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BBC News Boss Hires 'Times,' ITV News Execs

James Harding P
James Harding

James Harding, who also used to work at the "Times," brings in his former deputy as managing editor.

LONDON -- BBC News head James Harding has hired two new top executives.

The former Times of London editor is bringing in Keith Blackmore, his former deputy editor at the paper owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, as his right-hand man. He will serve as managing editor of BBC news and current affairs. The news was first reported by the Guardian.

Harding has also hired Jonathan Munro, who ran ITV News on an interim basis before a new boss, Geoff Hill, was picked in September. He will serve as BBC News head of news gathering, replacing Fran Unsworth. Munro most recently served as ITV News deputy editor.

The BBC, under the leadership of director general Tony Hall, has been looking to rebuild the reputation of its news division after it came under fire last year for shelving a report about sexual abuse allegations against late BBC host Jimmy Savile.

Blackmore left the Times in August after briefly serving as interim editor before the early 2013 appointment of John Witherow.

In the newly created BBC News managing editor post, he will be responsible for negotiating contracts for senior journalists and hosts, editorial projects and career development, according to the Guardian.

Meanwhile, ITV News said Munro's old role will now be taken on by Tim Singleton, former assistant editor, news gathering. His new ITV News title will be director of news gathering.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai