Seven appoints Gemma Acton as director of news operations


In the newly-created role, Acton will work closely with Anthony De Ceglie.

The Seven Network has appointed Gemma Acton to the newly-created national role of director of news operations.

Reporting to Seven’s director of news and current affairs and Seven West Media editor-in-chief, Anthony De Ceglie, Acton will work closely with De Ceglie, the metropolitan and regional news directors, executive producers, and other senior news leaders to drive culture and innovation across newsrooms nationally.

She will also be responsible for leading and implementing the division’s new digital-first strategy as well as overseeing budgets.

Currently Seven’s network finance editor, Acton has over 20 years’ media, television, and banking experience in Australia and overseas.

Before joining Seven’s Sydney newsroom in 2017, Acton spent several years working in Europe, the US, and the Middle East as an investment banker and wealth manager at firms including Goldman Sachs, before becoming a correspondent and anchor at CNBC.

De Ceglie said Acton is taking on a crucial role as a leader for Seven’s news and current affairs teams at a pivotal moment for the business.

“I’m really excited and confident about how she will help shape the path forward for Seven. Her background and her experience mean she will hit the ground running. She is also extremely well-regarded and respected by her peers,” he said.

“Gemma’s appointment is part of a plan to ensure the news leadership team is well-positioned to seize every future opportunity.”

Acton added: “As Seven’s news and current affairs division leans into the incredible opportunities that the digital media world offers, I’m excited to work with Anthony and the executive leadership team on empowering our exceptional news teams to carry out their best work.

“Our newsrooms will be underpinned by a respectful and forward-focused culture where talent, innovation and ideas are given all the tools they need to flourish.”

Acton will be reducing her on-air commitments as she takes on the new role immediately, but will continue to regularly appear across screens at Seven. 

Acton follows a range of new hires since De Ceglie was promoted to Seven’s director of news and current affairs and Seven West Media’s editor-in-chief. 

In May, the network announced Gemma Williams as the new executive producer for Spotlight, replacing Mark Llewellyn. Llewellyn left the program amidst its involvement in Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation case against 10 and Lisa Wilkinson.

Williams was previously Sydney bureau chief for Nine’s A Current Affair. She has also been a producer for 2GB’s Ben Fordham, and assistant chief of staff at Nine News Sydney.’

Seven also promoted Chris Salter to Melbourne news director to fill the gap created by Shaun Menegola‘s exit.

Salter becomes director of news at Seven Melbourne after six years at Seven in Adelaide.

Veteran Menegola resigned recently, saying it was “entirely my decision and one I’ve been thinking about for a long time. It’s not one driven by anything else other than the fact that I’m looking to take a break.”

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