C4’s Head of News steps down after 15 years


Channel 4’s Head of News & Current Affairs, Dorothy Byrne, has decided to step down and will take on the specially created role of Editor at Large.

The move comes after over 15 years leading Channel 4’s multi-award-winning news and current affairs output.

Head of News awards

Her decision follows a year in which she delivered the prestigious MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival; was honoured with the Grierson Trustees’ Award at the 2019 Documentary Awards; saw Channel 4 News crowned Daily News Programme of the Year; and the acclaimed For Sama win a BAFTA and be nominated for an Oscar.

In the new role, which she will take on for a year from 1 May, Byrne will work in a leadership capacity to drive forward a number of projects including: developing a factual podcast strategy; helping to shape and implement a new sustainability strategy; and mentoring and developing staff across the organisation.

She will also continue to contribute towards programme ideas but will not take an active commissioning role.

A full recruitment process will now be undertaken by Director of Programmes, Ian Katz for a new Head of News & Current Affairs.

“The last year has been one of great success for Channel 4 News and Current Affairs and for me personally; so it’s the perfect time to step aside and give someone else the pleasure of the best job in television.

“I will continue to contribute to the creative life of the channel.

Mentoring role

“I am also very excited to be working to help develop the careers of staff, particularly of women, at the channel; and also to be playing a key role in the creation of a new sustainability policy for Channel 4.”

Katz said: “No British media executive has done as much to shape the coverage of news and current affairs on television as Dorothy.

“Over more than 15 years she has been the restless force behind agenda setting Channel 4 programming; from exposing war crimes in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, to the recent laying bare of Michael Jackson’s child sexual abuse.

“She has a laser-like eye for a story, huge creative flair and Channel 4 DNA running through her like rock. I’m so pleased that she will be staying at the channel for another year in her new role as Editor-at-Large.”