President Vladimir Putin has appointed a controversial news anchor known for his ultraconservative views to head a newly restructured state news agency.

A decree published on the Kremlin's website on Monday announced the appointment of Dmitry Kiselyov to be head of Russia Today, which will replace RIA Novosti in a major structural overhaul of the company.

The Russian TV anchor has been known for his controversial and conservative views. In one August episode of his show, he said he believed that the organs of homosexuals were not fit for transplants, and should be burned.

The decree, which effectively transferred all property of RIA Novosti to Russia Today, was effective immediately. The chief can be appointed or dismissed directly by Putin.