One of Scotland's best-known broadcasters is leaving STV for PR.
A minute ago, Stephen Jardine announced – live on STV's The Hour magazine show – that he is to leave the show. He has co-founded Taste Communications, specialising in food and drink PR, with Jim Duff, a former editor of BBC Scotland's Reporting Scotland.
As well as having worked for STV, Jardine has also worked for GMTV (for whom he was Scotland, then Europe correspondent) and has written for newspapers including The Scotsman, the Edinburgh Evening News and the Sunday Mail.
He's been at STV since the turn of 2000. This is his second spell at the broadcasters. In a statement issued by Taste, he is quoted as saying: “Broadcasting has been a great business for me but my real passion is food and drink. I recently spent a year eating only Scottish produce and learned just how important the industry is to our economy and our sense of national identity.
“We have some brilliant individual businesses but they need help to spread the message that Scottish food and drink is the best in the world. I’ll use my contacts and understanding of how the media works to do just that.”
Based in Edinburgh, the company – understood to be Scotland's first specialist food and drink PR agency – has already signed clients including Scotland’s Seafood Restaurant of the Year and Edinburgh’s biggest wholesale and retail fish and shellfish supplier.
Meanwhile, as well as having been editor of Reporting Scotland, Duff is a former editor of BBC Radio Scotland news and a senior editor on the BBC Scotland news website. He has worked for Radio Forth, Sky News and GMTV and studied part-time for an MBA. He has also run his own video production business.
Adds Taste: “Jim has managed a smallholding and is the Scottish representative of the British Hen Welfare Trust, campaigning for laying hens to be cage free and rehoming ex-battery hens.”
Jardine leaves STV on a week on Friday.
In a statement issued by STV, Tom Cara, The Hour's series producer, is quoted, saying: “Stephen has been a great asset to The Hour since the show launched two years ago and has been invaluable to its success as Scotland's most popular teatime programme.
“We're all extremely grateful for his hard work over the course of the series and wish him every success with his new venture.”