EDITORIAL: City editor moves worth their weight

This week sees the second defection of a leading City editor to a financial PR firm in as many weeks. Following hot on the heels of Sunday Times City editor Kirstie Hamilton's departure for Tulchan, long-standing Sunday Telegraph City editor Neil Bennett is now to head Gavin Anderson in the UK.

There is nothing new in journalists jumping ship. In fact, Bennett joins a distinguished line of poachers turned game-keepers. The motive must partly be financial - Jeff Randall is rumoured to have joined Financial Dynamics on a £250,000 package, while a section editor is more likely to net around £100,000.

But there is also the issue of career progression. A section editor might have his eye on editing his paper, but deputy editorships are thin on the ground. And while City PR culture doesn't suit all journalists - witness Randall's U-turn- it does offer the potential to run a business.

It is this bait that probably hooked Bennett - who has been courted by most of the leading City PR firms over the years.

Omnicom, GA's parent company, in turn has also eyed up a range of City firms but with Bennett's appointment to the European board, attention seems to be shifting to building up GA.

The agency has a 13 per cent market share globally, but there is undoubtedly work to be done on building the brand, particularly in the UK. GA has slipped from eighth place in Crawford's 1999 ranking to 13th in the league table due to be published later this month. Omnicom has every reason to congratulate itself on a fine catch.

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