Former Utah newsman Art Kent has been named vice president for corporate communications of Texas Air Corp., parent company of embattled Eastern Air Lines.

Since last November, Kent has served as vice president for corporate communications for Continental Airlines, another Texas Air subsidiary. Prior to assuming that position, Kent was a correspondent for NBC News based in Washington, D.C., and had earlier held other positions with NBC News."Art has demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of our industry and the issues we face," said Texas Air Chairman Frank Lorenzo. "His broad experience as a journalist and corporate manager provide him with unusual capability to tell the story of our efforts to provide the finest in airline service during this period of industry transition."

Before joining the ranks of NBC News management in July 1982, Kent had been NBC News Middle East correspondent. He was in Cairo on Oct. 6, 1981, when Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat was assassinated. For eight hours, Kent did live reports via telephone, feeding information to NBC's Tom Brokaw and John Chancellor in New York.

Kent joined NBC News in July 1978 as chief of its Pittsburgh bureau. He traveled to Nicaragua in 1979 to report on the revolution. As a producer his assignments included the Three Mile Island incident, President Jimmy Carter's trip to Japan and Korea, and the 1980 Iowa Caucuses.

In his last assignment in Washington, Kent was one of the first broadcast journalists to report on Lt. Col. Oliver North's involvement in supplying the Contras, and was heavily involved in reporting the Iran-Contra affair, as well as covering other stories concerning the intelligence community.

Kent was born in New York City and educated at Williams College and the University of Utah. After serving in Army Intelligence in Korea, he was assigned to Formosa, where he began his broadcasting career working part time for Armed Forces Radio.

After his active service, Kent was a reporter, news director and anchorman for various television stations in Salt Lake City and Pittsburgh. He was an intelligence officer in the National Guard and Army Reserve, retiring from the Reserve in 1980.