ITN appoints Esme Wren as Editor of Channel 4 News

ITN is thrilled to announce that Esme Wren has been appointed the next Editor of Channel 4 News.

Esme is one of the UK’s most accomplished, award-winning news executives and she will take up her post in the new year. Esme joins ITN from the BBC, where she has led Newsnight for three years, delivering a raft of major exclusives and investigations, most notably the Prince Andrew interview which drove headlines around the globe and won multiple industry awards.

Esme’s appointment has been made following a competitive process that attracted applications from across the industry.

Deborah Turness, CEO of ITN, said: “Esme is an incredibly talented journalist and an inspiring leader. She has the experience, the expertise and the vision to lead our brilliant Channel 4 News team into the future. Her passion for the brand and her understanding of the spirit of Channel 4 News really made her stand out. She is committed to delivering important, impactful journalism across all platforms, as we accelerate investment in digital and our operations in Leeds. Esme is an inclusive, collaborative newsroom leader, who will nurture talent and support the team to deliver their world beating best. This is a pivotal moment for the future of public service broadcasting, and Esme is the right person to keep Channel 4 News at the top of its game.”

Esme Wren replaces Ben de Pear who stepped down as editor in August after almost 10 years in the post. He became ITN’s most awarded-ever editor with reports including the undercover exposé of Cambridge Analytica as well as the Oscar-nominated documentary For Sama.

Louisa Compton, Channel 4 Head of News and Current Affairs and Sport said: “Ben left very big shoes to fill – but if anyone can do it, Esme can. At a time when truly impartial journalism and trusted information is needed now more than ever Esme will play a vital part in maintaining Channel 4 News’ reputation for world class journalism and building  on all the things that make the programme the best in the business – including ground-breaking investigations, in-depth foreign reporting, first class analysis and a huge commitment to diversity and digital – whilst also taking the programme to new heights.”

Since Wren’s appointment as editor of Newsnight in 2018 she has recruited an all-women presenting team and overseen the direction of the award-winning programme.

This includes a string of accolades at the prestigious RTS Journalism awards in 2020, including: Scoop of the year, Daily News Programme of the Year, Interview of the Year and Network Presenter of the Year for Emily Maitlis, after securing the interview with the Duke of York where he spoke for the first time about his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Prior to being made editor of BBC Newsnight, Esme spent 12 years at Sky where she held a number of senior editorial roles culminating in being made Sky News head of politics, business and specialist journalism.

Esme started her career in journalism at Newsnight as a producer in 1999 before moving to Sky News in 2005.

Esme Wren said: “I am hugely excited to be appointed Editor of Channel 4 News and lead their fantastic team of talented presenters, reporters and producers. C4 has a rich history of reporting from across the globe and leading some of the most significant investigations of our time. I will look forward to further growing its audience across all platforms and build on its strong heritage of speaking to young and underserved audiences.”

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