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RTÉ's deputy director general Kevin Bakhurst to leave for UK regulator job

Bakhurst was acting director-general for a time, but lost out on the permanent position in the role.

File photo of Kevin Bakhurst.
File photo of Kevin Bakhurst.
Image: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

RTÉ MANAGING DIRECTOR for news and current affairs and deputy director-general Kevin Bakhurst is set to leave the broadcaster in October.

Bakhurst, who joined from the BBC in 2012, is taking up a position as content group director for Ofcom, the communications regulator in the UK.

Bakhurst was acting director-general for a time after Noel Curran stepped down. He was considered a favourite for the full position but lost out when it was awarded earlier this year to Dee Forbes.

Speaking today on RTÉ’s News at One, Bakhurst said that not getting the director-general job had not influenced his decision to leave.

“It didn’t influence my decision,” he said.

“When these jobs come up, you have to give them serious consideration.

“I work with great people here and I think we’ve done a lot in terms of the journalism here.

I’m hugely attached with the people I work with.

Modernising

RTÉ said that as MD, Bakhurst had led the division in the creation and development of the RTÉ Investigations Unit. During his tenure the television bulletins were also modernised and the digital news and social media presence also expanded.

Backhurst said that he had “had a wonderful four years at RTÉ with the most talented, professional and dedicated team of journalists – and great and creative colleagues across the organisation”.

I am in particular immensely proud of the recent coverage of the General Election and the RTÉ 1916 commemorations; of the range of investigations we have carried out; but also of the fair, thoughtful and engaging reporting of stories day-in, day-out.

Backhurst said that it had been an “absolute privilege” to work for the national broadcaster.

Dee Forbes said that Bakhurst’s contribution to RTÉ had been significant both inside and outside of the newsroom.

“I’d like to warmly congratulate Kevin on this new role and wish him the very best for the future,” she said.

RTÉ said that a competition to replace Bakhurst would be announced in due course.

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Read: Breakfast DJ Colm Hayes is parting company with RTÉ

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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