Paul Mylrea set to leave the BBC following arrival of James Purnell

BBC director of public affairs Paul Mylrea is set to step down later this year after a major shake up of the broadcaster's senior management team.

Paul Mylrea: Set to depart
Paul Mylrea: Set to depart

Mylrea’s departure follows the announcement earlier today that former Labour culture minister James Purnell will lead marketing and comms at the corporation.

Purnell has been appointed director of strategy and digital by incoming director general Tony Hall, who was brought in to replace George Entwistle following the Savile scandal.

His remit will include running strategy, digital, communications, policy and public affairs.

Mylrea’s job title was changed from director of comms to director of public affairs in September under Entwistle’s 54 day tenure.

In an email to staff seen by PRWeek, Mylrea, who is understood to have been unhappy at being removed from the management board, said: 'I am delighted at James' appointment to the BBC, and in particular his appointment to the executive board.

‘This is a clear signal of the importance that Tony Hall places on engaging with our audiences and external stakeholders. I have talked to James and look forward to working with him as he shapes his team. But I have for some time been clear that that the role of director of public affairs needs to change as part of the drive for more integrated external engagement. I will, therefore, work with James and Tony Hall on helping them settle in before leaving the BBC later this year.'

Mylrea joined the corporation as head of press and media relations in 2010 having headed up comms for the Department for International Development.

It is unclear whether he now has a job to go to.

Other changes brought in by Hall include Helen Boaden being named director of radio (formerly audio and music) and acting director general Tim Davie becoming director of global and CEO of BBC worldwide.

UPDATE: Julian Payne will be taking on the temporary role of acting head of comms until Purnell decides how he wants to structure the PR offer. Payne was formerly head of press and media relations at BBC Television.

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