Ex-Sky producer Poulten in Gateshead press role

Gateshead Council has brought in former Sky News producer Ruth Poulten as its head of press.

Arriving after 18 months at CSR group Business in the Community, Poulten is charged with a five-strong media team at one of the North-East’s biggest local authorities.

She replaces Rachel Woodcock, who left to join Newcastle-based agency Gardiner Richardson as an account manager in February. She reports to Gateshead Council head of comms Robert Schopen.

‘There are lots of news stories coming out of local authorities, which is part of the attraction, and I also
enjoy the challenge of crisis management,’ Poulten said.

‘This is also an opportunity to work for an organisation that makes a difference to people’s lives,’ she added.
Major issues that Poulten will face include the regeneration of the local Quayside. The council expects to earn a multi-million-pound windfall from the sale of a plot of land on the Quayside. Developers want to build hotels, a conference centre, shops, bars, restaurants and apartment blocks.

The authority also has plans to demolish and rebuild housing elsewhere in the district.

Poulten worked at Sky News from 2000 to 2003.

She has also held posts at Manchester-based Century Radio, Lincs FM and BBC Radio Cornwall.

Joining her at Gateshead is comms assistant Sara McKinnon, who was previously a reporter on the Barnsley Chronicle. McKinnon is responsible for comms around policy, benefits and the Mayor’s Office.

Sahdia Hassen has also joined Gateshead, as a comms executive, from Halton Council in Merseyside, where she was publicity assistant. She is charged with cultural services.

Gateshead – which sits south of the Tyne opposite Newcastle – has a population of around 190,000 and boasts a ‘good’ rating.

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