Wells defects from BBC to Sky

Wells: "invaluable" experience

Sky News has wooed Adrian Wells from a long-standing career at the BBC to head its foreign news desk when Jo Roughton leaves for Brussels.

Wells, who is currently planning editor for BBC Television News, will join Sky as head of foreign news in July. Roughton, who has been with Sky News for four years, is joining her husband Colin Brazier following his appointment as Europe correspondent in March. He replaced Jonathan Hunt, who has left Sky News.

Foreign coverage has been the main plank of Wells’ career since he joined the BBC as a news trainee in 1988. He worked in the field as a producer and as one of the BBC’s world assignment editors. He was Middle East bureau chief in Jerusalem until 2000, working with Jeremy Bowen, Lyse Doucet and Hilary Andersson.

Wells was responsible for the BBC operation that enabled William Reeve and Rageh Omaar to be among the first Western journalists to get into Taliban-controlled Kabul.

"The BBC is an extraordinary organisation, with vast resources and an awful lot of outlets," said Wells, who added that Sky was "highly respected" at the BBC.

"If the BBC is an incredible battleship, then Sky is a power boat. It may not have all the correspondents in place that the BBC has, but it does have bureaux in all the right places, and the challenge for me is to try and be nimble and fast and to use my knowledge to try and compete with them on the ground."

Head of Sky News Nick Pollard said Roughton would be "a very hard act to follow" but added that Wells’ experience "will prove invaluable in keeping Sky News at the forefront of breaking news provision".

By Julie Tomlin

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