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Internet Edition, January 10, 2007, Page 1


Georgia’s state medical college is seeking help to develop a brand marketing and communications plan following a broad market research project that assessed its “position” and “value” in the minds of the public.

The Medical College of Georgia sits in Augusta, 145 miles from Atlanta, and posted a fall ’05 enrollment of 2,100 students across its health services, dentistry, medicine, nursing and graduate schools. Research funding topped $79M in ’05.

The school, which draws 87 percent of its enrollment from the Peach State, hired Corona Research in 2006 to gauge perceptions of the institution for the first time since its founding in 1828.

It has issued an RFP to find a firm to create an integrated strategic communications and brand marketing plan to “clarify” its brand, develop messaging, engage alumni and outside sponsors, and draw national and international recognition for its programs. The firm will be expected to draw heavily from Corona’s final report issued in August ’06.

The RFP has a quick turnaround. An award is expected by the end of the month.


Michael McHale, a veteran automotive executive who played a key role in the launch of the MINI in the U.S., has been named director of corporate communications for Subaru of America.

A former engineer for Land Rover in the U.K., McHale moved over to that company’s corporate communications unit in 1995. He was later tapped to head global PR for MINI and eventually for its 2000 introduction in the U.S.
After MINI’s launch, he managed group communications for BMW North America in ’04.

At Cherry Hill, N.J.-based Subaru, McHale reports to chief marketing officer Tim Mahoney and takes responsibility for the company’s corporate communications and PR efforts.

Mahoney said the company has a busy year ahead in 2007 and cited McHale’s experience as a benefit as the carmaker grows its brand in the U.S.
The company, a unit of Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries, sold 200K cars in the U.S. in ’06.

Andrew Grossman, executive director of Wal-Mart Watch, has left the group to start his own consulting shop. David Nassar, who was his chief of staff, has been named acting executive director. The group, which presses for change at the giant retailer, is backed by the Service Employees International Union and Sierra Club.


ExxonMobil spent $16M from `98 to `05 to bankroll more than 40 groups that question and challenge the science that backs the threat posed by global warming, according to a blistering 63-page report issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

UCS claims the outlay is a “modest but effective investment” by the energy behemoth to “fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years,” according to Alden Meyer, UCS’ director of strategy & policy.

ExxonMobil then portrays its opposition to action on global warming as a “positive quest for ‘sound science,’ rather than a narrow self-interested business interests,” according to the non-profit group.

The report, “Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Change,” claims the company gives money to “vocal climate change contrarians who misrepresent peer-reviewed scientific findings.”

The report cites Cato Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Congress for Racial Equality, Hoover Institution, National Environmental Policy Institute and DCI Group’s former Tech Central Station unit among key players in ExxonMobil’s “disinformation” campaign.

ExxonMobil provided O’Dwyer’s with a one-page rebuttal to the report, calling the findings “inaccurate.”

The company says it bankrolls a full range of public policy organizations, but that financial support “does not connote any substantive control over or responsibility for the policy recommendations or analyses they produce.”


Kera Gerhardt Ross, a former Clinton White House staffer, has joined Qorvis Communications as senior director. She had handled Midwest regional issues.
Earlier, Ross served as director of media relations and special projects for the Dept. of Transportation. She also held posts at the Defense Dept. and General Services Administration.

In the legislative branch, she worked in the offices of Democrats John Glenn (Ohio) and Lynn Schenk (Calif.).

Ross goes to Qorvis from ACS Government Solutions, where she held the communications and marketing director post. She handled PR for the role of the EZPass highway toll system.

At Qorvis, Ross is to focus on technology, aerospace and transportation sectors. Qorvis clients in those categories include Adobe Systems, United Technologies and Assn. of International Automobile Manufacturers.

Internet Edition, January 10, 2007, Page 2


Howard Paster, the former Hill & Knowlton CEO and WPP Group executive VP in charge of PR, is slated for a key role in the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign, according to the Los Angeles Times.

He served as chief lobbyist (assistant to the President for congressional relations) for President Clinton and has a good relationship with Mark Penn, who was chief pollster for Bill Clinton. Paster schooled pollster Penn in the ways of PR when he assumed the president/CEO slot at Burson-Marsteller last February.

