Ntl hires Monserrat for beefed up PR role

Ntl, the UK’s largest cable company, has merged its top comms roles as it prepares to launch a PR offensive following the successful completion of a major debt restructuring agreement.

Keith Monserrat, formerly a partner at technology investment firm Sigma Technology and a founding director of Scottish telecoms company Thus, has taken up the new role of director of communications and policy.

Reporting to chief executive Simon Duffy, Monserrat takes on the responsibilities of former ntl director of public affairs Roger Lowry and former director of regulatory affairs Alex Blowers.

Lowry left to join communications regulator Ofcom earlier this year as head of public and political relations (PRWeek, 9 January).

Blowers also joined Ofcom as head of policy development in January. Ntl axed the role of its previous top PRO, director of corporate communications Tim Ryan, last year (PRWeek, 13 March 2003).

Prior to working at Thus, Monserrat was group executive technical director at Kingston Communications from 1990. In 1985 he managed technology, strategy, research and development at BT.

Monserrat said his position had been created to make ntl’s communications more coherent and proactive following the company’s

successful completion of the refinancing of £3bn of long-term debt earlier this month.

The company also emerged from US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.

Monserrat added that he had no plans to review ntl’s relationship with retained public affairs agency LLM Communications.

A key PA concern for ntl is the Government’s review of public sector broadcasting, which could open up the market to more private competition, as well as Ofcom’s strategic review of telecommunications, the first consultative phase of which was published this week.

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