David Whitton, head of public affairs at ITV station Scottish
Television, has quit to join Glasgow PR agency Media House.
The switch follows persistent speculation that STV, along with other
medium-ranking ITV companies, could soon fall prey to a larger ITV or a
newspaper group south of the Border through a merger or hostile
But Whitton denied his move was prompted by long-term fears over the
future of STV’s corporate independence as restrictions on cross-media
ownership are relaxed.
‘It was the kind of offer that was difficult to turn down,’ said
Whitton. ‘It’s nothing to do with the current state of the TV industry,
and nothing to do with speculation about takeovers. I would have been
happy to help STV defend or run a takeover deal, but the offer came at
Whitton, who led a six- strong PR and public affairs team at STV for two
years, will join Media House as director of corporate and financial PR.
He confirmed the appointment should eventually lead to some element of
equity stake in the firm.
Media House chief Jack Irvine was a former colleague of Whitton’s at the
Daily Record, where Whitton was industrial editor. Irvine said the
appointment was aimed at strengthening the agency’s appeal to ‘Scottish
plcs who are becoming increasingly irritated by the shoddy service they
are receiving from London-based agencies.’
Media House has also hired Diane Duncan as director of marketing and
business development. She was formerly business development manager at
rented homes specialists Quality Street and also has experience in
financial services marketing.
It is unclear how and when Whitton will be replaced at STV but the
broadcaster has a tradition of recruiting its top PR executive from in-