Deborah Turns appointed new head of BBC News to replace Fran Unsworth

ITN Managing Director Deborah Ternes has been announced as the new Managing Director of BBC News and Current Affairs, replacing Fran Unsworth, who retires at the end of January.

Terness, 54, joined NBC News in 2013, became the first female president of an American network’s news division, and then served as president of the network’s global arm.

Between 2004 and 2013, she was editor-in-chief of ITV News – the first woman to hold that role.

He will be paid a salary of £400,000, an increase of about £60,000 from Unsworth, and his start date will be confirmed, the BBC said.

There was speculation that BBC News Deputy Director Jonathan Munro and BBC News Chief Production and Commissioning Controller Jamie Angus were the favorites for the role.

However, the position went to an outside candidate.

Turns said: “There has never been a greater need for the BBC’s powerful brand of unbiased and credible journalism in the UK and around the world.

“It is a great privilege to be invited to lead and develop BBC News at a time of rapid digital growth and innovation, as its content reaches more global consumers on more platforms than ever before.”

BBC Managing Director Tim Davey said: “I am delighted that Deborah Terness is joining the BBC as CEO of BBC News and Current Affairs.

“Deborah brings extensive experience, insight, first-class editorial judgment and a solid distribution background.

“She is a strong advocate for the power of unbiased journalism and a strong supporter of the BBC and the role we play in the UK and around the world.

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Fran Unsworth (Jeff Overs/PA)

(PA Media)

“She will do a fantastic job of leading our news and current affairs as we fulfill the BBC’s public service mission in the digital age.”

The BBC said it had changed the name from director to director general to reflect “an ambition to grow the BBC’s global news brand and further develop its news services”.

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