Penn was Clinton’s polling maven when she ran for the New York Senate seat. He participated in the daily 7:30 a.m. political strategy and “message of the day” sessions with ad guru Mandy Grunwald, moneyman Harold Ickes and take-no-prisoners PR advisor Howard Wolfson, currently at Glover Park Group.

One of the conference call players told the Times that the sessions were not for the “faint of heart” because some of the advisors “hate each other’s guts.” That, however, is what Mrs. Clinton likes as “long as it doesn’t get too vicious.’


GoodWorks International, the firm of former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young, has inked a $375K contract to tell the story of Tanzania, one of Africa’s poorest countries, to American movers & shakers.

The Atlanta-based firm says Tanzania’s “outstanding record of good governance, peaceful political transitions, responsible economic development, regional leadership, environmental conservation and wildlife protection,” is a tale not well known in the U.S., according to GWI’s representation agreement.

Tanzania simply does not “receive the kind of attention in Government circles” that GWI believes it deserves. The country’s low-profile in U.S. foreign policy “translates into relative ignorance of its accomplishments and potential in the American private sector.”

GWI promises to arrange an array of meetings for Tanzanian officials in the U.S. It also will scour the U.S. media for coverage of Tanzania and “counter negative information with balanced responses.”

Eighty percent of Tanzania’s 37M people are involved in agricultural production. South Africa, China and India are its biggest trading partners.


Emily Bader, who was Ketchum’s senior VP and nutrition practice leader, has moved to Ogilvy PR Worldwide’s Chicago office. She takes on the senior VP/director of food and nutrition post.

Bader has done PR for Wendy’s International, Dominos, ConAgra Foods and Clorox. Ogilvy has recently boosted its consumer marketing offerings with the addition of Quaker and Tropicana.

Barby Siegel, managing director of Ogilvy’s consumer marketing practice called Bader’s addition an “example of the firm’s commitment to attracting and nurturing top talent.”

Betsy Neville is in charge of Ogilvy’s Chicago office.


Oprah Winfrey, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi are considered the top female communicators and most admired women among the 2,000 members of New York Women in Communications.

The so-called “Queen of Daytime” was named by 55 percent of the 200 WICI members in PR, advertising and the media who responded to a survey of the women who most successfully connected to the public in 2006. Clinton was mentioned by 38 percent, Pelosi by 32 percent, and “Today” co-host Meredith Veira by 29 percent of the respondents.

That same group of women was mentioned when members were asked to cite the women they most admire. Melinda Gates (28 percent) and actor Helen Mirren (20 percent) were also among the most admired.

Breaking with the partisan leanings of the survey, members also criticized Barbara Streisand for profanely dealing with a heckler during an anti-Bush sketch in her show.

Weighing in on women who grabbed headlines in 2006, members harshly criticized HarperCollins publishing exec Judith Regan for the O.J. Simpson book fiasco, former “View” co-host Star Jones who departed that show with rancor, Condoleezza Rice for what they said was a lackluster response to the Iraq Study Group Report, and CNN’s Nancy Grace, whose harsh questioning of a woman preceded that guest’s suicide.


The Federalist Group, the Republican PR lobbying firm that Ogilvy PR Worldwide bought for $60M in `05, is going to switch its name as the Democrats take control of Congress.

Stewart Hall, a founder of FG, could not be reached for comment about the name change to Ogilvy Government Relations. An Ogilvy spokesman also could not be reached.

Hall is former legislative director to Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby. While the firm boasts other GOP heavyweights, it has recently made inroads with Democrats as evidenced by the December hire of Moses Mercado, former deputy executive director of the Democratic National Committee, and ex- Louisiana Congressman Chris John in March.


Jane Abel, a deputy press secretary to former Ohio Governor Bob Taft, has joined Paul Werth Assocs. in Columbus.

She was responsible for the Republican’s public and media relations strategies.

Before joining the Taft Administration, Werth spent five years as a producer at WBNS-10TV, which is Columbus’ top-rated news station. Earlier, she helped launch the Buckeye State’s first 24-hour news channel, the Ohio News Network.
PWA, founded in `63, also has an office in Washington, D.C.

