ITV Network’s head of public affairs Mark Gallagher is joining
broadcast news company ITN in a new role, heading its media relations
and public affairs.
ITN is keen to assert its presence as an independent corporate
Since its creation in 1955 as a news provider for the ITV companies, ITN
has established itself as an independent business. The 1990 Broadcast
Act established ITN as a separate company, and it now provides news for
Channel 5 and Channel 4 and controls the content of Euronews. ITV is
still, however, its biggest contractor.
’As ITN develops its UK news businesses and its international
operations, particularly in Europe and the US, it needs to create a
better understanding among viewers, regulators and governments about its
achievements and future strategy,’ said Gallagher.
At the network, Gallagher oversaw UK public affairs, reporting to
corporate affairs controller Sue Eustace.
At ITN, he will be responsible for public affairs, media relations and
internal communications. He will report to chief executive Stewart
At present, ITN does not employ any public affairs officers full-time,
and handles issues through its six-strong public affairs committee,
which includes Purvis, editor-in-chief Richard Tait and associate editor
ITN has a press office team of five, headed by senior press officer Anne
Were, who currently reports to Purvis.
When Gallagher arrives in May, Were will move into a new role, working
exclusively on media relations for the programmes ITN creates for
Gallagher joined the network three years ago as a public affairs
While there, he worked on a campaign to change provisions in the
Representation of the Peoples Act. Before the campaign, broadcasters had
been subject to a veto by election candidates, who could stop them
showing footage of candidates in their constituency if they felt
representation was unfair.
As a result of Gallagher’s work, the Government agreed to abolish the
veto in the upcoming European, Welsh and Scottish elections. If the
trial is a success, the veto may be abolished altogether.