Edition, April 14, 2004, Page 1
F-H TUNES INTO CIRCUIT CITY.
has picked up the $1 million Circuit City account, narrowing
out Ogilvy PR, Stanton Crenshaw and hometown Richmond, Va.-based
Carter Ryley Thomas. Weber Shandwick was the incumbent on
the account, but decided not to pitch.
CC, which operates 600 electronic superstores, posted a
two percent decline in fiscal `04 revenues to $9.7 billion.
It lost $90 million following various writeoffs.
Alan McCollough has promised to shutter non-performing stores
as part of his revitalization program. Nineteen stores were
closed in February.
prosecutors have subpoenaed F-H documents regarding its
contracts with the city of Los Angeles.
Associated Press (April 9) reported subpoenas were served
at F-H's headquarters in St. Louis and are part of an ongoing
pay-for-play investigation of Los Angeles airport, harbor
and water/power agencies.
city had begun an audit of F-H's $3 million-a-year contract
with the Dept. of Water and Power this month following complaints
about "wasteful" spending as the city agency seeks
an 18 percent rate hike.
regional president for F-H, Richard Kline, has said the
firm is confident it hasn't overbilled the city and is proud
of its work.
DOKE, ALLEN GET
NEW DELL ROLES.
Tim Doke, who joined Dell Computer, Austin, Tex., as VP
communications in March 2003, and Elizabeth Allen, VP-corporate
communications, have been given new roles outside the company
while remaining as Dell employees.
will be in "advisory roles working on specific corporate
communications initiatives," said a memo put out by
continue to report to Thomas Green, senior VP and legal
in September 2002 halted an "exhaustive" external
search for a global marketing and PR executive, saying it
had faith in Allen to handle the work.
was previously at American Airlines, which he rejoined in
1998 after two years at Brinker International. Previously
he was a SVP at Hill & Knowlton. His job at Dell included
supervising media relations, PA, the Dell Foundation, employee
communications and executive visibility programs.
Cox is acting head of communications for the company.
SHAW EXITS GATEWAY
FOR HOME DEPOT.
The Home Depot has lured Brad Shaw from Gateway, where he
was senior VP of marketing, for a new post to head corporate
communications and external affairs for the $58 billion
Atlanta-based home improvement giant.
who is a senior VP at Home Depot, previously held senior
posts at PepsiCo, including director of worldwide communications
and senior manager of communications for North America.
He reports to HD chairman/CEO, Bob Nardelli.
Sherbin, Gateway's director of corporate communications,
said the computer maker has launched an internal/external
search for Shaw's replacement.
began his career at Ketchum and Doremus PR in New York.
RF TO BRAND ROSES.
Ruder Finn has edged a handful of competitors to handle
PR and other marketing tasks for All-America Rose Selections,
a non-profit association for 90 percent of U.S. rose growers
and introducers. Publicis Dialog was the incumbent.
Jessica Switzer, managing director of RF's San Francisco
bay area operation, RF/Switzer, heads the account and led
the pitch. She told this NL a key goal is to dispel a myth
that roses are difficult to grow. "Through research
and hybridization, roses have become very easy to cultivate,"
Switzer adds the title of executive secretary of AARS,
which is backed by industry growers like Jackson & Perkins
and runs 26 "test gardens" in the U.S.
FROM PRSA BOARD.
Sherry Treco-Jones has resigned from PR Society of America's
national board to devote more time to her Decatur, Ga.-based
firm. Her term was to expire on Dec. 31. She has not returned
Treco-Jones is replaced by Gary McCormick, program manager
at URS Coleman, a chemical weapons disposal operation at
the military's Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.
The new director is vice chair of PRSA's board of ethics
and professional standards, and was one of four candidates
interviewed to replace Treco-Jones. McCormick ran as an
at-large director candidate last year.
PRSA watchers can't remember the last time a board member
Edition, April 14, 2004, Page 2
KLORES REPS AMEX GROUP.
Dan Klores Communications is representing dissident American
Stock Exchange members and seat owners who are trying to
thwart the National Association of Securities Dealers move
to return ownership to the Amex members.
