Newman's death prompts tributes from colleagues

Former colleagues of Sara Newman, the Discovery Networks channel PR head who died suddenly on 7 March at the age of 29, this week paid tribute to 'an exceptional and gifted woman'.

Sara was commended in the Young Professional of the Year category at the 2002 PRWeek awards.

Discovery Networks Europe corporate communications director Virginia Lee, for whom Sara worked for the last three years, said she had possessed the potential to reach the top of her profession.

Lee said: 'She was incredibly good at her job, highly professional and had a real energy and passion. She sparkled.'

Sara joined the broadcaster as head of PR for two of its TV channels, Discovery Health and Discovery Home & Leisure.

Her work at the network, which included handling PR for the launch of the health channel, led to the PRWeek award commendation.

Discovery's managing director Robin Paxton said: 'Sara made a huge impact at Discovery and touched many lives, both professionally and personally. We are all very saddened and sharing a deep sense of loss.'

Readers wishing to make a charitable contribution in Sara's memory should send donations to the Autism Research Unit of the University of Sunderland.

Cheques should be made payable to The University of Sunderland and sent to: Chelsea Funeral Directors, 260b Fulham Road, London SW10 9EL.

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