UK vet De Pear is ITN’s most-decorated editor and under his leadership Channel 4 News has won a bevvy of awards including RTS News Programme of the Year four times; six International Emmys, five BAFTAs and has been nominated for an Oscar.
He led the Channel 4 News team from the newsroom throughout the pandemic — which included a six-year audience high in March 2020 — and was at the helm for notable undercover exposés including that of Cambridge Analytica.
De Pear joined Channel 4 News as foreign producer in 2005, winning multiple awards for coverage of conflicts in Lebanon, Congo, Somalia, and Afghanistan. He became foreign editor in 2008 and was appointed editor in August 2012.
Following his departure, ITN said he plans to pursue a career in long-form TV content and film, having executive-produced the Oscar-nominated feature documentary For Sama, which began as a series of news reports – with over half a billion views – and has gone on to become one of the most awarded documentaries in recent years.
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The exit is a double whammy for Channel 4 News, given that iconic anchor Jon Snow is also stepping down at the end of this year after 32 years with the broadcaster.
Ben de Pear commented: “I have loved every minute of being editor of Channel 4 News and it has been an honour to lead the best, most exceptional and inspiring TV journalists in the world. The programme fulfils all the greatest aspects of public service broadcasting; reporting the facts, holding the powerful to account, investigating wrong-doing and corruption and giving the voiceless and marginalised a place where they can be seen and heard. The one-of-a-kind combination of Channel 4 and ITN have fostered this uniquely brilliant and independent programme and long may it continue to do so. I am also very proud of our record of creating the most diverse and creative newsroom in the UK fulfilling the remit of Channel 4 to the letter. It will now be someone else’s privilege to lead the most outstanding, funny, awkward, uncompromising journalists anywhere on the planet, who never take no for an answer and stop at nothing to get to the truth.”
Deborah Turness, CEO of ITN added: “Ben is a brilliant journalist and an outstanding award-winning editor. He has led Channel 4 News to extraordinary highs. No newsroom leader in ITN’s history has won more awards or broken more exclusives. His passion and commitment, energy and enterprise mean he has fearlessly driven a distinctive, high-impact agenda, holding the powerful to account, and challenging expectations with compelling journalism, hard-hitting investigations, and unrivalled foreign news. His leadership during the pandemic ensured ITN not only reacted quickly with new working practices but continued to provide the hour-long Channel 4 News programme uninterrupted throughout, as well as many extra hours of coverage. He has fostered an open and diverse editorial culture and newsroom which we will seek to continue. ITN and Channel 4 look forward to continuing their award-winning relationship with Ben as he moves into the world of long-form content. We’d like to wish him every great fortune in the future and thank him for his extraordinary contribution.”
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