By Wale Azeez
Tim Ewart has been made sports editor in a bid to beef up sports news coverage on ITV News and the ITV News Channel.
Ewart, who has been Africa correspondent since 1998, will head a new six-strong sports newsdesk that will work across ITV1 and the ITV News Channel and, in particular, report on the political dimension of sport.
The team comprises Alex Thomas, Nick Bashford and Joanna Gasiorowska as sports reporters, plus weekend sports anchor Felicity Barr and Simon Ellis-Jones, a video journalist.
Ewart demonstrated the type of coverage the broadcaster is looking for in his reports on the row surrounding the England cricket team’s decision not to play in Zimbabwe earlier this year, while he was reporting on the African country’s crisis in general.
He takes up his new position in September.
ITV has a busy sporting schedule over the next year, including the Rugby World Cup, the 2004 Olympics, Euro 2004 and the World Cup, plus London’s Olympic bid, to keep Ewart and team occupied.
ITN is also looking for a senior editor to work alongside him.
Jonathan Munro, ITV News assistant editor, said it was bringing in one of its biggest hitters to front sports coverage “at a time when sport is taking centre stage of the news agenda”.
Ewart first joined ITN in 1981 and as a foreign correspondent spent two years in Moscow, four in Washington and two in Warsaw, before leaving ITN in 1993 to join the BBC’s Newsroom South East. He rejoined ITN in 1996 as a senior news correspondent.