Sunday Times' Ballantyne joins Scottish & Newcastle

FTSE 100 brewer Scottish & Newcastle has poached a senior business correspondent from The Sunday Times to replace outgoing head of corporate comms Linda Bain (PRWeek, 5 August).

Robert Ballantyne, the weekend broadsheet's business editor for Scotland since March last year, is serving a two-month notice before joining S&N in the autumn.

He will report to Eleanor Cannon, who was promoted to director of corporate affairs in May (PRWeek, 20 May). Like Cannon, Ballantyne will be based at S&N's corporate HQ in Edinburgh.

Before The Sunday Times, Ballantyne was assistant editor of The Scotsman and a business correspondant at The Times. He took a break from journalism when he joined transport operator Stagecoach as its first head of corporate comms at the end of 1998.

At the time, the firm was under media attack over the performance of its South West Trains franchise. Ballantyne was hired to work with the company's corporate PR agency Smithfield Financial to rebuild its corporate image.

S&N produces some of the UK's biggest beer and cider brands, including John Smith's, Strongbow, Kronenbourg and Foster's.

Bain was this week seeing S&N through its interim results for the first half of the year before joining the Hilton Group in the newly created role of media relations V-P.

Half-year results, published this Tuesday, indicated S&N's earnings per share had risen 9.9 per cent compared with the same period last year.

UK profits increased by 11 per cent.

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