March 14, 2023

BBC Adds to Growing Digital and TV News Teams in the United States   


Washington DC – March 14, 2023 — Today, the BBC announced several key appointments across its digital and TV news teams as part of its ongoing commitment to expanding its world-leading news offering in North America.  

Sumi Somaskanda will be a chief presenter on the BBC’s news channel – BBC News – which will be broadcast around the world, including the UK. Somaskanda previously served as a senior presenter and correspondent for DW News, Germany’s international broadcaster where she covered global politics and current affairs.  Sumi, along with another chief presenter to be announced shortly, will be based in Washington DC, reflecting the expanded primetime coverage which will be anchored there. 

Paul Royall, Acting Executive Editor of BBC News, says: “Sumi is a real journalistic talent whose international news experience, dynamic presentation skills and approachable style make her ideal for the role and we’re delighted to welcome her to the BBC.” 

Sumi said, “I’m thrilled to join the BBC and its incredible team of journalists bringing accurate and impartial information to viewers and users across the world.  I look forward to being a part of the BBC’s coverage of the biggest stories making news.”’ 

Additionally, Adam Levy has been appointed News Editor and Executive Producer of the BBC News channel. Levy will play a key part in building the BBC’s live programming out of Washington DC. He joins from CNN, where he worked as a supervising producer, senior producer and producer for some of the network’s most high-profile talent and programs including “State of the Union with Jake Tapper,” “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” and most recently “The Assignment with Audie Cornish” podcast launch. 

Carl Nasman and Helena Humphrey join the BBC as Senior Journalists where they will report both on-air and behind-the-scenes from the field, newsroom and studio. Nasman joins from NBC News, where he served as global correspondent and climate change presenter, and DW where he was a news anchor in Berlin. Humphrey brings over 13 years of experience reporting and presenting for international news outlets, most recently as lead anchor at Euronews and Global Correspondent at NBC News. Nasman and Humphrey will both be based in Washington D.C. 

In addition to the editorial roles, a series of new hires focused on commercial content strategy were announced, including Krystal Bowden, new VP of Content Strategy; Ilyas Kirmani, new VP of Live and Talent Strategy; and Danny Boyle, new Head of Newsletters.  

Jen Brown, SVP of Programming and Content Strategy of BBC Studios, says: “As we continue on our path towards growing in the US and globally outside of the UK, Krystal, Ilyas and Danny, working alongside our broader editorial and commercial teams, will play a key role in driving our commercial programming strategy forward.” 

Krystal Bowden has been appointed to the newly created role of VP of Content Strategy for Global Digital News and Streaming, based in New York. In this role, Bowden will be responsible for identifying new programming opportunities to grow audiences, drive habituation, build brand awareness and increase revenue. Bowden previously served as VP of BBC StoryWorks where she led the BBC’s branded content studio in North America and Latin America, developing premium content partnerships with leading brands to engage the BBC’s global audience. Prior to the BBC, Bowden led strategic initiatives across a range of leading media companies, including NBC News, HBO and CBS Television Stations, among others. 

Ilyas Kirmani has been named VP of Live and Talent Strategy. In this role, Kirmani will work to ensure the BBC’s live programming is optimized to meet the demands of its North American audience. He will also serve as the lead talent liaison, working closely with internal partners to drive engagement between the BBC’s talent and personalities and its audience. Most recently, Kirmani served as Executive Producer at CNN and previously spent 16 years in various news leadership roles at NBC. 

Danny Boyle has joined as Head of Newsletters based in London. He will play an important role in growing the BBC’s digital reach in North America and across the world, outside of the UK. Boyle has worked in regional and national newsrooms for 17 years, most recently at The Daily Telegraph where he ran newsletters designed to drive engagement and increase paid subscriptions.   

Since announcing its plans to double its digital journalism team in North America last year, the BBC has continued to add key roles in Washington DC and New York that will play a central role in facilitating the BBC’s ability to cover major breaking stories and provide more in-depth analysis from the region and for the region. 

BBC News, which reaches 50 million consumers weekly in the U.S., is regarded as the most trusted global news brand in the country, ahead of all major US news brands, according to the 2022 Reuters Institute Digital News Report. The ranking is a testament to BBC News’ commitment to its mission of helping people understand the world around them, make informed choices and take an active part in society and democracy. 

-ends- is BBC Studios’ global digital news platform, offering up-to-the-minute international news, in-depth analysis and features, including BBC Worklife, BBC Culture, BBC Future, BBC Travel and BBC Reel, for PCs, tablets and mobile devices to more than 139 million unique browsers each month.  BBC World News television is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The channel’s content is available in millions of hotel rooms, on cruise ships, and numerous airlines.  

About BBC Studios
BBC Studios is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group with profits (EBITDA) of £226 million on sales of £1.6bn (21/22). Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions, and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents, with three-quarters of its revenues from non-BBC customers including Discovery, Apple and Netflix.  Around 2,400 hours of award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, with brands like Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, Bluey and Doctor Who., BBC Studios’ global digital news platform, has 139 million unique browser visits each month.