Stuart Alpert, a floor broker who retained DKC, feels the
transaction that was approved by the Amex Membership Corp.
on March 18 leaves the Exchange with a mountain of debt.
AMC believes the deal "eliminates the uncertainty
surrounding ownership and better positions the Amex to address
Joseph DePlasco, DKC's senior executive VP, said the Securities
and Exchange Commission is set to rule on the NASD/Amex
transaction in early May.
The Exchange, which was acquired by NASD in `98 to better
compete with the New York Stock Exchange, lost $7.3 million
last year, $4.3 million in '02 and $2.6 million in `01.
B-M ENLISTS CIMKO.
Burson-Marsteller has established a global defense group,
and has named Dick Cheney's former spokesperson, Christine
Cimko, to head the Washington, D.C.-based unit. She worked
with Cheney when he headed the Defense Dept., handling weapons
acquisition and base closure issues. Cimko also was director
of communications for both the Senate Armed Services Committee
(`93 to `97) and the "1993 Defense Base Closure and
Most recently, Cimko was senior VP at Edelman PR Worldwide,
leading its image and international affairs. She counseled
Raytheon, FujiFilm, Panama Canal Authority, Angola, Portugal,
Jordan and Hong Kong. She is a commissioner on the Virginia
Advisory Commission on Military Bases and board member of
the Armed Services YMCA. Her title at B-M is managing director
in the public affairs practice.
Weber Shandwick is representing El Salvador's Investment
Promotion Board in its bid to drum up U.S. corporate support
for that country and push for Congressional support of the
Central American Free Trade Agreement. The Interpublic PR
unit and its sister ad agency, McCann-Erickson, are involved
in the project worth $250,000.
CAFTA, which also would cover Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama
and Honduras, has become a political hot potato. President
Bush believes CAFTA will boost the economies of the countries
Sen. John Kerry opposes CAFTA if it does not protect workers
rights both here and in Central America.
The Embassy of El Salvador, on its website, boasts of its
"worldwide recognized hard working labor," and
the fact that the country ranked No. 1 in South America
(ahead of Chile) in The Wall Street Journal/Heritage
Foundation's survey of "economic freedom."
NUSSBAUM SAVAGES BLYTH
Emily Nussbaum, who writes for liberal-leaning The Nation
as well as Slate and Nerve, attacked Myrna
Blyth and her new book, Spin Sisters, in the April
4 New York Times Book Review.
Blyth contends that women's magazines, all of them headquartered
in New York, have gotten out of step with women in the rest
of the U.S., who are far more conservative in such matters
as sex outside marriage, abortion, gay marriage, prayer
in schools, death penalty, gun control, and other issues.
Nussbaum notes that Blyth "oversaw the Ladies Home
Journals stew of recipes and service pieces"
for more than 20 years and "should be able to offer
some perspective on her own industry."
But "instead of mounting a meaningful argument,"
Nussbaum says, Blyth "seems more interested in slams
and stereotypes, precisely what she denounces among the
magazines she criticizes."
Conservative-leaning publications such as the Wall Street
Journal, National Review, New York Post
and Washington Times gave Spin Sisters positive and
even rave reviews.
Robert McCain, writing in the Washington Times March 10,
said the book is "very entertaining. It's a fun read,
as well as an informative read."
Catherine Seipp, Los Angeles writer and media critic, writing
in the WSJ, said Blyth has "done her homework,"
reading two years of Cosmopolitan, Family Circle,
Good Housekeeping, Glamour, Ladies Home Journal,
Marie Claire, Redbook, Vogue and Women's
She found that each issue had at least two "victim"
stories, which often included calls for government action.
FENTON SAYS IT's NOT
A PR FIRM.
"Public relations. Monty Python called it a modern
useless profession. Too bad they were wrong." reads
an ad from Fenton Communications. "PR has become the
way crafty corporations and even the leader of the free
world convince people that pollution is harmless, war is
peace and greed is good. No wonder we at Fenton Communications
don't like to be asked at parties what we do for a living,"
reads the spot running on Air America Radio, the liberal
radio network that debuted this month.
