BBC appoints new CEO of News and Current Affairs

The BBC, which kicks off its 100-year birthday celebrations this weekend, has appointed a new CEO of News and Current Affairs.

Deborah Turness will join the corporation from ITN, where she is currently CEO.

She replaces Fran Unsworth, who is retiring and leaves the BBC at the end of January.

Turness has a vast amount of international experience having been the president of NBC News International, the global arm of American news network NBC News.

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, says: “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.”

Deborah Turness says: “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.”

The appointment follows a strong year for the corporation’s news sector. It claims that record numbers of people have turned to BBC News during the coronavirus pandemic and that eight out of ten UK adults use BBC News every week.

As CEO of BBC News, Deborah will have responsibility for a team of around 6,000 people, broadcasting to almost half a billion people across the world in more than 40 languages. 


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