TORONTO — CBC News has named Kenny Yum as its new chief of staff.
Yum heads to the public broadcaster from HuffPost Canada, where he served as the founding managing editor of the online news site since 2011.
He has previous stints as managing editor of the Globe and Mail's website, and as the managing editor of digital for the National Post.
I leave my beloved @huffpostcanada. I am beyond proud of the journalists here - young, talented, diverse, passionate. They are family.— yumke (@yumke) July 10, 2017
And I very much look forward to starting at @CBCNews as chief of staff. It's important work and I'm humbled for the opportunity— yumke (@yumke) July 10, 2017
In a memo to staff, CBC News general manager and editor-in-chief Jennifer McGuire said Yum's role will include strategy and business development for the broadcaster's news division.
"It is an understatement to say that I am thrilled to have a leader of Kenny's experience and digital expertise added to the CBC News team," she wrote.
McGuire said Yum will also be tasked with leading initiatives involving training, staff engagement, diversity and internships.
In June, Yum received the inaugural Digital Publishing Leadership Award, recognizing "career contributions to Canadian digital publishing." In its citation, the National Media Awards Foundation noted that Yum helped create and foster a diverse and award-winning news, lifestyle and video team at HuffPost Canada.
His hiring comes weeks after a high-ranking CBC staffer was reassigned over a controversy about cultural appropriation.
Need for more diversity
In May, Steve Ladurantaye, then-managing editor of CBC's "The National," was among a group of media leaders involved in a late-night Twitter conversation offering backing for an "appropriation prize." An outcry followed and Ladurantaye was reassigned due to his participation in the exchange. McGuire called his tweet "inappropriate, insensitive and frankly unacceptable."
In the midst of that controversy, Yum wrote an impassioned blog post about the need for more diversity in the media.
"You can see it in the bylines, in the ranks of columnists who shape the daily opinion, in the senior leadership of just about every Canadian media organization. Forget leadership, just go walk into any newsroom and look around — then go outside and walk the streets of a city like Toronto and you know there is a disconnect," Yum wrote. "Canada's newsrooms are not diverse. And we are all suffering for it."
On Monday, CBC spokesman Chuck Thompson said Yum's post about diversity in the Canadian news media "had no influence" on his hiring and he was chosen "from a strong pool of candidates because of his breadth of experience in the industry, strong leadership skills as well as his digital expertise."
Yum will begin his work with CBC News on July 24.
With files from Andree Lau/HuffPost Canada
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