ABC names Justin Stevens as news director

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“He has done an exceptional job as a news director and will continue to play a vital role in the work of ABC News going forward.”

Both Fang and ABC News’ editor-in-chief and chief of investigative journalism, John Lyons, 60, were overlooked for the position in favor of Stevens, 37.

Stevens was named Executive Producer of ABC nightly current affairs flagship 7.30 in 2017.

Stevens’ appointment was warmly welcomed by 7:30 am hosts Leigh Sales on social media, who called the decision “a brilliant appointment”.

“Let me tell you what I know is true about him: an excellent journalist, excellent judgment, a supportive colleague, a caring friend, a courageous leader,” Sales wrote on Twitter.

“A work ethic like you’ve never seen before. Incredible mastery of details. Competent, discreet, reliable. He has real integrity, decency and emotional intelligence. Do you think I’m exaggerating? I underestimate it, ask anyone who has worked with him.”

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Stevens began his career with Nine Network before moving to ABC in 2006, where he worked as a producer for first Kerry O’Brien and then Leigh Sales on 7.30

During his time with the national broadcaster, he also worked as a producer on the series Keating: the interviews with Kerry O’Brien, Supervising Producer on 7.30 and Producer of the AACTA and Logie Award-winning documentary The killing season

As news director, Stevens will be responsible for the nation’s largest news-gathering workforce, while also serving as ABC’s point man in dealing with the Senate.

“In my previous roles, I’m used to control and responsibility,” Stevens says.

“As a public broadcaster, this testing and accountability is not financed by taxpayers for nothing. I won’t question what we’re doing because of misinformed criticism, but I’ll also make sure we’re transparent about where and how we can do things better and accountable for what we’re doing.”

Stevens will start the role on Monday, April 4.

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