Dorothy Byrne on stage for her MacTaggart lecture last year Dorothy Byrne is to step back from leading Channel ’s news and current affairs output and take on a newly created role at the UK broadcaster. Byrne has led news and current affairs at the commercially funded pubcaster for the last years. The veteran exec will become editor-at-large from May , driving projects including a factual podcast strategy and mentoring and developing staff across the organisation. Byrne will also continue to contribute towards programme ideas, but will not take an active commissioning role. Her decision follows a year in which she delivered the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival and was honoured with the Grierson Trustees’ Award at the Documentary Awards. In addition, she saw Channel News crowned Daily News Programme of the Year, while C’s acclaimed feature doc For Sama won a Bafta and received an Oscar nomination.
A full recruitment process will now be undertaken by C director of programmes Ian Katz for a new head of news and current affairs. Byrne said: “The last year has been one of great success for Channel News and Current Affairs and for me personally, so it’s the perfect time for me 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. 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 .” Katz added: “No British media executive has done as much to shape the coverage of news and current affairs on television as Dorothy. Over more than years, she has been the restless force behind agenda-setting Channel programming from the exposing of 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 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.” As a former World In Action producer and editor of ITV’s The Big Story, Byrne became Channel ’s head of news and current affairs in , having previously edited Dispatches and produced arts and history series for the channel.