In this section:
About Us
Our Capabilities
The Team

The Team

Irving International Ltd has a combination of management, consultants and consortium partners with unequalled professional experience in media projects, professional training and media development management in transitional countries.

Our People

Ward Thomas is Chairman. He has been Chairman and Chief Executive at a number of leading UK media companies including Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television, Managing Director of Grampian TV, Managing Director and Deputy Chairman at Yorkshire TV, Managing Director and Chairman of Trident TV, as well as Chairman, British Bureau of TV Advertising and Council Member, the Independent Television Companies Association. He has also served as chairman of media-orientated companies in the U.S. and Australia concerned with film/television production, syndication and worldwide distribution.

Keith Hayes is Chief Executive. He has extensive experience in media and journalism in Canada, Northern Ireland and Britain. He has held senior positions at media giants CBC, BBC and Reuters as well as being London anchor for PBS TV business programmes. Former Project Director for the Kosovo Independent Media Programme, he has extensive experience in media development and training projects across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic States, Russia, Africa and Asia.

John Hurdley is a Non-executive Director. John is a Partner in a leading UK law firm and has extensive experience of international transactions in Europe, the USA, South America and India. He has also travelled widely across Europe to many of the countries in which the company operates and has interests. His trade and industry contacts both in the UK and abroad have contributed to the data base of key consultants which is one of the main strengths of the company.

 Barry MacDonald Barry MacDonald is Head of Business Affairs. He has extensive experience of media business issues, with ten years at Reuters Television as General Manager. He also led corporate planning for government media business and advertising at the UK government's Central Office of Information. He has held senior strategic and financial roles for commercial companies and for the UK government.

Tim Hunt is Head of Communications. He has 35 years' experience of Government information and communications work including eight years as Head of News in the Cabinet Office at the heart of the UK Government. He is a regular lecturer on crisis communications, and on both internal and external communications for public bodies. He has seven years' experience in the Far East and recent consultancy work includes Poland, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Kosovo, Bermuda, Palestine, Serbia, Iraq, and China.

 Chris Lumb  Chris Lumb (Business Development) is an international business development consultant and a fluent speaker of French and German. His background is in export sales, mergers and acquisitions, with experience in the UK, the USA, Germany, and the CIS. More recently he was head of international affairs at one of London’s leading business networking groups, which organised high level business briefings for corporate members.

 Samuel ComptonSamuel Compton (Consultant) began his broadcasting career in Northern Ireland, later moving to ITV in England where he was a news producer and editor covering events in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. As CEO of KTN, sub Saharan Africa's first commercial television station based in Nairobi, and then as MD of The Nation Media Group's Broadcast Division, he directed media businesses in Kenya. More recently he was Country Director of two USAID funded media development programmes in Serbia and Jordan, respectively. Both assignments involved close coordination with senior US and host government officials while overseeing projects that supported improvements in independent media and public service broadcasting. Mr Compton holds an LLB and post graduate qualifications in journalism.

Randolph Walerius (Consultant) was a senior news editor at Dow Jones News Wires for ten years with editorial control of the London newsroom and 300 reporters and editors in 25 business news bureaus across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Previously he held senior positions with Knight-Ridder and Associated Press. He is an award winner for business and economic reporting and has trained journalists throughout Europe.

Graham Addicott (Consultant) began his career at the Sunday Times, then Independent Radio News (IRN) in the UK and television reporter with HTV and Thames Television. As an independent television producer he made programmes for BBC, Channel Four, Five and Discovery. He has extensive training and consulting experience with organisations such as USAID, Baltic Media Centre and BBC World Service Training Trust. He has designed a market-leading training course for factual programme production and has worked as a trainer in Kosovo, Russia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Montenegro and Slovenia as well as the UK.

Alexander Sambuk (Consultant) is a senior journalist with over 15 years' experience of writing, editing and presenting for TV, radio, and press, including “Die Zeit” and “Der Bund”, the Swiss Radio Corporation (DRS/SRG), Deutsche Welle, and several Russian TV channels. As Output Editor on Rossiya TV and Chief Analyst on Russia Today TV, he has had responsibility for the editorial management of teams of 30 people as well as for starting up a new programme from scratch. Additionally, he has project management experience with the Goethe Institute, arranging workshops, events, and exhibitions. For the University of Berlin he has managed training programmes for journalists from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. He is Moscow based and fluent in Russian, English, Belorussian, and German.

Paul Andersen (Consultant) is a member of the regional NHS Research Ethics Committee and an external examiner in Media for the University of Greenwich, London. He is skilled as a trainer, course designer and media analyst. A graduate in Zoology, he was for ten years a television director of BBC science programmes and subsequently worked as a producer/director in current affairs in commercial television. He has experience as an independent producer for Channel 4, BBC and Discovery Channel. He has undertaken extensive training and consultancy for public and commercial media organisations particularly in Central and Eastern Europe.

Alex Kirby (Consultant) has worked in broadcasting for over 20 years starting in the BBC World Service newsroom. He worked subsequently in North Africa, first in Algiers and then as bureau chief in Cairo. He moved to BBC UK radio and television for nine years as environment correspondent before switching to cover religious affairs. He is Irving International's environment specialist, only recently having retired from his role as environment correspondent for BBC News Online and presenter of BBC Radio Four's environment programme "Costing the Earth". His training activities have covered CIS countries, Ethiopia and Albania.

Robert Elphick (consultant) is a former BBC foreign correspondent as well as a past spokesman for the European Commission in Brussels and London. His journalistic experience with BBC saw him act as Assistant Diplomatic Correspondent as well as covering eastern and central Europe from Vienna and Bonn. He has also worked in Ireland, India, Vietnam, Amman, Prague and Beirut. He was also Reuter correspondent in Moscow and Algiers. He has worked as a consultant and lecturer for the Reuters Foundation, advised the Stock Exchange on European legislation and acted as Secretary General of the British Section of the European League for Economic Co-operation (ELEC).

Our Consortium Partners

In order to enhance our delivery capacity, Irving International has joined a consortium of major enterprises involved in media and media development, co-ordinating the response to clients needs for skills and expertise. The consortium members are:

Public Administration International Ltd (PAI) specialises in management consultancy and development services for organisations in, and associated with, the public sector and offers expert advice and support for governments undergoing political, constitutional, economic and structural change. PAI has recently been involved in providing public sector communications advice to overseas governments.

First Freedom Productions: Documentary and factual programme television producers with special experience of the Baltic States, Russia and SE Asia.

Helen Harrison & Company: Audience survey specialists and TV schedule advisors with special experience in the Balkans.

Business Markets Economics Writing (BMEW): Training for journalists and public relations specialists in how companies markets and economies work.

Swiss News AG: Based in Zurich, Swiss News is owned by leading business programme producer and facilities provider Chris Lieberherr. Swiss News has been the television company of choice for the World Economic Forum in Davos for the past decade.

Internews Armenia: broadcast production and news coverage facilities and training for TV radio, print and electronic media professionals throughout the South Caucasus region.

Rembor and Partners: global management consulting network specialising in strategy and performance enhancement.

International Public Relations Partners: international public relations consultancy and public affairs counsel.