BBC Worldwide Television’s PR chief Phil Johnstone has resigned and
is planning to return to his native New Zealand.
Johnstone, aged 36, will leave the BBC’s commercial television arm in
around six weeks time.
The former political journalist arrived in the UK eight years ago. In
1990 he landed a job at in the publicity department of BBC News, moving
across to BBC World Service TV - now BBC Worldwide - two years
As head of press and PR he is responsible for a team of seven handling
programme distribution, sales and marketing issues and events. Last year
BBC Worldwide TV announced joint ventures with both Flextech and The
Discovery Channel to create new programmes and channels.
Johnstone denied a suggestion that his departure was linked to the
appointment of Janie Ironside-Wood who was poached from ITN for a new PR
role at BBC Worldwide last year (PR Week, 13 December 1996).
Her job, also called head of press and publicity, covers Johnstone’s
department plus Worldwide’s publishing and learning arms, which also
have their own PR teams.
Commenting on Ironside-Wood’s role, Johnstone said: ’We have different
businesses. It was important for the BBC to explain its overall
Johnstone, who is married with two children, plans to travel for three
months before resuming life in New Zealand either in the television or
PR industries. BBC Worldwide has not yet found a replacement.