The ad notes that FC is "proud that we help our clients
make the world a better place." It names clients, such
as MoveOn.org, What Would Jesus Drive, Harvard School of
Public Health, and Air America which it launched
with Dan Klores Communication's and Natural Resources
Defense Council. Listeners are invited to visit Fenton's
website. "Just don't call us flacks," concludes
Lisa Witter, an executive VP, told O Dwyer's that FC does
not like to be called a PR firm. "We're generally described
as a public interest communications firm," she said.
Edition, April 14, 2004, Page 3
GOURMET ARTICLES EDITOR
Gourmet is retooling to make room for articles about
food-related subjects that are not tied to travel, recipes
Jocelyn Zuckerman, a senior features editor, told 123 women
and 12 men who attended the Publicity Club of New York's
media luncheon on April 7 that the magazine is interested
in doing more stories about kitchen design, and the political
and social aspects of food production.
Without going into more detail, Zuckerman, who was one
of four journalists to appear on the "Eat, Drink And
Be Savvy" panel, asked the publicists to send her information
about these specific areas in a brief letter, which makes
the point in the first paragraph.
She said the letter should either be e-mailed to [email protected]
or delivered to her by regular mail at 4 Times Sq., New
York, NY 10036.
"I have no time for phone calls," said Zuckerman,
whose business card listed her number as 212/ 286-4568;
When making a pitch, try making "it something newsy,"
As for exclusives, she said "We will drop the story
if we find out it is running in another magazine."
Erica Marcus, food reporter for Newsday, said the
Long Island paper is "pushing its city (New York) edition."
Her particular area of interest is food stories which would
be of interest to Newsday's readers in Brooklyn.
Marcus also disclosed that Marjorie Robins, who is travel
editor, has been named food editor.
Robins will succeed Kari Granville, who will become travel
editor. Both women have been at Newsday for several years.
Marcus is interested in getting new product pitches to
use on the "potluck" page that runs every Wednesday
in the food section. She said pictures of the product and
a sample of the product should be provided at least two
months in advance.
The most important thing is to make sure the product is
available to readers.
Marcus urged the publicists to stop sending "extravagant
gifts" with their releases.
Phil Lempertwho writes a syndicated newspaper column
about new food products, hosts a weekly food segment on
NBC's "Today Show," and a two-hour syndicated
radio program, based in Santa Monica, Calif., every Sundayheaped
praise on the publicists for their good work in providing
him with a steady flow of information.
He pointed out the Today Show has begun a new weekly cooking
segment in which top restaurant chefs show viewers how they
can prepare expensive dishes at home.
Lempert said publicists who are not sure about pitching
him something, should ask him `What are you working on?
in an e-mail.
He never uses VNRs or B-roll when reporting.
Bob Lape, "Dining Diary" editor for WCBS-TV (Ch.
2) in New York, and Crain's New York Business restaurant
editor, said the best way to grab his attention is to send
him pitches that are "well-written and right on target."
The Paris-based Internatonal
Herald Tribune, which is published six days a week by
The New York Times, is featuring a new European ad
column by Eric Pfanners.
Razor, a men's magazine,
will unveil a "more targeted, stylistic approach"
in its May issue, which goes on newsstands April 23.
Now in its fourth year, the publisher said the objective
is to "focus tighter on the interests and aspirations
of a more selective educated male magazine reader."
editor-in-chief, said each issue will continue to feature
coverage in the areas of business and finance, travel and
entertainment, as well as the latest trends in fashion,
politics, and technology.
the counter-cultural monthly, is back on newsstands with
a new editorial direction that features articles on politics
and culture, and no pot-centered ads.
who is the publisher of HT, has started a quarterly called
Grow America, which is devoted to marijuana cultivation.
John Buffalo Mailer,
son of novelist Norman Mailer, is executive editor of HT.
