LOS ANGELES: Bill Clinton has shuffled press secretaries, bringing in a political veteran and shipping another to Hollywood.
Jay Carson, who formerly served in PR roles with Howard Dean and Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), takes the role of Clinton's communications director in place of Jim Kennedy, who has joined Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) as SVP of corporate communications.
Carson also will be in charge of communications for the William J. Clinton Foundation. Most recently, Carson had handled communications for New York City's 2012 Olympic bid.
Kennedy had worked for Clinton since 2002 and served in his administration from 1998 to 2001, where he dealt with PR challenges such as the Starr investigation and Clinton's impeachment trial.
At SPE, he will help develop and manage the company's communications strategy, including oversight of media relations and issues management. He also will act as a communications counselor to senior executives, as well as a liaison with Sony Corporation of America.
He'll be based in Culver City, CA, and report to Sony EVP and CAO Beth Berke.
Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has also chosen a former Clinton staffer to lead his communications team. Cecile Ablack, most recently an associate dean of public affairs at Yale, has taken the role of deputy mayor for communications.
Among other positions, she served as a senior official in the Clinton administration, where she was director of public affairs and congressional relations for the International Trade Administration.
"At this time of enormous change, challenge, and opportunity in the entertainment industry, Jim's creativity and experience in strategic communications will be a real asset to Sony Pictures," said Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of SPE.