Dundee Telegraph editor to take top comms role at city council

The editor of the Dundee Evening Telegraph has resigned to take up a new job as communications manager at Dundee City Council, in the latest example of newspaper editors turning to careers in PR.

Dundee Telegraph editor Steven Bell is to take up the top comms role at the city council next month
Dundee Telegraph editor Steven Bell is to take up the top comms role at the city council next month
Steven Bell, who has edited the regional daily newspaper since August 2015, has worked for its publishers, DC Thomson, for more than 20 years. 

He will leave the world of journalism at the end of this week and will start his new career in comms next month.

The new job, which pays more than £55,000 per annum, will see Bell report directly to Andrea Calder, head of chief executive’s services. 

In a statement, a council spokesman told PRWeek: "Dundee City Council is very pleased that Steven is coming to join us as our new service manager, communications. He will be bringing both expertise in communications and a lot of local knowledge. Mr Bell will manage a team of 11, covering external media relations, internal communications with the Council's 5,000 employees and other Council partners."

They added: "He will be running new media campaigns in the City and developing a news desk on the new Council website, as well as the Council's intranet site. He will also be bringing to the Council new ideas around the use of social media and manage the design and branding brief for the Council."

The appointment of a senior journalist to head up the council’s comms comes at a time when the Scottish city is mounting a campaign to become the European Capital of Culture.

Commenting on the move, Bell said: "I’m excited to take on a new challenge, as head of communications at Dundee City Council. Dundee is at a brilliant place in its history right now, and I’m looking forward to being part of that as we head towards what will hopefully be a successful European Capital of Culture bid in 2023."

He is the latest in a number of newspaper editors who have left journalism for council comms in recent months. 

In February, Leo Whitlock quit as editor of the Kentish Gazette for a job as head of comms at Canterbury City Council. 

And in March, Mike Gilson moved from editing the Brighton Argus to heading up PR for Adur & Worthing Councils.

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