USA Today Live,
a division of USA Today, is starting a weekly half-hour
TV show titled "USA Today Sports Page" that will
be offered to cable and broadcast networks.
managing editor of USAT Live, is overseeing the new show,
which will be produced at USA Today Live studios in McLean,
A search is underway for anchors, reporters and an executive
Specialty Toys & Gifts,
a New York-based trade magazine serving the independent
toy and gift retailer, is looking for features on a variety
of topics that effect the smalltown retailer.
Possible topics include: How to choose employee/health
benefits for your store; How to design the inside/outside
of a toy store; Who is the Gen-X mom? How can stores help
her spend more? What is the Baby Boomer grandparent looking
for when they shop for toys?
Information should be sent to Nancy Lombardi, who is editor-in-chief.
Her address is 1107 Broadway, #1204, New York, NY 10010.
212/575-4510 ext. 3016; fax: 575-4521.
(Media news continued on next page)
Edition, April 14, 2004, Page 4
INDICTED CEO TAKES
Richard Scrushy, the former CEO of HealthSouth Corp., who
has been indicted on 85 counts of corporate fraud and for
cooking the company books, is taking his case to the court
of public opinion with his own local TV talk show.
Scrushy is co-hosting the show with his wife Leslie on
WTTO-TV in Birmingham, Ala., where HealthSouth is headquartered
and where the trial is scheduled to begin in August.
An arm of the Guiding Light Church, headed by Bishop Jim
Lowe Jr., has purchased 12 months of air time for the show,
which contains a mixture of scripture, law, and politics.
"Viewpoint with Richard & Leslie Scrushy"
airs every weekday at 7:30 a.m.
Scrushy, who has made a promise to deliver the news without
"mainstream media bias," plans to interview "leaders
and visionaries" five days a week.
U.S. Attorney Alice Martin has filed a motion for a gag
order against the Scrushy team, alleging the efforts of
Scrushy's lawyers to mold public opinion "are threatening
to undermine the guarantee of a fair trial by an impartial
jury pool in the community."
Like Martha Stewart, Scrushy launched his own website (Richardmscrushy.com)
shortly after his indictment last year to rebut news reports
and tell his side of the story. Trial consultants can't
recall a client who started a TV show.
CNN ENACTS NEW VNR DISTRIBUTION
CNN has enacted a new policy for transmission of video news
releases on its Newsource service, which provides news footage
to local TV stations.
The changes were made as a result of the controversy created
by the Dept. of Health and Human Services so-called Karen
Ryan VNR, which stations mistook as part of CNN's news feed.
Under the new policy, the producer of the VNR will be identified
in addition to the labeling of the footage as a VNR, and
news stations will now get VNR footage separately from genuine
The material coming in from CNN to the news stations appears
under one of several headingsfor instance, "breaking
news" or "features." Clicking on the name
of the heading allows a news producer to see all of the
items in that specific category. "VNRs" will now
appear under their own heading.
Finally, CNN will allow stations to opt out of receiving
VNRs, but to continue getting the rest of the Newsource
servicenews stories produced by CNN or other affiliates,
as well as B-roll material for use in creating their own
stories, and other features.
WSJ'S ATLANTA CHIEF.
Doug Blackmon was promoted to Atlanta bureau chief of The
Wall Street Journal.
He was previously deputy bureau chief, and is replacing
Bob Rose, who is leaving the paper to become assistant managing
editor for business at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
He takes over on April 15.
Blackmon, who joined the Journal in 1995 as a reporter,
recently returned from a leave to write a book based on
his 2001 page one story detailing the use of forced black
prison labor in Southern mines owned by U.S. Steel Corp.
early in the 20th century.
EDITOR OF MORE.
Peggy Northrop, who has been editor-in-chief of Rodale's
Organic Style magazine since March 2002, has replaced
Susan Crandell as editor of Meredith's More magazine.
Northrop, who ran OS' first celebrity cover in April, is
the third editor to leave OS since it was started in Sept.