It has repped clients such as Huntington National Bank, Ohio State University’s Athletic Dept., AirNet, McGraw-Hill Education and Kettering Foundation.

Internet Edition, January 10, 2007, Page 3


Philadelphia Media Holdings, the investment group fronted by PR man Brian Tierney, has sliced 17 percent of the editorial staff at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

That means 68 positions have been lost due to the paper's plummeting circulation and ad revenues. Tierney's group eyes a $6.8M savings from the cutbacks.

The Inquirer, which had more than 500 editorial staffers in the `80s, will now have 325 people. Those cut by Tierney's group are in line for two weeks to 40 weeks of pay depending on length of service.

PMH purchased the Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News from McClatchy Co., which acquired the papers in the acquisition of Knight Ridder.

There are no cuts planned at the News at this point.


Time Warner has sold Progressive Farmer, the magazine with more than 600,000 subscribers, to Nebraska-based publisher DTN.

The staff of PR, which was founded in 1886, will remain in Birmingham, Ala. DTN is an online information company that services the agricultural community.

PF was not one of the 18 titles that are being shopped by TW.


The Wall Street Journal, which has just unveiled its revamped paper, has launched a program to “mentor” young executives about the importance of print.

The WSJ’s research found that “many young executives prefer digital sources, and some are not yet in the habit of reading a newspaper.”

Faithful WSJ print readers, according to a notice in the Jan. 2 paper, fear many young colleagues will “miss out on being broadly and well informed if they don't read the print Journal.”

WSJ publisher Gordon Crovitz plans to work with companies to “show their young executives why the rethought print Journal is essential to them.”
He wants to be contacted at [email protected].


Rebecca Dana, TV reporter for the weekly New York Observer, is moving to the New York Times on Jan. 29. She will pen stories about the "emerging media" for the Business Day section.

Prior to the Observer, Dana was a reporter at the Washington Post, and is reuniting at the NYT with her former colleague Michael Barbaro.

A memo from the NYT's Larry Ingrassia says Dana's job is to cover the people who are creating the next Google or MySpace. Those are the forces that are turning "old business models on their heads."


Abernathy MacGregor Group is fronting Oak Hill Partners' $575M acquisition of the New York Times Co. broadcast media group.

That collection includes nine TV stations in cities such as Des Moines, Memphis, Norfolk, Oklahoma City and Scranton.

Tyler Crandall, a managing partner of the $4.6B private equity fund, called the stations the "industry's most admired franchises because of its heritage TV stations and commitment to quality news."

Oak Hill is the investment vehicle of Texas billionaire Robert Bass. The company targets investments in "complex situations especially in industries that are undergoing change," according to its website.

The NYTC is making the deal to focus on the development of synergies between its newspapers and digital businesses, said a statement from Janet Robinson, CEO of the media company.

Rhonda Barnat is the AMG staffer working on the Oak Hill account.


Tammy Chase, a veteran business reporter and Lifestyles editor for the Chicago Sun-Times, has been named director of investor relations for the Sun-Times Media Group, the paper’s parent.

The 38-year-old journalist takes on responsibility for the media company’s corporate communications apparatus.

Chase was Lifestyles editor for two years and a business reporter for four years, covering banking, insurance, telecomms., economics and airlines.

Earlier, she covered the Federal Reserve and economics for Bloomberg News and was Midwest bureau chief for The Bond Buyer.

The Dilenschneider Group is the Sun-Times Media Group’s outside PR counsel.


Michelle Krebs, an online automotive columnist for Edmunds Inc., has joined the Santa Monica, Calif-based publisher as senior editor – industry.

Krebs has written for Edmunds’ Inside Line site since its launch two years ago. In the new role, she continues as a columnist and will pen additional content on auto announcements, events, executives, marketing efforts and industry buzz.

BRIEFS ________________________________

Ann Shoket, executive editor of CosmoGirl!, has been named editor-in-chief of Seventeen. She replaces Atoosa Rubenstein, who left in November to start a consulting company.

Seventeen, a Hearst title, claims 13M readers per month.

Shoket was with CosmoGirl! since its 1999 launch.

Aspire Media’s Interweave Press has completed the acquisition of the PBS program “Needle Arts Studio” from Shay Pendray, Detroit. IP has also acquired Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines from Quilting Arts LLC.

