BBC poaches ITV's Oliver to be editor of flagship news

By Caitlin Pike

Craig Oliver has been poached from ITV News to be the new editor of BBC One’s Ten O’clock News, leaving internal candidates at the BBC out in the cold.

Currently head of network programmes at ITV News, Oliver succeeds Kevin Bakhurst as editor of the flagship bulletin.

Bakhurst was recently appointed controller of BBC News 24.

Oliver said: "It’s a fantastic opportunity to work on such a respected programme with some journalists I really admire. However, ITN has been my home for 12 years and I will miss working with the wonderful people there."

A BBC insider told Press Gazette that Oliver’s appointment had left ambitious internal candidates disappointed.

Stephen Mawhinney, who has been acting editor of the Ten since Bakhurst became controller of News 24 in January was thought to be the most likely man from within the BBC to get the job.

Mawhinney, like Oliver, has a solid ITN background, starting as a trainee and ending up as senior programme editor on the ITV News at Ten.

Other BBC names thought to have applied for the editorship are Mark Popescu and Cristina Rybczynski.

The BBC’s head of television news, Peter Horrocks, said: "Craig was the outstanding candidate in a strong field and makes for an important new member to the already strong team of editors in BBC Television News.

"He has a highly successful track record at ITV and Channel Four, and we look forward to welcoming him here shortly."

Oliver’s move to the BBC may deliver another blow to morale at ITV as his exit swiftly follows other high-profile staff jumping ship.

Crime correspondent Dan Rivers announced his move to CNN last week and presenter Felicity Barr has left to join Al Jazeera International as coanchor of its London broadcast centre, which opens this spring.

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