Under Northrop, OS circulation rose from 400,000 to 750,000,
and its bimonthly frequency was increased to 10-times a
More, which was started five years ago, has a circulation
50, has replaced Ellen
Foley as managing editor of The Philadelphia Daily
News. Days was assistant managing editor.
the founding food editor of Martha Stewart Living
magazine who left the company in June 2003 but has continued
to write a column on entertaining, was named a contributing
food editor and entertainment editor at Lifetime,
a year-old magazine aimed at women in their 30s. It covers
topics such as fashion, beauty, health and decorating.
previously style editor at Lifetime magazine, was named
senior beauty editor at O,
The Oprah Magazine.
formerly senior health editor at More, has joined
Time Inc.'s All You magazine
as health editor.
was named food and nutrition editor at Health
Kris Oser was
named the interactive beat reporter at Advertising
40, has joined Fortune Small
Business in New York as senior editor. Stodghill had
been editor-in-chief of Savoy, a monthly magazine
for African-Americans, until it suspended publication for
financial reasons late last year.
formerly editor of Purchasing and CPI Purchasing
magazines, was named editor-in- chief of Solid
State Technology and its weekly newsletter, WaferNews,
succeeding Bob Haavind,
who becomes editorial director of the Nashua, N.H.-based
executive editor of the "Nightly Business Report,"
will receive the Society of American Business Editors and
Writers Distinguished Achievement Award at its annual conference
scheduled for May 204 in Fort Worth, Tex.
who was VP for planning at Newsday, was named editor
of The Orlando Sentinel.
Lee Copeland was
named editor-in-chief of Fed
Tech, a new quarterly magazine for IT decision makers
that CDW Government Inc. in Vernon Hills, Ill., has started.
She had previously covered business and., technology for
The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times
and was a senior editor at Computerworld.
formerly publisher of Fairchild Publications, was named
publisher of Spa Finder Magazine
in New York.
AUTO MAG TO COVER
`SPEED, SEX, STUFF.
MPH is the title of a new magazine for car enthusiasts
that focuses on an automotive category called MPH (maximum
MPH was described in a press release as "a broadly
based lifestyle magazine that captures the spirit of the
times for the new generation of car enthusiasts. Its graphics
will have lots of energy while its content will have an
irreverent tone and a no-holds-barred attitude. Its mantra
will be the 4's s speed, sex, service and stuff."
Eddie Alterman, previously senior editor of Automotive
magazine, was named editor of the MPH, which American Media
will start publishing 10 times a year this September.
Dan Pund, formerly a staff writer for Car and Driver
and Auto Week, is executive editor, and Dave Merline,
previously at Motorbody and Orbit magazine, is managing
editor of the New York-based magazine. Mike Austin is road
RIOT TO PUBLISH MAG
FOR PRE-TEEN BOYS.
Riot Media, a new company headed by former TV Guide
editorial executive Jay Gissen, has been established to
develop, produce and market multi-platform entertainment
programming and media products targeted at boys between
the ages of 8 and 13.
Gissen, who was director of editorial operations and development
at TV Guide, said the company is planning to publish a monthly
magazine, comic books, books, games, licensed products and
an interactive website with an e-commerce element.
"With 15 million boys ages 8-13 spending $18 billion
annually on their own and influencing an additional $145
billion in spending, many companies have devoted considerable
time and resources marketing individual products to them,"
"Yet no one has been able to successfully create an
integrated brand that delivers content for multiple platforms
simultaneously. We will fill this market niche in a way
that our target audience will embrace and make their own."
Rob Edelstein, formerly sports editor for TV guide, is
editor in chief of Riot magazine and Riot online,
which will be based in New York.
Edition, April 14, 2004, Page 7
Chart of PR firm rankings
Edition, April 14, 2004 Page 8
The attack of Emily
Nussbaum on Myrna Blyth's Spin Sisters (page 2) highlights
the liberal/ conservative divide between New York and the
rest of the U.S. (excepting Hollywood).
Pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-gun control, pro-sex
outside of marriage New York is at odds with Mid-America
(all those Red states that voted for George W. Bush in 2000).
