Johns to head up BBC’s regional PR

The BBC has appointed its first head of press and public affairs for its restructured English Regions operation.

The BBC has appointed its first head of press and public affairs

for its restructured English Regions operation.

Jerry Johns is to take up the post, moving from his role as press and

public relations manager at the Pebble Mill studios in Birmingham.

Johns, who will continue to be based in Birmingham, will be responsible

for the ten English regions, leading over 30 staff in the press office

teams in Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.

His appointment follows the restructuring of the BBC’s local and

regional operations across the country under the new controller of

English Regions, Nigel Chapman.

The previous set-up was divided into three regions: the North, the

Midlands and East, and the South, but since Chapman came on board last

autumn he has streamlined the structure to run from a single senior

management team in Birmingham.

Johns, who reports to Chapman, will be responsible for publicising and

promoting the BBC’s network and regional television and local radio

output across England.

Chapman said: ’I am delighted that Jerry has joined the team. He will

play a key role in providing strategic leadership to the press and

public affairs staff working across England.’

Johns’ duties also include implementing the strategy of public

accountability which will involve him in direct contact with the public

to listen to their views.

He will oversee the work of the ten regional advisory councils and he

will also be secretary to the English National Forum, the body chaired

by BBC Governor Dr Margaret Spurr OBE, which reviews the performance and

output of the English Regions.

Johns said that his main challenge was in raising the profile of BBC

local programmes in England to build on the audience that they currently

attract. ’We will be communicating their purpose and values in the face

of growing competition, and the fact that we offer a range of

distinctive radio and television services rooted in the locality,’ he


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