Comcast-owned European TV giant Sky unveiled a new leadership structure for its Sky News Group on Monday. It named former CBS News president David Rhodes executive chairman of the Sky News Group with “overall responsibility for Sky’s news services across Europe, Middle East and Africa.”
His pan-European role “will focus on the development of a long-term commercial strategy for both Sky News U.K. and TG24 in Italy,” the news channel of Sky Italia, the company said. Rhodes will report to Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of Sky Studios.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Levy was promoted to managing director and executive editor of Sky News U.K., “with the primary responsibility for the journalism on all U.K. platforms, including digital, TV and audio.”
The new leadership was set after the December news that John Ryley would depart as head of Sky News after 17 years at the helm.
“I am delighted with these appointments, which will ensure that we continue to produce eye-catching journalism of which we can all be proud,” said Dana Strong, group CEO of Sky. “David has a wealth of commercial experience, strategic insight and digital acumen, and Jonathan is a highly experienced news executive with first-class judgment and a successful track record of editorial delivery at Sky. Together they will ensure that innovation and dynamism is coupled with rock-solid journalism.”
Said Rhodes: “Throughout my career, I’ve admired Sky’s commitment to accurate, impartial, high-quality journalism. Together we will bring this important news coverage to audiences around the U.K., Europe, and the wider world.”
Added Levy: “It’s the greatest privilege to lead Sky News’ journalism when there’s such an urgent need for impartial and independent reporting and analysis. There is an exceptional team of journalists here with a burning passion for hard-hitting visual storytelling. With investment in our journalism and audiences growing on all our platforms, there’s never been a better time for news at Sky.”
Nigel Baker, chair of the Sky News editorial board, said: “The last 12 months have shown that Sky News’ impartial, independent journalism has never been more important. The Board values the commitment of David and Jonathan to maintaining the integrity of Sky News and ensuring its original, eyewitness journalism reaches millions of people every day.”
Rhodes has more than 25 years of experience in journalism, including eight years as president of CBS News until 2019. He previously led Bloomberg Television in the U.S. and has also done advisory work with the L.A. Times and Spotify. Rhodes joined Sky as group director of international business development from News Corp’s News U.K. in 2021.
Levy will be responsible for more than 500 journalists around the world and for “upholding Sky News U.K.’s reputation for accuracy and impartiality,” the firm said. “He will ensure Sky News remains a leader in innovative technical production and original journalism.”
Levy has been in the role of director of newsgathering and operations at Sky News since 2011 and was previously head of politics. Levy and Giuseppe De Bellis, managing director and executive editor of TG24, will report to Rhodes.