UK's ITN confirmed on Monday that ITV editor Deborah Turness will resign from her post to become the president of NBC News. The Guardian's Josh Halliday first tweeted the news and reported that NBC News confirmed Turness' appointment. ITV News is produced by ITN.
Turness became the UK's first female editor of a news division in 2004 when she took on the role at ITV, which is equivalent to a news president in the U.S. She was also the youngest editor in ITV News' history. Reports surfaced earlier this month that NBC News, which had been searching for a new president since Steve Capus stepped down in Feburary, decided on Turness. Her appointment once again proved history as she became the first female president of a U.S. news network.
She will remain at ITV till July. Michael Jermey, ITV's director of news and current affairs, said of Turness, "Deborah has made an enormous contribution to ITV News over many years and we wish her all the very best in her new role. She leaves ITV News in great shape."
Speaking of her new role, Turness said in a statement:
It is quite simply the greatest imaginable honour 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.
Turness will be based at NBC News headquarters in New York City and begin her new role on August 5. She will report to Pat Fili-Krushel, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group. Fili-Krushel said in a statement:
Deborah has built an outstanding reputation as both a journalist and business executive with a proven track record for innovation and collaboration. 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.
The Los Angeles Times' Joe Flint first floated Turness' name as a candidate in NBC News' search in April.
Turness takes over NBC News at a somewhat precarious time when low morale could be overtaking some corners of the network. In addition to declining ratings and sinking ad revenue at the network's cash cow "Today," NBC canceled the network's primetime newsmagazine "Rock Center with Brian Williams" after switching its time slot multiples times.