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.

 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.

Edmund Kirby(Consultant) is an experienced journalist and has an extensive record of working with the UK media, at both local and national level. Starting his career writing for publications on the south coast, he currently works as a freelance subeditor for the online department of The Sun newspaper and additionally as a sub for The Daily Mail's new Snapchat project. He is also an outstanding photographer.

Barbara Dury is a contributing producer on Retro Report. She was an award-winning producer at CBS News, producing stories for 60 Minutes, 60 Minutes II, CBS News Productions and CBS Eye On People. She has extensive experience as a senior media consultant and trainer around the world, including Jordan, Syria, the West Bank, Bangladesh and Thailand. Barbara was the senior resident journalism adviser for Internews in Pakistan where she managed multiple media development and training programs. Most recently she was the senior producer at CCTV-America where she developed and launched their premiere news magazine broadcast, Americas Now. Based in New York Barbara has worked as a broadcast journalist for more than 30 years.

Antonio Zavala Antonio Zavala is a seasoned professional with experience in senior roles within public affairs, corporate & political communications and media advocacy. With broad understanding of parliamentary and political systems in Latin America and elsewhere. He has specialist knowledge of crisis communications bringing proven expertise in leading teams, implementing strategies and directing programmes specifically designed to positively influence social change.

Throughout his career he has worked in public affairs, overseeing public relations and policy communications for a range of global organizations, governments and academic institutions. He has promoted strong and effective links between organizations seeking to inform or influence a wide range of decision-makers and opinion-formers.

More than 14 years experience serving public and private sector organizations, political candidates and individuals interested in impacting policy and public opinion.

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.

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.