Turness has been appointed as CEO, BBC News and Current Affairs and joins the Beeb from ITN, where she is CEO.
Tim Davie, BBC Director-General:
“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.”
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. The BBC is currently an international news provider, with record numbers of people have turned to BBC News during the coronavirus pandemic. The offering isn’t without controversy with critics suggesting it fails to cover topics it finds uncouth or too taboo with led last year to the launch of GB News to offer ‘an alternative’ and ‘cover all stories happening in the UK that matter to viewers’.
The corporation note that Turness’ title of CEO reflects the BBC’s ambition to continue to build the BBC’s global news brand and continue to grow its news services, which are now reaching a record 456 million people worldwide. Deborah will also be nominated to join the BBC Board. Her appointment follows a competitive recruitment process. She replaces Fran Unsworth, who is retiring and leaves the BBC at the end of January.
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.”