Former Daily Mail and Press Association journalist, Chris Marritt is to lead a new strategic media unit at Weber Shandwick North.

He’ll be assisted by Chris Walker, a former Oxford Mail and Doncaster Free Press reporter.

The pair will feed into a global media group spread across the Weber Shandwick offices in London, Brussels, Beijing, Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai. WSN boss, Jo Leah explained that the decision came as a direct result of cutbacks in newsrooms:

“While all firms are rightly enhancing and expanding their social media and digital capabilities, it is vital to harness the skills of experienced journalists to keep traditional media at the heart of PR.

“As newsrooms shrink the need for quality content is growing. We have grown rapidly over the last 12 months and by establishing a strategic media unit to operate across all our client accounts we can strengthen the voice of our client’s stories to make sure we genuinely are engaging, always.”

Marritt’s team will work alongside the Manchester-based agency’s digital division.