Divided opinion on Bose appointment

From PR Week
Veteran sports journalist and SJA member Mihir Bose will start work as the BBC’s first sports editor in January. Ahead of his arrival, Adam Hill gauges opinion on his appointment among sports journalists and PR professionals.

Bose, who takes up his post on January 1, says: “My job is to break stories.” So what can PR professionals expect from the man who the Daily Mail had described as a “rank outsider” for the job? The good news is that Bose (married to financial PR specialist Caroline Cecil) is receptive to pitches from PR professionals – “if a story is genuine”.

Not everyone in sports media is impressed with the appointment. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” says one rival journalist – a not very gallant way of alluding to the fact that Bose was born in 1947. “It’s very weird, a bizarre appointment,” says a sports PRO. “He’s 60 years old [59 actually] – hardly the face of British broadcasting. He’s a respected journalist but the consensus is that there were far better candidates.”

If that is the case, why has the Beeb employed Bose? In a word: Olympics. London 2012, preceded by Beijing in 2008, will be big news and Bose has already covered several Games – with an emphasis on off-the-track machinations. “His Olympic contacts are second to none. He knows everybody,” says fellow Telegraph columnist Sue Mott.

David Welch, the former Telegraph sports editor who appointed Bose and now manages some of the journalist’s activities, such as corporate speaking, says: “Mihir’s insider knowledge is unsurpassed. He’s a major acquisition.”

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