Guy Black abandons Tories for top Telegraph role

The Telegraph Group has lured Guy Black, Tory leader Michael Howard's press secretary, to take the new role of corporate affairs director at a time of swingeing cutbacks.

Black said CEO Murdoch MacLennan approached him about the job shortly after the Conservatives' general election defeat. He will join in September, reporting to MacLennan.

Black's brief is to champion the Telegraph brand, represent the publisher on regulatory affairs and handle the increasingly tricky internal communications challenge. The group has made around 90 journalists redundant as well as its previous top communicators - PR manager Ceri Courtney and press office manager Victoria Higham (PRWeek, 9 February).

Black will oversee a small press office and agency Brown Lloyd James.

He said it was 'an exciting time in the newspaper industry'.

Hired as Howard's press chief in October 2003, Black was previously director of the Press Complaints Commission.

Last week The Sunday Telegraph's long-serving editor Dominic Lawson stepped down to make way for Sarah Sands.

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