As CEO of BBC News, she 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 said it “is consistently rated the world’s most trusted international news provider, and record numbers of people have turned to BBC News during the coronavirus pandemic.” It noted that latest figures show that eight out of 10 U.K. adults use BBC News every week.
“Deborah brings a wealth of experience, insight, first-class editorial judgement and a strong track record of delivery,” said BBC director-general Tim Davie. “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 U.K. 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.”
Said Turness: “In the U.K. 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.”
Before her time at ITN, Turness served as the first president of NBC News International, where she was responsible for overseeing its operations, including editorial, production and commercial. Before that, she worked as editor of ITV News.
Turness first joined ITN as a freelancer while on a post-graduate journalism course in France in her early 20s. “Over the following years, she worked across the foreign, home and planning desks before joining the North of England bureau,” the BBC said. She then became ITN’s Washington Bureau producer during the Clinton White House years and spent time in Bosnia during the Balkans War. She was appointed ITV News deputy editor in 2002 and was then made editor in 2004.