Conservatives also feel the entertainment industry based
in Los Angeles and New York is unfairly using TV shows and
movies to push liberal propaganda (New York Times
The celebrities, who are beloved of the women's magazines
and who are often featured at the annual Matrix Awards lunch
of New York Women in Communications, are mostly left-leaning
and pro-Democratic party, says the article.
As examples, the NYT notes that Whoopi Goldberg, portraying
a hotelier on the NBC show, "Whoopi," attacked
a Bush lookalike for "what he's done to the economy."
The search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was
ridiculed by a character on NBC's "Law and Order."
The upcoming April
19 Matrix lunch, honoring women media figures and
featuring celebrities, is seen by many as a joyous event
that is not only fun and entertaining for all but raises
funds for scholarships for women students.
But in Myrna Blyth's opinion, it's a place of rigid liberal
conformity where divergent opinions are verboten and women
"toe the party (liberal) line."
Many of those in the audience "are like the girls
back in North Side High, desperate to belong to the in crowd,"
says Blyth. "They want to be friends with the cool
girls, the popular ones...and are willing to do just about
anything to make it happen. They want to sit on the dais
too, someday...they understand the rules of the game: never
get on the bad side of a Spin Sister...membership...goes
only to those who stick to the party line and suck up..."
Blyth writes that "Not one woman who is well known
for having a right-of-center viewpoint has received a Matrix"
in its 33 years. Prominent New York conservative writers
such as Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal
and Andrea Peyser, New York Post, have somehow
been missed. Dr. Laura Schlesinger, based on the West Coast
but whose program continues to draw a radio audience of
18 million outside of New York (where it has been discontinued)
might have been recognized, conservatives say, since she
had a big New York audience. Blyth faults the "sisters"
for never showing a picture of Schlesinger even though she
is "attractive" in appearance.
Peyser in 1999 blasted the Matrix lunch as a "tedious,
four-hour, self-congratulatory" affair while columnist
Liz Smith said it had become "off the wall, out of
bounds, overgrown, overfed, overpopulated and...sheer, incredible
The triumphalism that
marks the Matrix event is something that should be reconsidered.
The NYT on April 5 noted that there are a million
African-American women in college but only 635,000 African-American
men. Results are not enough "economically viable"
black men to marry the women and a high out-of-wedlock birth
rate. In local New York colleges, females make up 75% and
more of the students. Even among whites, the U.S. college
population is nearly 60% female. Women mature faster than
men, making them better students, more focused on their
futures, and more apt to gain college admission. In PR,
most classes of 20 and more students usually have but one
The open hostility
of PRSA to New York has its roots in the liberal/conservative
split. In its latest manifestation, PRSA is moving downtown,
far from the liberal-leaning New York media and far from
the New York PR community, a double hit.
Key leaders in PRSA don't want New Yorkers to have any
more access to h.q. than members in Des Moines. The "Red
states" of PRSA have long been angry that sacred accreditation
means virtually nothing in New York.
The anti-New York bias of PRSA was confirmed Oct. 25 when
the all APR-Assembly booted Fellow Phil Ryan of New York
off the board. The only other New Yorker on the 17-member
board, secretary Art Stevens, didn't get nominated for treasurer
and chose not to run.
On the subject of APR,
only 17 PRSA members took the new multiple-choice
APR exam in the second half of 2003 and 12 passed it. PRSA
refuses to give out the results for the first quarter of
2004. The new exam, which has only 5% of its questions on
"media relations," cost $250,000 and took three
years to create...
A new PRSA mystery
is the sudden resignation of Sherry Treco-Jones (page
one) as the director from the Southeast. She is the only
national director to resign during a term of office. She
gave the flimsy reason that she wants to spend more time
in her firm. PRSA, apparently also angry, did not even mention
her in the initial release on new director Gary McCormick.
Somehow, PRSA picked Easter weekend to announce this news.
Reports are that the board refused to do something Treco-Jones
wanted and she suspects she is being passed over for the
secretary nomination in favor of Debbie Mason of Florida.