Dhaliwal signs world news deal with US network CNN

Dhaliwal: "new challenges in US"

Daljit Dhaliwal, the former ITN World News and Channel 4 presenter, has been signed up by CNN International to anchor a clutch of programmes that will be broadcast in the US as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Dhaliwal, who built up her reputation in the US on the now axed ITN programme on the public service channel PBS, completed a deal last week that will see her fronting CNN’s hour-long daily World News programme and the weekend World Report from August.

In the autumn she will also be one of the anchors in a new series of primetime programmes that will be broadcast from the news network’s Atlanta headquarters.

In a reversal of her career so far Dhaliwal will be broadcasting from the US to an audience in Europe, Africa and the Middle East as part of the news network’s plans to build up its international audience.

"For the past four years I’ve effectively been broadcasting to the US and so moving there seemed like a natural progression," said Dhaliwal, who confirmed that she had met with executives from other news networks before CNN signed her up.

"CNN is a network I have long admired on account of its track record and reputation and I’m thrilled and excited by the move. I had a fantastic time at ITN, but things come to an end and I felt there were new challenges for me in the US, things I wanted to develop." The woman who was voted one of the 50 most beautiful women by People magazine in 1998 is

tight-lipped about the unofficial websites launched by her admirers as a result of her profile in the US.

"All I can say is I’m glad there’s an audience out there for international news. The years I was doing international television absolutely showed there were Americans who were interested in events outside their own borders," she said.

"It may be a small audience, but I think it’s really important to provide a US audience with international news so they can make informed choices and decisions about the kind of world they live in."

CNN International executive vice-president and general manager Rena Golden said: "Daljit’s exceptional journalistic skills, combined with her engaging on-screen presence, reaffirms CNN International’s commitment to a highly skilled and diverse anchor base.

"With her experience and expertise in reporting on global news and international affairs, she is a perfect choice as a new anchor."

Dhaliwal will be moving to the US in August. Before then she will commute across the Atlantic to co-host a new international documentary series called Wide Angle for PBS with former US assistant secretary of state James Rubin. It begins on 11 July.

Julie Tomlin

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