BBC News hires PR heads in communications restructure

BBC News media and PR controller Michele Grant has appointed three communications heads and is looking to appoint a roster of PR and public affairs agencies.

BBC News media and PR controller Michele Grant has appointed three

communications heads and is looking to appoint a roster of PR and public

affairs agencies.



Neil Martinson has been appointed media relations head at BBC News, the

division which produces and commissions news and current affairs

programmes across BBC television, radio and online services.



Martinson joins from Millennium Dome operating company the New

Millennium Experience Company, where he was London PR manager.



Alison Jackson, currently a senior publicist at BBC News, has been made

head of publicity. Jackson worked under Lolly Walters, former head of

press and publicity across radio and TV at BBC News, who has left the

corporation to work as a freelance consultant.



Mary Wimbury has been made head of public relations, and joins from BBC

Corporate Affairs, where she was public affairs manager reporting to

public affairs head Michael Hastings.



Martinson, Jackson and Wimbury report to Grant, who was appointed this

spring to oversee a 35-strong department at the Television Centre. Their

posts were created in a reorganisation initiated by Grant.



Grant is looking to roster an unspecified number of PR and public

affairs agencies, and is also said to be seeking firms with specialist

expertise in areas such as new media and youth PR. Grant will begin

shortlisting agencies in the autumn.



The communications reorganisation at BBC News began when the marketing

functions handled by Grant’s predecessor, marketing and communication

controller Richard Peel, were hived off to head of strategy Richard

Deverell.



Grant’s remit includes media relations, programme publicity and public

affairs.



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