Trailblazing NBC News executive Deborah Turness is moving back to British television and joining ITN as its Chief Executive Officer.
She replaces Anna Mallett who joined ITN as CEO in 2019 from BBC Studios, and is now set to join Netflix as VP Physical Production for the UK and local language production across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Turness joined NBC News in August 2013, becoming the first woman to be named president of a broadcast news division. Today, NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press and Dateline were all No. 1 in their respective genres in the demo during Turness’ tenure at the top. One of her most notable moves was replacing David Gregory with Chuck Todd as moderator of Meet the Press, doing so in 2014. MTP has been the No. 1 Sunday show in the demo for 6 years running. She was also involved in the decision to suspend then-NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams for 6 months without pay for making a false claim about being on a helicopter that was shot down in Iraq in 2003.
After 3 1/2 years running NBC News, Turness later moved to NBC News International, the global news arm of NBC, in February 2017 to run its operations based out of London. This role included running NBC News’ in-house production arm, Peacock Productions.
Prior to joining NBC News, Turness was editor of the UK’s ITV News where she was the UK’s first female editor of a network news operation and the youngest ever editor of ITV News.
This appointment represents a homecoming for Turness. Earlier in her career, Turness worked across the foreign, home and planning desks before joining ITN’s North of England bureau. She was then ITN’s Washington Bureau producer during the Clinton White House years and spent time in Bosnia during the Balkans War. In 1997, she played a key role in launching 5 News before moving to Channel 4 as editor of its morning show, RI:SE.
“ITN was my home for most of my career, so I feel privileged and proud to be returning as CEO,” Turness said in a statement. “ITN’s role in public life has never been more critical, with the pandemic demonstrating why its reputation for quality, trusted news content is second to none. I’m excited to capture the growth in streaming platforms who are hungry for ITN’s high-quality factual content, as well as creative expertise across sports, virtual events and advertising. At a moment of so much change, challenge and opportunity, I look forward to leading a brand I believe in, and a talented team of people, whose values are so dear to my heart.”