Report: NBC News Sets Sights on Deborah Turness

Appointment would make ITV News vet the first female U.S. network news chief

ITV News editor Deborah Turness is on the verge of becoming president of NBC News, which would make her the first woman to helm a network TV division in the U.S.

Though her appointment has not been officially confirmed, The Guardian’s ITV News sources said, “It’s an open secret.”

A 25-year veteran of ITV, Turness became head of the news division in 2004. Turness ushered in a “robust” period for ITV News in her nine-year tenure, keeping the program competitive with rival BBC.

Turness will succeed Steve Capus, who stepped down in February. Capus resigned from his 7-and-a-half year presidency reportedly due to his frustration with NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, who merged MSNBC and CNBC into the umbrella unit NBCUniversal News Group. 

NBC News Group chair Pat Fili-Krushel considered multiple candidates to fill the top spot, “casting a wide net” that included Alexandra Wallace, who serves as executive producer of NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

NBC News and ITV have declined to comment on the rumor. Turness told the Times that news of the appointment is “pure speculation.”

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