BBC head of news leaves to start ‘news media venture’

James Harding, Director of BBC News and Current Affairs

James Harding

The BBC’s director of news and current affairs, James Harding, is due to step down at the beginning of 2018 to launch his own news media venture.

Harding, a seasoned journalist who was editor of The Times newspaper before joining the BBC, has overseen all of the BBC’s News and Current Affairs programming since his appointment in April 2013.

Commenting on his decision, Harding paid tribute to BBC News, the BBC and director general Tony Hall, who he said “has not only secured the resources and Charter it needs for the decade to come but is now set on a course to reinvent itself for the future.”

“This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly. There is some journalism that the BBC, for all its brilliance, can’t, and probably shouldn’t, do. 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,” said Harding.

“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’s last day of employment with the BBC will be 1 January 2018. The BBC said it will start the process to appoint his successor “shortly”.

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