RTÉ has appointed Kevin Bakhurst as managing director of its News and Current Affairs.
Bakhurst’s appointment follows the retirement of the former head of the division, Ed Mulhall, in March following the investigation into the ‘Mission to Prey’ programme on ‘Prime Time Investigates’ which libelled Fr Kevin Reynolds.
Bakhurst has been deputy head of the BBC Newsroom since 2010, overseeing BBC TV News, Radio News and the BBC News website.
He has also played a lead role in creating the BBC Multimedia newsroom and is currently involved in delivering the BBC News move to central London.
During his time as editor of the BBC 10 o’clock News between 2003 and 2005, the programme won a number of awards. In 2004, it received a BAFTA for its coverage of the Madrid bombing, and a Royal Television Society Award for News Programme of the Year.
Bakhurst worked on a number of major stories in the field for BBC News, including the 9/11 attack, the Inauguration of President Obama, the Paris Concorde crash and the 1997 Hong Kong handover.
He is also a member of the BBC’s London 2012 Olympics management team and on the BBC director general’s leadership group.
Born in North London, he attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s in Elstree and studied Modern Languages at St John’s College, Cambridge.
He will take up his appointment as managing director of RTÉ News and Current Affairs in early September.
In announcing the appointment RTÉ director general, Noel Curran, said: “This was a position that attracted an exceptionally strong field of national and international candidates, which is 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. I very much look forward to working closely with him in his new role and as a member of the RTÉ Executive Board.”
Kevin Bakhurst said: “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.
“This is one of the very few jobs that I would have considered leaving BBC News to do. I have had a tremendous time at BBC News and would like to thank my colleagues and teams there – in particular on the BBC News Channel – for their terrific work, commitment and support.”