John Shield to be director of comms

John Shield John Shield expects a 'demanding but fascinating challenge'

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John Shield is to return to the BBC as director of communications.

The Corporation's former head of comms for journalism, who left the BBC in 2010, joins from the Department for Work and Pensions, where he is director of communications.

He will be responsible for the BBC's communications strategy and will lead the Public Affairs and Communications Group, reporting to director of strategy and digital James Purnell.

'John is a first class director of comms with a wide range of experience across broadcasting, government, and the commercial sector,' said Tony Hall.

'He joins the BBC at an incredibly important time for the corporation as we strive to re-establish trust with our audiences and move towards a new chapter in the BBC's history.'

Mylrea role

Before leading the comms around Iain Duncan Smith's welfare reforms, Shield worked for public transport company Go-Ahead.

The former Downing Street senior press officer, who was director of comms for the Department of Communities and Local Government, said his new job would be 'a demanding but fascinating challenge'.

The role was last held by Paul Mylrea whose job title was changed in the autumn of 2011 to director of public affairs.

Mylrea stepped down from the role after Purnell's arrival last year.

Meanwhile, Julian Payne, who has been acting head of comms since Mylrea's departure, will lead the BBC's review of Trust and Executive working practices.

'Julian has worked tirelessly over the last year, getting the BBC through one of the toughest patches in its history and has been a brilliant source of wise counsel and good humour,' said Purnell. 'He is perfectly suited to delivering this important new project.'

Payne was previously head of press and media relations.

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