AM was set up in 2003 to build an “enthusiast” media company. “Needle Arts Studio” is its first foray into TV. It has properties in book publishing, interactive media, and events for craft enthusiasts.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, January 10, 2007, Page 4


New York counselor Ted Faraone is promoting “The Man Who Would Not Shut Up,” the “fair and balanced” biography of Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly.

Marvin Kitman, TV critic for Newsday, is author of the book from St. Martin’s Press. He had unlimited access to “The O'Reilly Factor” host, evidenced by his nearly 30 one-on-one interviews with O’Reilly.

Kitman also talked with O'Reilly's sister, Jan; wife, the former Maureen McPhilmy of DWJ Television fame; students (O’Reilly is a former Catholic high school teacher); Fox News honcho Roger Ailes, and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who ranks on top of O’Reilly’s enemies list.

Ailes calls O’Reilly a full-time tough guy who never walked away from a fight whether it be in the school yard or on-air. Kitman writes that O’Reilly succeeds because he believes in what he says, and is willing to offend each side of an argument.

He also profiles O’Reilly as a tightwad. While earning a high-six figure income as host of “Inside Edition,” O’Reilly set up a cash bar at a holiday party that he was hosting at his home, according to the book.

BRIEFS ____________________________________

The Hill launched a “Pundit’s Blog” on Jan. 3 to include posts from politicos like Dick Morris, Lanny Davis and A.B. Stoddard.

Published at, The Hill said it will be adding more contributors down the road.

Dallas-based non-profit and social events news portal hit its stride in 2006 with an average of nearly 11K visitors per month.

The site, started by PR firm Adams Communications PR, publishes party photos and feature articles about non-profit events, and the volunteers and businesses that back them.

SocialWhirl went live in late 2001 and started an e-newsletter in April ‘06.

Rodale has realigned its editorial, sales and marketing efforts for its key brands like Prevention, Men’s Health, and Runner’s World.

On the editorial side, an online team comprised of an online executive editor has been set up for each brand, reporting to the editor-in-chief. Rodale said the new structure reflects a significant expansion of selling online services.

Time Warner Cable has agreed to distribute the business channel that is coming from Fox News.

That provides FN with coverage in the New York City market.

The Digital Entertainment Group reports that DVD rentals rose from $6.5B to $7.5B in `06, while sales remained flat at $16.6B. More than 200M DVD players have been purchased since `97. The players are now in 88M U.S. households.

IP Investor, a monthly magazine covering the global market for intellectual property monetization, has launched with production hubs in New York and London. The magazine and companion blog are at and are backed by the publishers of Private Equity International. Information on IP Investor, as well as an IP monetization blog, can be found at David Snow, [email protected]. com, is executive editor.

People __________________________

Alex Wagner has been promoted to editor-in-chief of music magazine The Fader. She had been executive editor and was previously on staff at Bikini, Raygun, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Tokion.

Jeffrey Forte, a Connecticut litigator, has been named publisher of the Connecticut Law Tribune and GC New England magazine, both ALM properties.

ALM has also promoted attorney Lisa Siegel to managing editor of the publications.

She has been a news staffer for CLT since 2002.


Procter & Gamble is launching two social networking sites to gather information about consumers and generate buzz about their products.

Capessa, which was unveiled as a test last month, is geared to subjects such as women’s health and parenting. It is produced for the health section of Yahoo.
The other site, The People’s Choice Community, will deliver news of fashion and celebrities.

P&G is noted for producing its own TV fare such as the “Guiding Light” and “As the World Turns.”


Linda Austin, who has been executive editor of the News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne, has been tapped for the editor and VP slot at the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The Indiana paper was one of the “orphans” that McClatchy Co. sold in the aftermath of its Knight Ridder acquisition. She also was managing editor of the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C.


Gay, lesbian and bisexual people use social media networks more per week than heterosexuals, according to a Harris Interactive survey with Witeck-Combs Communications.

The popular video side YouTube is used for at least one hour or less per week by 27 percent of GLB individuals, compared with 22 percent of heterosexuals. Similar numbers were cited for using Craigslist (20% and 13%, respectively).

