BBC Studios has announced a number of new roles aimed at further bolstering its US digital news team.
During her tenure at News Corp, Baird was responsible for developing digital solutions for News Corp’s range of media companies, including Dow Jones, News UK, News Corp Australia, New York Post, Storyful, Realtor.com, Foxtel and HarperCollins Publishers.
In her new role, she will lead on the development of the vision and investment plans needed to continue driving growth and audiences for the BBC’s digital news products around the globe.
She will report to Rebecca Glashow, President, BBC Studios Americas, who is responsible for developing and commercialising the BBC’s digital news portfolio outside of the UK.
The offering currently consists of the international BBC News app and BBC.com – the BBC’s global news, sport and features site, which reaches 139 million unique browsers each month.
Glashow said, “Jennie is a digital heavyweight in the constantly evolving news media landscape. As record audiences turn to the BBC for news they can trust, the creation of this role and her appointment reflect our ambitions to further reinforce our global news team and double down on our commitment to providing a world-leading digital offering.”
Baird added, “I’m thrilled to be joining an organization whose very name is synonymous with quality. At a moment in time when impartial, accurate, and trusted information is more essential than ever, I look forward to helping grow the digital reach of BBC News outside the UK, and to exploring innovative ways the BBC might better serve global news consumers.”
In addition, the BBC has announced plans to double its digital journalism team in the US and Canada – a move which reflects the increased appetite for its content in the North American market.
The new roles will further enhance the BBC’s ability to cover major breaking news from the region, providing a global perspective on its biggest stories.
According to the latest Global Audience Measure figures, BBC News now reaches 456 million people around the world each week.
Digital reach grew by 23% year on year and the US is the BBC’s second biggest non-UK market, with almost 50 million Americans using its services each week.
In Canada, almost 9 million people (28%) turn to it on a weekly basis.
In 2020, the Pew Trust in Media Study found that BBC News was among just three outlets trusted more than distrusted by both Republicans and Democrats in the US.
Numerous independent studies demonstrate the broad appeal of the BBC’s news. The Reuters Institute Digital News Report – one of the most rigorous and influential reports on global attitudes towards journalism – consistently finds the BBC to be one of the most trusted news brands in the United States, ahead of most or all major US news brands in recent years.
It has also found that a majority of respondents – 60% – have a preference for objective news, “with no point of view”, like that produced by the BBC.