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Gaven Morris replaces Kate Torney as ABC News Director

Gaven Morris replaces Kate Torney as ABC News Director Photo: Ben Timony Former ABC news director Kate Torney. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
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Shock as ABC news director Kate Torney quits

Gaven Morris has been announced as the director of ABC News after a successful stint as head of news content at the national broadcaster which included the establishment of ABC News 24.

Effective from Thursday, Morris will replace Kate Torney as the head of ABC’s news division after Torney announced her shock resignation in July after more than six years in the job.

Head of newsgathering, Craig McMurtrie, has been appointed deputy director.

In a statement, ABC Managing Director Mark Scott said he was confident the broadcaster would remain in reliable hands following the appointments of McMurtrie and Morris.

“Gaven comes to this role with a strong record in managing the complexity of large news rooms and, in particular, building news brands such as ABC News 24,” Mr Scott said. “He is well positioned to lead ABC News into its next chapter.”

Mr Morris started his career as a copy boy in the Parliament House bureau of The Sydney Morning Herald before going on to senior roles at Al Jazeera and CNN.

Ms Torney’s resignation after more than 20 years with the organisation came as a shock to many of her colleagues including Insiders host Barrie Cassidy, who said her departure would spell “tougher times ahead” for the ABC.

The respected journalist vacated the role to become the chief executive of the State Library of Victoria.

Ms Torney gave her blessing to her predecessor on Twitter following Thursday’s announcement, describing it as a new era for ABC News.

Cassidy also congratulated Mr Morris, describing him as “the most progressive individual at the ABC”.

Following criticism of the broadcaster’s coverage of asylum seekers and border protection forces last year, Mr Morris found himself in the headlines after sending an email to ABC staff warning them not to “embellish” asylum seeker claims of mistreatment.

The edict sent to top ABC brass followed calls from former prime minister Tony Abbott that the national broadcaster give the Australian Navy “benefit of the doubt”. New era for @abcnews -congratulations @gavmorris & @craigmcmurtrie. As a wise friend recently said to me: Let the future begin! #futurenews— kate torney (@katetorney) October 21, 2015ABC appointments. @gavmorris – Director of News; @craigmcmurtrie Deputy Director of News. A formidable team. Congratulations to both.— Mark Scott (@mscott) October 21, 2015Gaven Morris – the most progressive individual at the ABC – is the new director of news.— Barrie Cassidy (@barriecassidy) October 21, 2015

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