John Ryley to step down as head of Sky News after 17 years

John Ryley is to step down as head of Sky News after 17 years.

Mr Ryley, who has been with Sky for 28 years, began his career as a BBC graduate news trainee and went on to programme edit ITV’s News at Ten before joining Sky in 1995 as an output editor.

He was appointed executive editor in 2000 and head of news six years later.

In 2021 he was awarded an Outstanding Contribution Award by the Royal Television Society (RTS), which said he had “effected genuine change in our industry.”

It added: “His style is innovative, idiosyncratic. His integrity, influence and authority colossal”.

He is also on the board of the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

Mr Ryley and Sky’s CEO Dana Strong meet Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss

Announcing his departure in spring 2023, Mr Ryley described running Sky News as “exhilarating” but added, in his inimitable style: “I can’t pretend there haven’t been tricksy days!”

His leadership oversaw what he said was “an ongoing saga of events and characters”.

He said it included “historic tipping points”, including “the 2008 financial crash, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the campaign for the first Leaders’ debate, a summer of UK riots, the Arab Spring, the death of Princess Diana, 9-11, the rise of Isis, the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks, the European migrant crisis, four UK General Elections in nine years, one hung parliament, two referendums, Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, a COVID pandemic, the murder of George Floyd, the Taliban’s capture of Kabul, Russia’s invasion of a sovereign state, the death of Queen Elizabeth and now a biting economic crisis and political turmoil with three Prime Ministers in seven months.

Dana Strong, CEO of Sky Group, said Mr Ryley had taken Sky News’ influence to “new levels” and kept it “vibrant”.

She said: “His commitment to having teams on the ground has been a key differentiator, and his equal focus on keeping our people safe in challenging times has been outstanding.

“When John accepted the RTS award, he talked about his belief in, and lifetime commitment to ‘accurate, original, impartial journalism’, and that will be his lasting legacy.”


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