Popescu swaps Ten for revamp brief at News 24

BBC Ten O’Clock News editor Mark Popescu has been seconded to News 24 to bring his talents to bear on a relaunch scheduled for the end of this year.

Popescu, who joined the BBC as senior editor on the rolling news channel from ITN, before editing the BBC 6pm and 10pm bulletins, has been given the task of strengthening News 24’s content while keeping it popular.

Popescu is widely credited with successfully revamping the Ten O’Clock News.

He will assume temporary editorship on 15 September, in a straight job swap with Kevin Bakhurst, and will work in conjunction with Rachel Atwell, deputy director of TV news and controller of News 24.

The revamp follows recommendations in the government review carried out by former Financial Times editor Richard Lambert last year that News 24 differentiate itself more from Sky News and the ITV News Channel.

Director of TV news Roger Mosey told Press Gazette that Popescu and Atwell would be charged with making News 24 the channel for “serious news viewers”, by looking at each hour for reasons viewers should stay tuned.

“Mark will work out exactly how we’re going to structure each hour and work out the new editorial strength of the channel.

“Sometimes by the time you get to 20 past the hour, we’re doing not-verygood live two-way [reports], or have a weak package at 25 past the hour,” he conceded.

“We have to make the content on the hour strong all the way through, and give people hooks, partly by making sure we’ve got debate and opinion in each hour. We’ll also get strong regional input into the hour, less repetition and less live padding at times.”

Mosey also spoke of plans to break more exclusives on the channel.

By Wale Azeez

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