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BBC News controller heads for Saudi’s Al Arabiya News

Ex-BBC editor Jamie Angus is understood to be taking a key media role in Saudi

A former senior news editor at the BBC left the corporation to take a position at Saudi Arabia’s state broadcaster.

Jamie Angus stepped down from his role as BBC News’s senior controller of output and commissioning in April. He is expected to take a senior role at Al Arabiya News. 

Sources were uncertain about Angus’s exact position, but it is thought he could become the station’s chief financial officer or chief operating officer.

His decision has raised eyebrows at the BBC because of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Angus is said to have told BBC colleagues that Al Arabiya is aiming to establish itself as one of the most innovative news operations in the world.

Al Arabiya, an Arabic-language channel, was started in 2003 and is considered a rival to Qatar’s Al Jazeera. The service is based in Dubai but started to move staff to Riyadh last September.

Angus worked at the BBC for more than two decades, which included a four-year spell as the editor of Radio 4’s Today. He was also a deputy editor on BBC2’s Newsnight and led the World Service for three years. World Service houses BBC News Arabic, so he has experience of news in the Middle East.

Angus and Al Arabiya News have not yet commented.