Monday 16 July 2018

BBC’s director of news James Harding to leave role

He is setting up a new media venture.

Times CEO Summit – London
Times CEO Summit – London

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

The BBC’s director of news and current affairs James Harding is to stand down from the role after five years.

The former Times editor – appointed in April 2013 – will leave the corporation in the new year to set up his own media venture with a “distinct approach to the news”.

Harding called working at the broadcaster “rewarding and worthwhile” and said his new company would focus on journalism that the BBC “for all its brilliance, can’t, and probably shouldn’t, do”.

He added: “And that’s what I want to explore: I am going to start a new media company with a distinct approach to the news and a clear point of view.

“I know I will enjoy the chance to do some more journalism of my own and, at such a critical time, I’m seriously excited about the prospect of building a new venture in news. I look forward to being able to say more about it when we get started in the new year.”

Harding has overseen all news and current affairs programming at the BBC since 2013 when he replaced Helen Boaden who was in charge when the Jimmy Savile scandal erupted.

Lord Tony Hall, the BBC’s director-general, said Harding had done an “incredible job during a hugely complex and momentous period of British and world history.

“He has led the BBC’s coverage through two referendums, two general elections, an astonishing US presidential election, not to mention a series of extraordinary events at home and abroad.”

He added: “In the years James has been with us he’s played an important part in modernising and changing the BBC, but beyond that, he has been a first-class colleague and a pleasure to work with. We shall miss him and wish him every success with his new venture.”

Lord Hall highlighted a series of Harding’s achievements including the appointment of the BBC’s first female political editor Laura Kuenssberg, and the launch of slow news and Reality Check to counter fake news.

Prior to taking the role Harding edited the Times newspaper between 2007 and 2012.

Press Association

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