Thursday, February 14, 2008

Guto Harri Leaves the BBC

It's not often my flabber is well and truly ghasted, but I've just learned that Guto Harri is to leave the BBC to enter the world of political PR. He's joining top PR firm Fleishman Hillard.

Guto will be a big loss to the BBC political team but is a real catch for FH. He will be providing Board level counsel on political communications and public policy and will do a lot of media training and provide crisis communications advice.

In a statement Guto Harri said: “After a fascinating career in broadcast journalism, I am thrilled to take up an exciting new opportunity with Fleishman-Hillard. Playing my part in a dynamic, impressive team, wrestling with a broad range of tough and complex challenges is a daunting but inspiring prospect, and I look forward to it with relish."

There seems to be a lot of volatility in the political media at the moment, and a lot of disillusion. I know from my own contacts that there are quite a few political journos who are thinking about a career move like this one.

Guto had been tipped for the job that Andy Coulson now has. Somehow I think the job with FH will be slightly less pressurised! He's one of journalism's nice guys and I wish him well in his new career.

15 comments:

Idotes said...

I'm quite surprised at your eulogizing Iain, considering the guy's got form for anti-Tory/pro-Labour bias. A complaint was upheld that Hari promoted the fact that Michael Howard was booed by a QT audience while suppressing the fact that Tony Blair received the same treatment:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/text/apps_octdec2005_text.html

Newmania said...

"Playing my part in a dynamic, impressive team, wrestling with a broad range of tough and complex challenges....."


Sounds like a complete and utter PR executive.

Unsworth said...

He's seen the writing on the wall, eh? And I'm not talking about graffiti, either. Things do not look good at Al Beeb nor many other broadcasting companies these days.

As for the BBC political team - that's a misnomer if ever there was one. I really cannot take Nick Robinson seriously any more. He carries on like a pantomime dame - both on and off camera. In fact I challenge anyone to name any individual in 'the team' with real gravitas, incisiveness or intellect.

More seriously, though, you're absolutely right to highlight the disillusion. What it signifies is that the politicians have won the media war. They are now turning their attention to bloggers. Beware!

Paul Linford said...

I'm amazed. Guto is a top journo and would have been my tip to succeed Nick Robinson one day. I guess this leaves the field clear for James Landale....

Howard said...

Can you expand your comment, "There seems to be a lot of volatility in the political media at the moment, and a lot of disillusion", without breaking any confidences. Is it to do with New Labour and the spin or is the pressure of 24/7 news?

Iain Dale said...

Howard, I think it's both those issues plus the constant demands to dumb down political news and make it more "accessible".

Simon Chapman said...

For the same reasons as "Idotes", I am also astonished that he was ever considered for a job with the Conservative Party. Are your sure about that Iain?

Unsworth said...

Iain

Are you banning comment on your piece on Waterson, then?

The Dead Sheep of Quentin Davies said...

Indeed Iain. Guto's departure from the BBC is nothing short of a national loss. I was so moved I wrote a poetic tribute to this fine man.

Albert M. Bankment said...

Well, good riddance, sez I. One small victory for the Anti-Celt League. That apart, I thought he was a very poor journalist with a rotten delivery.

Robert Peston's another lousy voice. He's fine when he's giving a prepared piece, and excellent in relaxed conversation. As soon as he's interrupted or asked a direct question, however, it's suddenly: "er, um, er, well, (syllables s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d to infinity), um, er, well, (agonisingly long pause), um, well, er." He rapidly become impossible to listen to.

JohnofScribbleSheet said...

More money methinks....

Gallimaufry said...

Bring on Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Anonymous said...

Its long past the time when anyone from the BBC can be trusted to be decent , truthful and unbiased .

Surprised at your naivety Iain .
-
-

Written before I realised he is celtic( welsh ) -

85% of all employees of the BBC should be English ie the same proportion of the British poulation
I bet the real percentage is <8.5%

Middle Man said...

I too am shocked and disappointed. I knew Guto personally and know him to be a thoroughly decent bloke (although with Welsh nationalist tendancies after a few beers in his university days):

http://caughtinthemiddleman.wordpress.com/2008/02/25/blairs-second-hand-babe/

Anonymous said...

I don't suppose now that he's joined Boris's team you're all going to claim he was a Tory all along. I wonder how many more closet blues there are at the Beeb (not counting Nick Robinson of course).