The BBC’s director of news and current affairs, James Harding, is leaving the corporation to set up his own news media venture.

Harding’s last day of employment at the BBC will be 1st January 2018. 

The BBC said the process to appoint his successor will commence shortly.

Harding joined the BBC in April 2013 from The Times, where he was editor for five years.

Harding said:“This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly.  There is some journalism that the BBC, for all its brilliance, can’t, and probably shouldn’t, do. And that’s what I want to explore: I am going to start a new media company with a distinct approach to the news and a clear point of view.  I know I will enjoy the chance to do some more journalism of my own and, at such a critical time, I’m seriously excited about the prospect of building a new venture in news.  I look forward to being able to say more about it when we get started in the New Year.”

BBC director general Tony Hall said: “James has done an incredible job during a hugely complex and momentous period of British and world history. He has led the BBC’s coverage through two referendums, two general elections, an astonishing US Presidential election, not to mention a series of extraordinary events at home and abroad.

“He supervised lasting changes to programmes and services while also appointing a range of new editors, on air and off, including the appointment of the BBC’s first female Political Editor.  James has launched slow news and Reality Check to counter fake news.  During his time as director, the World Service has started to launch a dozen new language services with the extra money secured from Government.  The BBC has revolutionised its digital story-telling, taking the lead in news for mobile devices.  These are significant achievements.”

Staff Reporter

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