Virgin Radio has appointed Charlotte Blenkinsop as head of
communications - a newly-created role - just nine months after she took
up a similar position at Woolworths.
She is expected to join the Ginger Media Group subsidiary in March,
although a leaving date from Woolworths has not been set.
Blenkinsop will report to Virgin Radio chief executive John Pearson.
’The role is to extend the listenership and build on the success of the
breakfast show throughout the day,’ she said.
Ginger chief executive David Campbell said he and Pearson had previously
split the management of Virgin Radio’s PR team. ’We wanted to upgrade
the position,’ he said. ’It hadn’t been that senior a position within
The appointment follows the recent announcement of Scottish Media
Group’s pounds 225 million acquisition of Ginger, which also owns Ginger
TV and Ginger Online. In the wake of this, Blenkinsop’s role will expand
to building the station’s business profile as Virgin seeks to work with
new partners and attract more listeners. Corporate communications,
business-to-business and consumer relations will come under her
According to Campbell, Virgin’s PR focus had previously been on
showbusiness, and other aspects of the station needed to be concentrated
on. ’We felt we needed a full-time manager devoted to it.’
At Virgin, Blenkinsop will have two staff: one in-house and one - from
Freud Communications, Ginger’s sole retained agency - supporting the
breakfast show full time.
Virgin Radio, with an FM licence in London and an AM licence nationwide,
is the most profitable part of the Ginger empire. Last year it made an
operating profit of pounds 12.5 million on turnover of pounds 32
Blenkinsop joined Woolworths from Paragon last May as head of internal
and external communications (PR Week, 9 April 1999) with a team of
Her replacement has not been announced, although the company confirmed
she is to be directly replaced. The appointment will be made by
Woolworths’ marketing director, Ken Lewis.