David Yelland

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David Yelland is the founder of communications advisory firm Kitchen Table Partners (KTP).

He has previously worked at Rupert Murdoch owned companies as the editor of The Sun and senior vice-president of News Corporation before moving to lobbyists Weber Shandwick and Brunswick as senior vice-chairman and partner.

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Yelland was hired as The Sun's US correspondent by former editor Kelvin MacKenzie in 1992, before moving to the New York Post, another Rupert Murdoch owned newspaper, as deputy editor[1] During this time he had struck a great friendship with Murdoch and had also been hired as one of his speech writers[2]. In 1998, Yelland was hired by Murdoch to be the new editor of The Sun, having impressed Murdoch with his plans to make it a more serious newspaper and "play a role at the centre of the national debate"[1]. Whilst editor, he regularly dined with Murdoch and Tony Blair and his deputy was Rebekah Brooks, with Andy Coulson as his number three. In January 2003 he stepped down from his role at The Sun, succeeded by Brooks. Yelland has since admitted to being drunk the whole time he worked at the newspaper, and entered rehab in 2005 for alcoholism.[1]

After leaving The Sun, Yelland was appointed senior vice-president at News Corporation, again owned by Murdoch, whilst studying for a three-month advanced management programme at Harvard Business School.[3]

The move into PR and lobbying

Having rejected offers to become PR chief at ITV plc and News Corp director of communications in Sydney to stay in England and talks with Alan Parker of Brunswick and Allan Biggar of Burson Marsteller not amounting to anything, Yelland accepted an offer from Colin Byrne to become senior vice-chairman of Weber Shandwick.[4] Whilst at WS, Yelland had been hired by Tesco chief executive, Sir Terry Leahy to provide strategic advice on improving the supermarket's image.[5]

In 2006, Yelland joined Brunswick, owned by his good friend Alan Parker, as a partner[5]. At Brunswick, he "advises a wide range of companies, not-for-profit organizations and some individuals in various sectors, on communicating with mass market audiences in the UK and the US."[6]

In May 2015 Yelland launched his own communications advisory firm Kitchen Table Partners. It's been described as a "'small communications advisory firm" specialising in counselling high-profile individuals'. Yelland will be hoping to draw on his experience having previously advised the Archbishop of Canterbury; Jack Straw, after his dispatches saga; and former BP executive Lord Browne. KTP is expected to focus on 'reputational crisis management' and Yelland plans to secure clients coverage across broadcast and broadsheet media. He told PR Week 'I’ve got the combination of red top journalism with The Sun and blue chip experience through Brunswick. Those two things are my USP. I understand the mass market and have spent nine years in the boardroom', and that 'while Brunswick will always be part of his "heart and soul" he wanted to go back to grass-roots PR and work with client's on a one-to-one basis'.[7]


  • In 2010 The Truth About Leo was published. A children's story about alcoholism, loosely based on Yelland's own struggles with drink.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 David Yelland Former Sun editor David Yelland: 'I was drunk every night for nearly 24 years but I was saved by the love of my son' Daily Mail, 27 March 2010, accessed 20 October 2014
  2. MediaGuardian 14. David Yelland The Guardian, 16 July 2001, accessed 20 October 2014
  3. Gordon MacMillan Ex-Sun chief Yelland moves into PR at Weber Shandwick Brand Republic, 7 June 2004, accessed 20 October 2014
  4. Ravi Chandiramani Profile: David Yelland, senior vice-chairman, Weber Shandwick - Murdoch's man turns to PR PR Week, 18 June 2004, accessed 20 October 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 Elizabeth Rigby Yelland moves to rival Brunswick Financial Times, 25 July 2006, accessed 20 October 2014
  6. David Yelland Brunswick Group, undated, accessed 20 October 2014
  7. Khidr Suleman Former Brunswick executive and Sun editor David Yelland opens advisory agency PR Week, 6 May 2015, accessed 6 May 2015.
  8. Viv Groskop The Truth About Leo by David Yelland: review Telegraph, 1 Apr 2010, accessed 20 October 2014