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Russo joins U.S. Chamber as new communications chief

Former head of global communications for Discovery Networks takes new role at business group

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March 21, 2019
By Walt Williams
      
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has hired the former head of global communications for the Discovery Channel and its associated networks to lead its communications team.

Michelle Russo has been named chief communications officer, according to Politico, which first reported the hiring. The position is new at the Chamber, with Russo leading a team of about 30 people.

Russo most recently was executive vice president, global communications, for Discovery Networks. Based in London, she guided the company’s communications efforts in Europe, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region, according to a 2018 profile in the public relations industry publication The Holmes Report. She previously was the primary spokeswoman on media regulation for the Federal Communications Commission.

Russo has a master’s degree in communications management from the University of Southern California.

The hiring comes after the departure of most of the Chamber’s media team. Katherine Knight, senior manager of media and external communications, stepped down to join the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting as VP of communications. Stacy Day, director of media and external communications, has joined American Airlines as senior specialist of communications. Blair Latoff Holmes, who was vice president of media and external communications, left in January.

The Chamber named Eric Wohlschlegel as acting VP of media and external communications following the departures. He most recently was director of media relations at the American Petroleum Institute but previously led the Chamber’s media team as executive director of communications.

This story was updated March 26 to clarify Russo's position at the Chamber.