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Deborah Turness Named CEO of BBC News & Current Affairs

In 2013, she joined NBC News, where she was the first woman in the U.S. to be president of a network news division, overseeing a team of over 3,000 journalists and technicians.

Eduardo Razo

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The BBC has tapped former NBC News executive Deborah Turness as its CEO of BBC News and Current Affairs, per Variety

Turness worked as the first president of NBC News International, the international component of the U.S. broadcaster’s news division. She was responsible for supervising its operations, including editorial, production, and commercial. 

“In the U.K. and around the world, there has never been a greater need for the BBC’s powerful brand of impartial, trusted journalism,” Turness said. 

“It is a great privilege to be asked to lead and grow BBC News at a time of accelerated digital growth and innovation when its content is reaching more global consumers on more platforms than ever before.”

In 2013, she joined NBC News, where she was the first woman in the U.S. to be president of a network news division, overseeing a team of over 3,000 journalists and technicians.

During her tenure at the network, Turness managed all editorial content and commercial earnings, including the brands “Today,” “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” “Meet the Press,” and “Dateline.”

“She is a passionate advocate for the power of impartial journalism and a great believer in the BBC and the role we play, in the U.K. and globally,” Tim Davie, BBC chief executive, said. 

“She will do a brilliant job of leading our news and current affairs as we deliver on the BBC’s public service mission in the digital age.”

Turness, whose annual salary will be £400,000 ($550,000) in the role, oversees a team of around 6,000 people. Her start date has yet to be determined.

News Television

Melissa Francis Details Fox News Exit to Megyn Kelly

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Former Fox News and Fox Business host Melissa Francis says she was fired seconds before she was supposed to go on the air. Francis appeared Friday with her attorney on The Megyn Kelly Show to talk about her 2020 departure from Fox. Francis, who joined Fox Business in 2012 and later became a host on Fox News, said she brought up the issue of pay disparity with the then-general counsel at Fox, Dianne Brandi.

“You have to understand that at the time there were two screeners from the Screen Actors Guild – Bombshell and The Loudest Voice – and they had actors playing Dianne Brandi behaving illegally towards women in the Roger Ailes situation,” said Francis.

“At the time I assumed she no longer worked at the company,” Francis continued. “When I said I wanted to do my own negotiation, [Fox] sent me an e-mail back saying ‘you’ll be meeting one-on-one with Dianne Brandi. I was shocked because I thought ‘wow, you’re gonna put her in a room alone with a woman to negotiate. I wasn’t even aware she was still here.’ We ended up having a voice conversation. I had actually scripted out exactly I wanted to say because my math and my points – I felt like I wanted to be crystal clear. I didn’t want to misspeak any portion of it at all.”

“We started to small talk. She’s very nice. ‘How are your kids? What’s going on?’  Then she segued right into ‘Are you going to hand this off to somebody else? It’s not common for talent to do this for themselves,’” Francis recalled in the conversation with Brandi. “I said look, there’s this disparity and basically I laid it out. [Dianne] said ‘whoa, I’m gonna stop you there. This is not the way you want to do this. You do not want to compare yourself to other people.’

“I said ‘no, I’m not comparing myself to other people.’ I’m saying that I’ve collected all this data —  basically how I just explained to you – I went through how I did all the comparisons I came up with and finally she broke in and said, and I wrote down verbatim, ‘that’s how the world works. Women make less than men. That’s just a fact.”

Months after her firing, Francis sued Fox for pay discrimination. It was settled in June. Fox paid Francis $15 million.

“It does seem impossible that a lawyer would say such a reckless thing,” Kelly responded before quoting a statement from a Fox News spokesperson. “Melissa Francis’ version of that conversation is untrue and patently absurd.”

“It is absurd,” Francis said. “I agree with that. It is totally absurd that she would say something like that. I 100% with the fact that it was absurd, and that’s how I felt at the time.”

Later, Francis said she learned of her dismissal from Fox during the pandemic when she was prepared to go on the air from her studio at home.

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NBC News Adds Sacramento, Washington D.C. Correspondents

On Thursday, NBC News announced the additions of two new correspondents as the network added Dana Griffin and Marissa Parra.

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On Thursday, NBC News announced the additions of two new correspondents as the network added Dana Griffin and Marissa Parra.

Griffin will be based in Sacramento; meanwhile, Parra will be heading to Washington, D.C. As part of their new roles with the network, both will appear across NBC News and MSNBC platforms.

After spending time as a reporter and fill-in anchor for NBC7 in San Diego, Griffin heads to the national media stage, where she tweeted her excitement to start the new position. 

Griffin is familiar with the Northern California market as she spent nearly three years reporting for KCRA in Sacramento and was a weekend anchor and reporter for KIEM-TV up in Eureka.

Parra joins NBC News from CBS2 in Chicago after spending three years as a general assignment reporter. Parra will also be heading to a market she knows after spending three years as a freelance producer for ABC News’ Washington, D.C. bureau.

“A lifelong dream,” Parra tweeted on Thursday. “I’ll be an NBC Correspondent covering the same states I once called home. See you soon, East Coast!”

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Ari Melber Refers to Fox News as ‘MAGA Snowflake Bubble’

The MSNBC host had a guest to discuss the topic, but before he tossed it over to the attorney and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa, Melber took a shot at the network.

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MSNBC host Ari Melber went after Fox News and its contributor Lara Trump, appearing on the network criticizing a lawsuit by the New York attorney general against her family’s company.

On Wednesday, New York AG Letitia James publicized a $250 million suit against the Trump Organization, accusing them of overinflating assets to get low-interest loans.

The MSNBC host had a guest to discuss the topic, but before he tossed it over to the attorney and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa, Melber took a shot at the network.

Melber referred to Fox News (h/t Mediaite) as a “MAGA snowflake bubble where you’re not going to be triggered. You’re not going to be pressed and shout out to anyone who needs a bubble. You know you can live in a snowflake bubble if you want.”

Neither side is immune to these types of criticisms when having people of Trump’s status where a rival network believes that the host isn’t asking the tough questions. 

Fox News has done this in the past when members of the Biden administration go on CNN or MSNBC. 

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