ITV lines up Trafford for communications chief role

LONDON - ITV, which earlier this week fought off investor discontent, is poised to appoint Dow Jones International head of communications Brigitte Trafford as its top PR person.

Trafford has been offered the job as ITV's communications chief and is expected to join the terrestrial broadcaster in the next few months.

It is thought that Trafford will report directly to ITV chief executive Charles Allen.

Trafford joined Dow Jones International as EMEA director of corporate communications in 1997 and was promoted to director of international corporate communications in 2001.

She was previously a communications manager at Cable & Wireless, her only other PR role.

Currently based in New York, Trafford built up Dow Jones's EMEA PR team from scratch.

Trafford refused to comment on her potential appointment or say whether she had accepted the job. ITV also declined to comment.

The heads of communications at Carlton and Granada, the two companies that merged to form ITV last year, pulled out of the running for the ITV job last month.

Granada director of communications Susan Donovan is believed to have already left the company while Carlton director of corporate affairs Peter Rushton is to leave at the end of May.

ITV programming director of corporate affairs Nicola Howson told PRWeek she had not applied for the post.

Trafford's experience at financial news provider Dow Jones will come in handy in managing ITV's recently frosty relations with the City.

At the company's AGM on Monday, ITV shareholders savagely criticised Carlton chairman Michael Green's £15m pay-off, but an attempt to unseat three board directors who gave the go ahead for the payments was defeated.

Almost 20% of investors, or one in five, abstained or voted against the three former Carlton directors as ITV said that it expected to see advertising growth in April and May.

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