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July 3, 2023

Channel 4’s Debbie Ramsay named next editor of 5 News

Ramsay will take over the programme in the autumn.

By Bron Maher

ITN has appointed Debbie Ramsay as the new editor of 5 News, succeeding Cait Fitzsimons.

Ramsay joins from Channel 4, where she is commissioning editor for news and current affairs. She previously spent 16 years at the BBC, most recently as the executive editor with responsibility for commissioning original journalism. Her time at the corporation also took in roles overseeing the BBC’s youth journalism output across multiple formats.

ITN, which produces 5 News for Channel 5, said Ramsay will take over the 5 News editorship “at a time of growth – across Q1 2023, the programme grew 12% year-on-year among individuals, averaging 2.9% share and 301,000 viewers”.

Ramsay said: “5 News already punches well above its weight, and this is a fantastic opportunity to work with an exceptional team to punch harder. The programme has incredible reach out of London and with women and I hope to tap into my experience of working with harder-to-reach audiences to boost that further.

“5 News has a family feel and I want to emphasise that further with viewers who can play a role in telling us what they need, including as the team often do now, by covering stories that matter to them most and that no-one else is covering.”

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ITN chief executive Rachel Corp said Ramsey has “an impressive track record as an editor and is known for producing bold and distinctive content. She is also passionate about reaching new and underserved audiences. That expertise not only chimes with the reach and agenda at 5 News but the wider work we are doing across ITN, and she will be a huge asset on my senior leadership team.”

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5 News presenter Dan Walker told Press Gazette last month that he had “lots of ideas about what’s next [for the programme] but I want the [new] editor to lead that and take it wherever it needs to go”.

Ramsay will take the helm of the programme “later in the autumn”, ITN said.

Channel 5’s commissioning editor Daniel Pearl said that Ramsay was “well placed to build on the success of Cait’s superb editorship, during which she relaunched the News as an hour with the brilliant Dan Walker and Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije”.

Fitzsimons, who is leaving 5 News after five years as editor, told Press Gazette in March that the show was “getting to the point now where the main parts are in place and then it’s just a matter of really leaning into that and having the confidence that it’s worked so far”.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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