BAFTA hires senior Channel 4 comms figure to lead PR

Donna Mathews, head of PR, content and programmes at Channel 4, is leaving after almost 12 years amid a major reorganisation to join BAFTA – leading comms in a new, expanded position.

Mathews (pictured) takes up the role of executive director of PR and communications at BAFTA (The British Academy of Film and Television Arts) on 10 May.

PR was previously led by director of communications Ellen Johnson, but Mathews has a strengthened role, joining the new-look executive team in a restructure of the organisation's senior management. She will report to chief executive Amanda Berry, and Kevin Price, who is chief operating officer and managing director of BAFTA Enterprises.

Berry said: “I am hugely proud that BAFTA brings great people together to do extraordinary work, celebrating excellence and ensuring the next generation of talent are discovered and supported. I am delighted to confirm Donna’s appointment, which completes our new executive team. We can now move forward to deliver our ambitious strategy and vision for the coming years to grow and develop our work, reaching more people than ever before. The new team will bring their breadth of experience, knowledge and creativity together to realise BAFTA’s vision for the future.”

Mathews said: "This is such an exciting time to be joining BAFTA, an organisation I’ve long admired for its commitment to supporting and celebrating creative talent and driving positive industry change. I’m delighted to be joining Amanda and the executive team to help amplify the work BAFTA does and the impact it has.”

In January Channel 4 announced a major restructure, as part of which director of comms and corporate affairs James MacLeod will step down this summer.

The company is recruiting for MacLeod's successor, who will report to an expanded marketing and viewer experience division led by chief marketing officer Zaid Al Qassab. Teams led by the departing Mathews and head of corporate PR Victoria Gillespie, which have been reporting to MacLeod, will eventually report to the CMO.

Following her departure, Mathews' role will be overseen on an interim basis by group publicity manager Susan Wilks.

Mathews joined Channel 4 in 2009, initially as group publicity manager for drama, comedy, acquisitions and Films4.

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