NEW YORK: Rupert Murdoch has hired a top-level communications strategist to help him change perceptions of News Corp.
Former Clinton lawyer Gary Ginsberg, 36, is being hired as executive vice president, corporate affairs and communications, the highest ranking PR role at the company.
Ginsberg's brief is to emphasize the vast global portfolio of the company and communicate better with parties on Wall Street and in Washington.
The appointment could be a breath of fresh air for the company, which is notorious for stonewalling the press.
Ginsberg takes up his new post on January 4, 1999, and will have a worldwide brief. He will report to Peter Chernin, the company's president and chief operating officer.
Ginsberg said, 'I am looking forward to communicating the successes of News Corporation to our external audience.'
Ginsberg plans to make himself more accessible to third parties and will focus on external communications.
Chernin said, 'Gary's appointment to this position reflects our commitment to better communicating both externally and internally the mission and successes of News Corp.'
Ginsberg is currently managing director of Clark & Weinstock, a New York-based strategic consulting firm. He is also a former assistant counsel to Clinton and is senior editor and counsel of the political magazine George.
The appointment is thought to have been prompted by the need to raise News Corp.'s profile following the Fox Entertainment Group spin-off, which raised $2.8 billion from an 18.8% share issue.
Fox shares last week were trading lower than the issue price of $22.50.
On Monday, December 14, Fox shares opened at $20.50.
The choice of an executive such as Ginsberg, with close ties to the Democratic Party, is an unusual one for Murdoch, whose newspapers include the fiercely right-wing tabloid, the New York Post.