Kevin Bakhurst, deputy director general of Ireland’s State broadcaster RTÉ, is to leave the broadcaster to take up a new role as content group director for Ofcom, the UK’s telecoms watchdog.
Bakhurst joined RTÉ four years ago as manging director of RTÉ’s news and current affairs division and was later appointed deputy director general.
During Bakhurst’s tenure, RTÉ’s television bulletins were revamped and modernised; RTÉ’s digital news and social media presence rapidly expanded; he introduced a range of new talent and presenters, and RTÉ secured the future of its regional studios by building partnerships with local institutes of technology.
He also led the division during the creation and development of the RTÉ Investigations Unit and its subsequent investigative programming, including landmark investigations of creches, care facilities, the charity sector and criminality.
Prior to joining RTÉ, Bakhurst was deputy head of the BBC newsroom, overseeing BBC TV news, radio news and the BBC News website.
Ofcom is the UK’s communications regulator and recently made Openreach legally distinct from BT to accelerate the roll-out of high-speed broadband in the UK.
“I have 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,” Bakhurst said.
“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.
“It has been an absolute privilege to work for the national broadcaster during a time of change and renewal and I wish Dee Forbes and the whole organisation the very best for the years to come. I also wish the very best to the rest of Ireland’s vibrant media who play a crucial role during challenging times,” Bakhurst said.