from an Iraq War mission in 2003.

    One NBC insider had described her as having ‘come out of that populist, in-your-face Brit news style, and it makes a lot of male news executives uncomfortable’, 첨가: ‘Her management style grates with a lot of the people here.

    But others at NBC defended her, 그들이 불륜을 저질렀다고 주장하며 부서의 화제가 되었습니다.: ‘In fairness, she walked into a complete s***storm there’.

    She then joined ITN as chief executive in April 2021 and worked on its three major business areas of newsrooms, long-form production and commercial/branded content.

    The BBC said it had renamed the position from director to chief executive to reflect its ‘ambition to continue to build the BBC’s global news brand and continue to grow its news services’.

    Deborah Turness was responsible for securing Monica Lewinsky as a special correspondent for the US presidential election for 5 News in 2000. They are pictured together that year with a cameraman at Yosemite National Park in California

    Deborah Turness was responsible for securing Monica Lewinsky as a special correspondent for the US presidential election for 5 News in 2000. They are pictured together that year with a cameraman at Yosemite National Park in California

    Deborah Turness is pictured when she took over as ITV News editor in 2004, which made her the network's first female editor

    Deborah Turness is pictured when she took over as ITV News editor in 2004, which made her the network’s first female editor

    The BBC said it had renamed the position from director to chief executive to reflect its 'ambition to continue to build the BBC's global news brand and continue to grow its news services'. The corporation's New Broadcasting House in London is pictured

    The BBC said it had renamed the position from director to chief executive to reflect its ‘ambition to continue to build the BBC’s global news brand and continue to grow its news services’. The corporation’s New Broadcasting House in London is pictured

    The corporation said Ms Turness would have responsibility for a team of around 6,000 사람들, broadcasting to almost 500million people across the world in more than 40 언어.

    It added that eight out of ten UK adults use BBC News every week, and that these services are now reaching a record 456 전세계 백만명. Turness will also be nominated to join the BBC Board.

    Before being appointed to director of news and current affairs, Unsworth had worked at the BBC for more than four decades, having started her career in 1980 with BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat.

    Her previous roles included BBC home news editor, head of political programmes, and head of newsgathering.

    She was the BBC’s acting director of news and current affairs for periods between 2012 과 2013 and became the first female director of the BBC World Service Group in 2014, overseeing the biggest expansion of the World Service since the 1940s.

    What’s in the in-tray for Deborah Turness? Full list of challenges that will greet new boss of BBC News

    As chief executive of ITN and president of American news channel NBC News, Deborah Turness tackled issues including the digitisation of newsrooms and the pressures of the pandemic. 하나, she faces a full in-tray when she takes over from Fran Unsworth as chief executive of news and current affairs at the BBC. The broadcaster must deal with a series of challenges including cuts, competition from streaming giants, and questions about its impartiality.

    Impartiality

    The BBC has faced increased scrutiny over the issue and, upon becoming director-general in September 2020, Tim Davie said it was time to ‘renewthe corporation’s commitment to impartiality. 10 월, the broadcaster unveiled plans for its ‘biggest and most significant pushin response to a review led by Arts Council England chairman Sir Nicholas Serota into its governance and culture. The BBC published a 10-point plan focused on impartiality, editorial standards and whistleblowing to ensure its content is fair, accurate and unbiased. Ms Turness will be tasked with helping to implement this.

    Cuts and savings

    The BBC has culled its news board amid cuts and job losses in the division and an £80 million savings plan. Five roles, including that held by editorial director Kamal Ahmed, have been closed and plans to ‘modernise its newsroommean around 450 jobs are being cut across the organisation as it continues its efforts to move out of London.

    Licence fee

    A settlement over the BBC licence fee is expected to be signed off by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries by the end of January, 보고서에 따르면. The fee could be held below inflation, meaning a real-terms cut in funding at a time when the BBC is facing substantial financial pressure.

    Competition from streaming services

    The BBC faces a growing threat over viewers and talent from streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon. Director-general Davie has warned that the corporation is losing stars and creators in a ‘red hot’ 전투, pointing to Fleabag writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s deal with Amazon, thought to be in the region of eight figures.

    High-profile replacements

    Ms Turness’s arrival comes amid changes in the BBC’s on-air staff. Andrew Marr is leaving the corporation for media company Global and Laura Kuenssberg is stepping down as political editor. Both hiring processes are ongoing and face scrutiny from outside the BBC.

    Controversy over Jess Brammar

    Jess Brammar, former editor-in-chief of HuffPost UK and acting editor of Newsnight, was confirmed as the BBC’s executive news editor of news channels last year. 하나, her impartiality was questioned after old tweets emerged in which she was critical of Brexit and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. BBC chairman Richard Sharp defended the hiring process and told the Digital, 문화, Media and Sport Committee that such appointments are ‘a matter for the director-general and the executive team’.

    Uncertainty over the future of flagship news programmes

    Unsworth warned in August 2020 that the BBC’s News At Six and News At Ten could fade from television screens as the corporation’s coverage shifts to digital. She told the Telegraph that within a decade news will be ‘in the digital space’, where it will be accessed by iPlayer.

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