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November 28, 2023

BBC News promotes live blogs editor to head of digital for North America

Ponniah's appointment comes as the BBC steps up its effort to grow in the US.

By Bron Maher

BBC News has promoted its live blogs editor, Kevin Ponniah, to become head of digital news for North America.

The BBC said that in his new role Ponniah will be responsible “for all US and Canada digital news reporting across BBC platforms, leading on developing BBC News’ offering on BBC.com and working closely with BBC Studios, the BBC’s commercial arm, on growing audiences, impact and revenue”.

Currently based in London, Ponniah will move to Washington DC for his new job.

Naja Nielsen, director of digital for BBC News, said: “Kevin has proven himself to be an outstanding innovator and a skilled leader in his role as senior news editor, digital live over the last two years. He has built a brand new team and laid the foundation of one of our key strategic goals for digital – being the best at live.

“In his new role, I am confident that he will continue to build on our world-class culture of digital growth and bold creativity.”

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Ponniah told Press Gazette a few months into his tenure as digital live editor that live blogs were “a truly digitally native way of storytelling… people come to us in those big moments because they know that they’re going to get something that they can rely on”.

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The BBC said Ponniah’s appointment “comes at an important time, as BBC News and BBC Studios strengthen their relationship in the US in order to expand coverage and investment in the region”.

The corporation relaunched its international BBC.com website in beta this month as part of a broader effort to grow and monetise the BBC’s overseas audiences. Nielsen told Press Gazette last year that a lack of trusted information sources in the US opened up an opportunity for the BBC in the market.

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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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