NEW YORK — May 20, 2013 — Deborah Turness, former editor of ITV News, the United Kingdom’s most-watched commercial network news service, has been named President of NBC News. It was announced today by Pat Fili-Krushel, Chairman, NBCUniversal News Group.
Turness joins CNBC President Mark Hoffman and MSNBC President Phil Griffin as part of the NBCUniversal News Group leadership team reporting to Fili-Krushel. She will be based at the NBC News headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and begin her new role on August 5.
As President, Turness will be responsible for all aspects of the NBC News division including the programs “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Today,” “Meet the Press,” and “Dateline” as well as its news bureaus around the world. She will also oversee all breaking news, investigative and enterprise reporting, along with the division’s digital properties including NBCNews.com. Additionally, she will have oversight of Peacock Productions, an award-winning in-house production company.
“Deborah has built an outstanding reputation as both a journalist and business executive with a proven track record for innovation and collaboration,” said Fili-Krushel. “She is a leader with a global perspective, who is also very familiar with NBC News, having worked closely with us through our partnership with ITN. Her passion for the news business, combined with her creativity and vision, will be a tremendous asset to NBC News, and I’m very pleased to welcome her to the team.”
Said Turness: “It is quite simply the greatest imaginable honor to be named as the next President of NBC News. I am hugely excited by the opportunities that lie ahead and look forward to working with the talented journalists and technicians who make it one of the great global news operations.”
As Editor of the ITN-produced ITV News since 2004, Turness has been responsible for overseeing all national news coverage and business operations for the network, ITV News London and the critically acclaimed website and livestream. She has also served as executive producer on ITV’s weekly current affairs show “The Tonight Programme,” as well as numerous documentaries, live specials, UK and US election night coverage and all live Royal event programming.
Additionally, she was the first female editor of network news programming in Great Britain and the youngest editor in ITV News’ history. During her tenure, she has presided over a series of world exclusives including the arrest of the London bombers, the leaked report on the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, breaking news lines on the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal, and Prince William and Kate Middleton’s much-anticipated engagement interview.
Under Turness’ leadership, ITV News has been recognized with some of the industry’s most prestigious awards including an International Emmy, three consecutive BAFTAs for coverage of the earthquakes in Haiti and China and the Cumbria murders, as well as a number of awards for journalistic excellence including the Royal Television Society Programme of the Year for ITV News at Ten. Personal accolades include the Women in Film and Television News and Factual Award.
Corporately, Turness recently played a key role in winning back the Channel 5 News contract, reinstating ITN’s position as news provider for all of the UK’s commercial terrestrial channels. She was also instrumental in the launch of 5 News back in 1997.
She joined ITV News as Deputy Editor in 2002, returning to ITN from Channel 4 where she served as Editor of the morning show “Rise.” Before that, Turness spent 13 years at ITN, joining as a freelancer in Paris while studying for a post-doctorate degree at the University of Bordeaux.
During that time, she worked across foreign, home and planning desks, and also spent four years as the Washington Producer for ITN’s DC-based bureau, overseeing all content from North, South and Latin America, Canada and across the Caribbean. This period of time included President Clinton’s first White House term, the Oklahoma City bombings and the Atlanta Olympics.