Gaven Morris to leave as ABC News boss

David Anderson describes the upcoming departure of News Director Gaven Morris as "a big loss for the ABC."

Gaven Morris is to depart as ABC News director after 6 years in the role to pursue new opportunities.

He joined ABC in 1992 later becoming Head of News Content in 2012 then replacing Kate Torney as Director of ABC News in 2015. He has previously held senior news roles with CNN, Al Jazeera English and Network 10.

ABC managing director David Anderson told staff in a note, Morris feels it’s the right time for him to move on and do other things in life.

“Gaven’s departure is a big loss for the ABC…,” he began, crediting him as being a huge part of ABC News as a trusted brand.

“Gaven’s contribution to the ABC has been enormous. His strategic vision and boundless drive and energy have been integral to a string of achievements, including leading the 2010 launch of the ABC NEWS Channel; spearheading ABC News’s rise to digital excellence ; creating the journalistic powerhouses of ABC Investigations and the Specialist Reporting Team; fostering News’s culture of diversity and inclusion; and driving the strategy to make News’s content and services more relevant to all Australians,” he wrote.

“As the very best leaders do, he has always led by example, with a huge work ethic, absolute integrity, fearless independence and a lot of courage.

“As Gaven says, he leaves ABC News well positioned for continued future success. I would like to thank Gaven for his dedication, leadership and support.”

Morris told staff he was proud to have worked at the ABC for close to 20 years in three separate stints.

“To have had the opportunity to lead ABC News is a personal and career highlight. It’s without doubt a challenging job, but also fulfilling and worthwhile. I’ve given it my all,” he noted.

“ABC News has now been Australia’s leading digital news provider for more than a year and well over half the population comes to our digital services every month, more than double that of six years ago. Given the ferociously competitive news market, that achievement alone is a remarkable tribute to your hard work. At the same time, our TV and audio services also reach huge audiences – in fact they continue to set new records as more Australians turn to us during the big events, most recently the COVID pandemic. In total, ABC News now reaches a bigger, broader, more inclusive and more diverse audience than it has ever done in our rich 90-year history.

“More importantly, our journalism is the best it has ever been. We remain by far the nation’s most trusted and respected news brand, consistently delivering original, impactful, brave and independent reporting in the interests of all Australians across TV, audio, video and digital.

“Every part of News contributes to this. The state and territory newsrooms, in collaboration with our Regional & Local colleagues, have done so much to lift the quality of reporting and reach into our suburbs and beyond to tell stories that resonate with all Australians. The production and output teams from News Digital to News Channel and NewsRadio constantly innovate to find new ways to meet the shifting lifestyles of our audiences – most recently through on-demand and personalised content. Our individual program teams across radio and television often represent our proudest heritage as some of Australia’s most loved broadcast brands while also strengthening our online reputation. The network, international and Asia Pacific Newsroom teams plan and execute outstanding coverage that enriches our understanding of the nation, its people and the world. I am proud to have played a role in establishing ABC Investigations and the Specialist Reporting Team – two powerhouse journalism teams unrivalled in the Australian media in breaking stories and setting agendas.

“And it’s all made possible by the very best technical, crafts and support people.”

A recruitment process to find his replacement will commence in coming weeks.

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