RTÉ appoints head of news

Tue, Jul 10, 2012, 01:00

RTÉ has appointed Kevin Bakhurst as managing director of its News and Current Affairs division.

The move follows the retirement of the former head of the division, Ed Mulhall, in March in the wake of the investigation into the Mission to Prey programme which libelled Fr Kevin Reynolds.

Mr Bakhurst has been deputy head of the BBC newsroom since 2010, overseeing BBC television news, radio news and the BBC news website.

RTÉ said he had also played a lead role in creating the BBC multimedia newsroom. He is currently involved in the move by BBC news to central London. The new head of RTÉ news has been controller of the BBC news channel since December 2005.

During his time as editor of the BBC’s 10 o’clock news programme between 2003 and 2005, the programme won several awards. These included a Bafta in 2004 for coverage of the Madrid bombing, and a Royal Television Society Award for news programme of the year.

It also won an award for coverage of the Darfur crisis in 2004, and a second Bafta in 2005 for coverage of the July 7th bombings in London.

Mr Bakhurst also worked on such stories as the September 11th attacks on New York, the inauguration of US president Barack Obama and the Paris Concorde crash.

North London-born, Mr Bakhurst was educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s school in Elstree and studied modern languages at St John’s College, Cambridge.

He will take up his appointment at RTÉ in early September.

Mr Bakhurst said the job was one of very few that he would have considered leaving the British broadcaster to do.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to lead such a formidable team at RTÉ News and Current Affairs who rightly have a national and worldwide reputation for their journalism.”

RTÉ director general Noel Curran said the position had attracted “an exceptionally strong field of national and international candidates”, which was a testament to the reputation of RTÉ News and Current Affairs.

“Kevin has huge and varied experience, a proven track record and key leadership skills. He also has a keen sense of how news delivery is changing across all media,” Mr Curran said.

“I very much look forward to working closely with him in his new role and as a member of the RTÉ executive board.”