TVNZ has appointed former Al Jazeera and Bloomberg journalist Paul Yurisich as their new head of news and current affairs.

A former TVNZ producer, Paul Yurisich is currently based in Doha and will be returning to New Zealand to join the TVNZ executive team in late 2020.

Yurisish replaces John Gillespie who has held the head of the newsroom role since 2013.

TVNZ Chief Executive, Kevin Kenrick praised Yurisich's international experience in announcing the appointment in a statement today.

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"We're incredibly pleased to have someone of Paul's calibre heading our news team," Kenrick said.

"Paul has worked extensively in New Zealand and internationally. He understands our market and can bring a global perspective to our business as we look to innovate and extend the news product we deliver to our audiences."

Former TVNZ head of news John Gillespie.
Former TVNZ head of news John Gillespie.

Paul Yurisich was a senior producer with 1 NEWS before departing for Al Jazeera English in the mid-2000s.

TVNZ said he "has since built an impressive resume" with senior roles held at both Al Jazeera in Doha and Bloomberg Media Hong Kong.

"1 NEWS is New Zealand's most trusted source of news and we're achieving record audience numbers. Paul will work with our news and current affairs team to continue winning the daily TV news battle, while transforming our digital offering to deliver news how and where New Zealanders want to access it," Kenrick said.

Kenrick also gave thanks to another senior newsroom editor Graeme Muir, who had taken up the acting head of news and current affairs role while TVNZ recruited through Kerridge & Partners.

"I'd like to thank Graeme Muir for his committed and capable leadership as acting Head of News and Current Affairs in recent months," Kenrick said.

"Graeme successfully led 1 NEWS through Auckland's recent level 3 lockdown and will steer the team's upcoming General Election coverage."

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Gillespie left the role at the end of June, after staying on longer than planned due to the first Covid-19 lockdown, after announcing his retirement in February.

"1 NEWS is New Zealand's most trusted source of news and we're achieving record audience numbers. Paul will work with our news and current affairs team to continue winning the daily TV news battle, while transforming our digital offering to deliver news how and where New Zealanders want to access it," Kenrick said.