ITN and Channel 5 have appointed Cait FitzSimons as Editor of 5 News.
Cait will be responsible for leading the editorial output and direction of 5 News, with a focus on original journalism that puts its audience at the heart of the story. She will join ITN’s senior management team, reporting directly to ITN CEO John Hardie.
As deputy editor of 5 News for the last four years, Cait has played an integral role in the show’s recent relaunch, as well as in groundbreaking campaigns such as last year’s “That’s Harassment” series on everyday sexual harassment, and the “Breaking the Taboo” special programmes which deconstructed the social stigma around the menopause. She oversaw a seamless return to ITN’s headquarters for 5 News in 2017, and has been part of the editorial leadership team responsible for forming coverage plans for all major stories, including two general elections and the EU referendum. A highly accomplished journalist, Cait started her career on 5 News almost two decades ago when it launched in 1997, working as a news assistant.
As programme editor in three major newsrooms over her career, Cait has been in the gallery for many of the biggest stories of the past 15 years. While at Sky News she was part of the team that won a Bafta for its coverage of the Soham murders in 2002, and in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami was on location in Thailand during its 24-hour rolling coverage. She joined ITV News as a programme editor to work on the re-launched News at Ten in 2008 and was an assistant programme editor on ITV’s Election 2010 programme and ITV’s Royal Wedding coverage in 2011.
5 News continues to play a vital role in the UK’s media landscape, offering a different take on the day’s stories and with up to 5.2m viewers tuning in every week. 5 News at 5 is fronted by Sian Williams, and 5 News Tonight, at 6.30pm, is hosted by former Sky News presenter Claudia-Liza Armah who joined ITN at the end of 2017.
Cait said: “I began my career at 5 News so I couldn’t be more pleased and excited to become Editor, leading its brilliant and hard-working team. It’s a newsroom that dares to be different, telling distinctive and compelling human stories that connect with our viewers’ lives. I want to continue that tradition – and looking ahead there’s a real opportunity to reach a key audience that may not feel served by other news programmes.”
Ben Frow, Director of Programmes, Channel 5 said: “With her passion and enthusiasm for high quality news, Cait has been at the heart of agenda-driving campaigns on issues ranging from harassment to mental health. Building on our reputation for delivering accessible and popular news that speaks to people throughout the UK is very important to Channel 5. Cait fully understands our audience and is perfectly placed to drive our news service forward.”
ITN CEO John Hardie said: “Cait has a deep understanding of both the 5 newsroom itself but also the service’s unique remit and audience. I have no doubt that she will be an innovative and excellent editor.”
Cait will take over from Rachel Corp who has been appointed Deputy/ Acting Editor of ITV News.
In 2014, Viacom agreed with Ofcom to increase Channel 5’s news quota in peak by 20% to 120 hours annually. Channel 5’s all hours news quota rose by the same amount, from 240 hours to 260 hours annually.
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