BBC chief Jamie Angus leaves corporation after two decades ‘to take new job with Saudi state TV channel Al Arabiya News’
- Ex-BBC News editor Jamie Angus is understood to have joined Saudi state TV
- Al-Jazeera rival Al Arabiya News is part of the Saudi conglomerate MBC Group
- It’s thought Angus could be Al Arabiya’s new chief financial or operations officer
- The move may anger BBC executives due to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record
Jamie Angus quit his position as BBC News’s senior controller of output and commissioning in April for an unspecified new post, after failing to be appointed BBC director of news.
Now, it is believed he has secured a top job at Al Arabiya News, part of the Saudi conglomerate MBC Group, The Times reports.
His position is not known but sources have speculated he could serve as the station’s chief finance officer or chief operating officer.
Angus has reportedly told his ex-colleagues that Al Arabiya – an Arabic-language channel which started in 2003 – is attempting to build itself as one of the most dynamic news outlets in the world.
Former BBC News editor Jamie Angus is understood to have taken up a senior position at Saudi Arabian-state owned broadcaster Al Arabiya
Angus’s new job is not viewed favourably by BBC bosses due to ethical concerns around Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations.
But his new job is not viewed favourably by BBC bosses due to ethical concerns around Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Al Salman has repeatedly denied being behind the notorious murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in March 2018.
Al Arabiya is based in Dubai but began moving staff to Riyadh last September. It is widely seen as a rival to Qatar’s Al Jazeera and the Saudi Arabian government is reportedly seeking to tie its media operations closer together.
Ofcom fined Al Arabiya £120,000 in 2018 after it broadcast what it purported to be ‘confessions’ from imprisoned Bahraini opposition leader Hassan Mushaima. The channel failed to mention to viewers that Mushaima had been tortured.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Al Salman has repeatedly denied being behind the notorious murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in March 2018
Fines for inaccurate or misleading reporting are not commonly doled out by Ofcom and are reserved for the gravest breaches of the UK’s broadcasting code.
Angus worked on the Today programme from 2017 to 2021 during a career at the BBC which lasted more than 20 years.
He also served as deputy editor on Newsnight and was also previously in charge of the BBC World Service, which carried BBC News Arabic under its umbrella.
Following Fran Unsworth’s departure as director of BBC News last year, Angus was considered a contender and was interviewed for the role.
A number of sources claim he was unhappy not to have proceeded past the first wave of interviews, eventually losing out to ITN’s chief executive Deborah Turness, who will take up her role at the BBC this year.