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BBC Anchor Komla Dumor Has Died

komladumorBBC anchor Komla Dumor, a rising star of the World News network, has died from a heart attack.

Dumor, just 41 years old, anchored what would be his final newscast last night. Very active on Twitter and Facebook, Dumor was a presenter on the daily programs “World News” (airing at MidnightET) and “Focus on Africa,” a primetime program for African viewers broadcast worldwide.  Before those shows, he anchored the weekly business magazine “Africa Business Report.”

Dumor, who was born in Ghana, joined the BBC as a radio broadcaster in 2007 after a decade of journalism in Ghana.

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama wrote on Twitter that his country had “lost one of its finest ambassadors.”

BBC Global News Director Peter Horrocks called Dumor “a leading light of African journalism.” Dumor’s sudden death has itself been news on the BBC today.

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More Layoffs Likely At BBC News

BBCHQThe BBC’s news unit is expected to cut around 75 more jobs in another round of cost-saving layoffs, according to The Guardian. The cuts will primarily be in the English regions, and is part of a £700 million cost-saving initiative called “Delivering Quality First.”

The cost reductions were announced in 2011, and sought to reduce the BBC News headcount by around 600 staff by fiscal year 2017. of course, headcount reductions can also come from not hiring for open positions.

The Guardian has more:

James Harding, the new BBC director of news and current affairs, announced the redundancies on Thursday in a move he conceded would “add to uncertainty after what has been a trying year”.

In a memo to staff, Harding said: “I also appreciate the concern that cost savings come at a time that so many people are working hard to make the most of new technologies and striving to deliver the best journalism in the world. The reality is that we have to live within the terms of the licence fee settlement, requiring us to deliver more for less.”

More Royal Baby Specials Planned

Royal baby mania has not subsided, simply because the future monarch has been born.

A number of specials about the birth are still set to air today and through the week.

Tonight ABC News will air a special “20/20″ at 10 PM, with Barbara Walters anchoring. “The Royal Baby: Heir to the Throne” will also feature Lara Spencer, Amy Robach and London correspondent Lama Hasan.

The BBC is planning stateside coverage as well. BBC World News, the 24-hour cable news channel operated by the BBC, will air a documentary called “Born To Be King” a number of times today, anchored by Sophie Raworth. The BBC special will air at 8:30, 14:30 and 20:30 (Greenwich mean Time). There is also special coverage on bbc.com/royalbaby.

Last night NBC aired a special hour-long  ”Dateline,” anchored by Natalie Morales.

It is worth noting that so far CBS News has avoided any special baby coverage, instead choosing to cover it as part of its normal news programming.

BBC Royal Baby Correspondent: ‘God help us if this ends up being a long labor’

A slew of American TV news correspondents have descended upon the hospital in London where the Duchess of Cambridge is going into labor. The impending royal birth led all the morning shows today, and correspondents have been doing liveshots outside the hospital throughout the day on cable news.

Yet, the BBC’s own correspondent on the scene, Simon McCoy, does not seem nearly as interested in the baby as his American counterparts.

“God help us if this ends up being a long labor,” McCoy quipped, reading from a text message on-air. “Until [the birth], we are going to be speculating about this royal birth, with no facts,” he added dryly.

WATCH:

(h/t BuzzFeed)

BBC Correspondent Undergoes Successful Surgery After Being Shot In Face In Egypt

Nearly a week after he was shot in the face with a shotgun, BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen had successful surgery to repair the damage.

Doctors removed the shotgun pellets from his face, remnants of the incident from last Friday, when he was shot outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo while covering the protests there.

The Guardian has more on Bowen’s recovery.

(h/t HuffPost Media)

BBC Correspondent Shot In Head While Covering Egypt Protests

BBC News Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen was shot in the head with pellets apparently fired from a shotgun while covering the continued protests in Cairo, the Egyptian capital city.

Democracy Now’s Sharif Kouddous shared a photo of Bowen as he was getting bandaged up in the field:

Upate: Even with shrapnel removed from his head, and bandages covering half of it, Bowen is cutting a report about today’s events.

In a statement released on Twitter, the BBC said that Bowen will be back to reporting on the situation in Egypt in short order:
Read more

Turkey’s Prime Minister Accuses CNN, BBC of Fabricating News

As protests continued in Istanbul’s Taksim Square over the weekend, in another part of the city Turkey’s prime minister spoke at a pro-government rally today and blamed international media outlets for fomenting the violence. The New York Times reports Prıme Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rallied hundreds of thousands of supporters “many of them traveling on city buses and ferries that the government had mobilized for the event.”

“CNN International, are you ready for this?” shouted the announcer to the sea of people waving flags bearing Mr. Erdogan’s face and the yellow and white logo of his Justice and Development Party, known by its Turkish initials as A.K.P.

Mr. Erdogan then singled out BBC, CNN and Reuters, saying, “for days, you fabricated news.”

“You portrayed Turkey differently to the world,” he continued. “You are left alone with your lies. This nation is not the one that you misrepresented to the world.”

Changes at the BBC in the USA

BBC News is making some staff changes in the U.S. Paul Danahar has been appointed the Editor of the BBC’s Americas Bureaux, based in Washington, D.C. Danahar will oversee the BBC’s newsgathering operation in North and South America. He moves from Jerusalem, where he was the BBC’s Middle East Bureau Editor since 2010. Danahar replaces Simon Wilson who moves to Brussels and will be the BBC’s Europe Bureaux Editor.

Also, Nick Bryant (left) moves from Sydney to New York where he will be the New York and United Nations correspondent. Bryant has been in Australia since 2006. Before that he was the BBC’s South Asia Correspondent from 2003 to 2006. It’s Bryant’s second stint in the U.S. From 1998 to 2003 he reported from the Washington bureau.

WATCH: Queen Elizabeth II Walks Behind BBC Anchors During Live Broadcast

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II formally opened the BBC’s new broadcasting house in London today. She opened the new headquarters with a declaration on BBC Radio 4.

While on a tour of the newsroom, the Queen happened to pop up behind a pair of presenters delivering a live newscast. They turned around in their chairs and gave her a bow, as the newsroom applauded.

WATCH:

The BBC started broadcasting from the new headquarters in January, and completed the move in March.

James Harding Named BBC News Director

BBC News announced Tuesday that James Harding has been appointed director, BBC News and Current Affairs. Harding begins his new role in August.

From 2007-12, Harding was editor of News Corp.’s The Times. He replaces Helen Boaden, who moves to BBC Radio as director.

In a statement, BBC director general Tony Hall said Harding “will give BBC News a renewed sense of purpose as it moves away from what has been an undeniably difficult chapter.” The network has been plagued by the scandal involving the late Jimmy Savile, a former BBC presenter who is accused of sexual abuse.

“I am delighted that James will be joining as the new Director of BBC News and Current Affairs,” Hall said. “High quality journalism sits right at the heart of the BBC making this is an absolutely critical role.”

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