Former AP reporter hired as UM's new communications director

Saturday, September 17, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:53 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A former Associated Press reporter who served as a consultant to University of Missouri System President Elson Floyd has been hired as the UM’s director of communications.

Scott Charton, 44, will hold a position new under a reorganization of the system’s department of university relations. David Russell, who was director of university relations, is now chief of staff.

Charton will oversee a larger department including the university’s Web-based communications, media relations, television and radio production, publications, and national and international marketing.

Charton, whose annual salary will be $100,000, will report directly to Floyd. Part of his work as a consultant was to report on how Missourians perceive the university and how the university communicates with citizens.

No search was conducted, nor was one required, said spokesman Joe Moore. He said that while Charton worked as a consultant, he showed he has the skills necessary for the new position, and that “Dr. Floyd felt he would be an ideal person for the job.”

Charton worked for the Associated Press for 22 years before going on sabbatical in April to be a consultant, among other projects. The AP created the post of roving Missouri correspondent for Charton in 2000, which made the entire state his beat, a UM press release stated.

“We must have a forceful commitment to openness and credibility with the citizens of Missouri,” Charton said Friday. “Dr. Floyd is extremely committed to the ‘public’ part of public higher education. We are owned by the people of Missouri--they are our stockholders. Dr. Floyd is committed to serving these people. I am looking forward to helping with this commitment.”

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