Justin Stevens named Gaven Morris’ successor as ABC director of news

ABC managing director, David Anderson has named executive producer of 7.30, Justin Stevens as the new director, ABC news, analysis and investigations ahead of the upcoming federal election.

Stevens is the successor to Gaven Morris, who departed the national broadcaster in October, later taking up a post at Bastion.

Justin Stevens, the new director of news, investigations and analysis

The ABC said this morning that Stevens is bringing “extensive journalism experience and editorial leadership to the position built across two decades” to the role, after four years in the 7.30 EP role at the flagship news and current affairs program.

His appointment sees him beat Gavin Fang to the role, who has been acting director of news, and current affairs head, John Lyons. The ABC said it comes following a comprehensive recruitment process involving both internal and external applicants.

It is effective as of 4 April.

Anderson said of Stevens that he has a “proven track record in editorial leadership”, dealing with complex issues and events. “Together with the ABC News Executive team, Justin will lead the next stage of the ABC News strategy to be more accessible, valuable and relevant to Australians across all platforms, with the highest quality journalism always at the core.”

“Justin fully understands the challenges and opportunities the ABC faces as an essential public service in the digital media era.”

The ABC’s David Anderson

Anderson thanked the members of the ABC News Exective for their support during the recruitment process, in particular Fang for his services as acting news director, as he said he will continue to play a crucial role for the ABC’s news offering.

“This is a key appointment for the ABC and it comes amid major news events – the continuing effects of the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine, domestic issues such as the rising cost of living, and the upcoming federal election.”

“It’s a position that requires exceptional editorial leadership, and Justin will be outstanding in the role.”

Stevens added that he is incredibly proud to be taking the role, and that he is honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the team..

“The ABC celebrates 90 years this year and ABC News is a huge part of its proud heritage.”

“Australians trust ABC News to deliver the quality public interest journalism and services they need and which are a key part of a healthy democracy. That job is more vital than ever.”

Stevens first joined the ABC in December 2006 as a producer and supervising producer on 7.30 until 2014. During this time he produced interviews with Barack Obama, Tony Blair and Sir David Attenborough for presenters Kerry O’Brien and Leigh Sales.

He was then a producer on Four Corners between 2015 and 2017 before being appointed in the EP role at 7.30 in 2018.

Last month, the ABC revealed that 7.30 host Leigh Sales is to step down in late June, after 11 years in the role.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.