LONDON (AP) – The BBC announced Thursday that it has appointed Deborah Turness as its new chief executive officer for news and current affairs, bringing to the station a highly experienced journalist who previously held senior leadership positions in the news division. news from the American television network NBC.
Turness, 54, comes to the BBC from British media company ITN, of which she is currently CEO. The native of England will replace Fran Unsworth, who will leave at the end of January.
“In the UK and around the world there has never been a greater need for the BBC’s powerful brand of impartial and trustworthy journalism,” Turness said in a statement.
“It is a great privilege to be asked to lead and grow BBC News at a time of accelerating digital growth and innovation, when its content is reaching more global consumers on more platforms than ever before,” he added.
BBC Director-General Tim Davie said Turness “brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, first-class editorial judgment and a strong track record of dedication” to his new role.
He called her “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 around the world.”
When he starts his new job, Turness will have responsibility for a team of around 6,000 offering broadcasts in more than 40 languages to nearly 500 million people around the world, the BBC said.
Turness joined NBC News in 2013, becoming the first female president of a news division of an American network, and later served as president of the network’s global arm.
The BBC, founded in 1922, is the UK’s publicly funded but editorially independent national broadcaster. The rules governing its operations are set out in a royal charter that requires the corporation to be impartial, act in the public interest, and be open, transparent, and accountable.
The station has come under pressure from some members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, who accuse it of having a liberal bias. He also faced strong criticism last year over his integrity after a scathing report about his explosive 1995 interview with Princess Diana.
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