The political editor of the Associated Press is leaving journalism to become the U.S. head of communications for BP.
As the Huffington Post reports, political editor Liz Sidoti’s departure was announced in an AP staff memo on Monday.
“Liz has told us she’s interested in taking on a new challenge and developing business skills after 15 years as a reporter and editor with the AP,” the letter reads. “Because her new employer is someone AP covers, she will no longer be involved in any reporting, editing or news management for AP, effective immediately.”
Sidoti had been at the AP since 1999 and became national political editor in early 2011, according to the letter.
BP’s public relations team is most recently known for its response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010. The company’s ten-CEO Tony Hayward made a series of gaffes following the disaster, including calling the oil spill “relatively tiny” compared with the “very big ocean” and lamenting that he’d “like his life back” in the aftermath of the spill. After these comments, BP launched a $50 million PR campaign to try to win back the public’s favor for a company that had once branded itself as “Beyond Petroleum.” In 2012, BP pushed the image of a restored Gulf in TV advertisements that were dubbed “propaganda” by some Gulf Coast locals.