Belfast Telegraph

RTE reveals its next head of news

A senior BBC news executive has been appointed head of news in RTE, it has been announced.

Kevin Bakhurst takes over the role after a troubled year for the state broadcaster after the Mission to Prey defamation scandal which forced the award winning Prime Time Investigates off air.

The Londoner has been deputy head of the BBC Newsroom since 2010, overseeing BBC TV News, Radio News and the BBC News website.

Bakhurst's CV also includes stints as editor of the Bafta winning BBC Ten O'Clock News between 2003 and 2005.

Noel Curran, RTE director general, said there was strong competition from national and international candidates.

"Kevin has huge and varied experience, a proven track record and key leadership skills," he said. "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 RTE executive board."

Bakhurst said: "It's an amazing opportunity to lead such a formidable team at RTE 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."

Bakhurst, who worked in the field on the 9/11 attacks, the 1997 Hong Kong handover and president Barack Obama's inauguration, takes over as RTE's managing director of news and current affairs in September.

The Mission to Prey programme, which defamed Fr Kevin Reynolds after wrongly claiming he raped an African girl while a missionary and fathered a child by her, claimed several editorial scalps in the fallout.

RTE's former head of news Ed Mulhall took early retirement from the broadcaster before an inquiry was completed into the scandal.

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