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News Corp. Taps Sony Veteran Jim Kennedy as Chief Communications Officer

Kennedy also worked in the Clinton White House

Jim Kennedy is leaving Sony Corporation to serve as chief communications officer of News Corp., the media company said Wednesday.

He will begin his new role on Dec. 9, reporting to News Corp. Chief Executive Robert Thomson. He joins the company following its spin-off last summer.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 12.14.44 PMLast June, News Corp. split into two separate, publicly traded companies.  One company, 21st Century Fox, is comprised of Rupert Murdoch’s television and film holdings, while the other, which retained the name News Corp., consists of publishing and education assets such as the Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins and the New York Post.

Also read: News Corp. Split Signals Bigger Is Not Better

Kennedy offers a mix of corporate, media and Beltway experience. In addition to working for eight years in communications at Sony, Kennedy served in the Clinton White House. His roles there included deputy assistant to President Bill Clinton and deputy press secretary.

He also headed communications for the White House Counsel’s office, Vice President Al Gore, Senators Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut Attorney General’s office, and the Clinton Foundation.

“Jim Kennedy is the canniest of communicators and the wisest of wordsmiths,” Thomson said in a statement. “His global experience and Washington expertise mean that he has a contact network that extends from Tokyo to Tucson.”

Also read: Sony to Cut More Than $100M in Coming Months

At Sony, Kennedy’s titles included head of communications for Sony Pictures Entertainment and, as of 2011, senior vice president for strategic communications at Sony Corporate. His departure comes after Steve Elzer, senior VP of media relations for Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, announced this fall that he will be leaving Sony in December after a 12-year run at the studio.

Kennedy will be based in New York with Deputy Head of Communications Ashley Huston, who joined News Corp. from Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal in January.