Overall, gays and lesbians are online more than heterosexuals. Thirty-two percent said they are online for more than 24 hours per week, compared to 18 percent for heterosexuals. Sites like Friendster and MySpace also skewed toward the gay community.

Harris polled 2,541 U.S. adults over 18 in November for the study.

Internet Edition, January 10, 2007, Page 5


Olson Communications, Scottsdale, Ariz., has acquired Phoenix-based SoapBox PR, a move OC says will create a $1.5M firm among the state’s top 10.

Both boutique firms were founded in 2002. OC staffed four full-time employees and three contractors. The combine stands at 13, with all staffers retained.

OC founder Michelle Olson said she had worked with many of SoapBox’ staffers in the past and saw a “natural fit.” The firms collaborated on the opening of the Arena in Glendale, Ariz., home of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. Dana Arnold heads SoapBox and is president of PRSA’s Phoenix chapter.

Both firms said they will merge physically in a new suite at the Paradise Village Office Park (11811 N. Tatum Blvd.) by early February.

Clients of the combine include Centex Homes Arizona, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Shea Homes, and Countrywide Financial Service.


SmithBucklin Corp., an association management company, has acquired Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based boutique technology PR firm Tech Image Ltd.

Henry Givray, chairman and CEO of SmithBucklin, noted 13-year-old Tech Image already works with several of SB’s clients.

Tech Image retains its name and offices, and CEO/founder Michael Nikolich and COO Dennis Collins continue in their leadership roles, Givray said. Nikolich has joined SB’s corporate management team, and SB SVP of marketing and communications, Cindy Kuhn, oversees Tech Image, post-acquisition.

Nikolich said the two companies share values and culture, noting he and his employees are excited about the move. He added the firm has “very ambitious” growth plans and the acquisition will accelerate those efforts. Tech Image also continues as part of the Worldcom PR Group of independent firms.

NEW FIRMS: Ana Lydia Ochoa, an A/S for RLPR + Marketing/Sportivo, has set up her own firm focused on urban consumers, with a specialty toward bilingual U.S. Hispanics. The new firm, padma media & marketing, handles consumer, fashion/beauty, and entertainment PR. Initial clients have included Americas United Bank and Experiencia. ...David Orchard, former senior VP at Maloney & Fox and a ten-year PR veteran, has set up his own shop, IdeaZeit, in New York. Orchard headed M&F’s food and beverage unit, leading its Godiva Liqueur work, and was formerly VP of PR and event marketing for LP Advertising and PR. Orchard, a dual U.S./U.K. citizen, is also considered an authority on gay marketing. Info:

BRIEF: Levick Strategic Communications, Washington, D.C., has created an online PR career resource center with articles and information for PR students and those looking to start out in the field.



Verisign has moved its global PR account to Weber Shandwick as part of a marketing integration move that also includes the expansion of work with WS Interpublic sister agency McCann Erickson.

Hill & Knowlton was Verisign’s previous firm and won the account in September 2005 in a shootout with Weber Shandwick and Bite Communications.

Verisign said the new integrated agency model is part of broader company efforts to leverage its assets and capitalize on a growing market for the digital services, like secure payment over the Internet, it provides.

Verisign also said it was extending its work with tech policy firm 463 Communications, which has ties to both Verisign and WS.

New York Area

Pulse Creative, New York/August Silk, women’s lifestyle brand, for branding and marketing.

Sawchuk, Brown Associates, Albany, N.Y./ DonorsChoose, program to support public schools by allowing donors to select which programs to support, for introduction in Albany; The Arkell Museum, for a PR/public affairs campaign to introduce the institution, which showcases 19th and 20th century artists; EYP/energy, for a marcom program focused on sustainable design, conservation and new energy sources, and DZ Restaurants, for PR and marketing.

5W PR, New York/, online marketplace; Hanger Network, free, branded recycled hangers for dry cleaners; My Rate Plan, ‘Net-based rate plan calculator; TrackCouture, lifestyle brand, and Gershwin Hotel, for PR.

Connors Communications, New York/Soliloquy Learning, to promote its Soliloquy Reading Assistant.


Corporate Ink, Newton, Mass./Portico, a health plan consultancy, and Trusted Network Technologies, network control and audit services, for PR.

Slowey/McManus Communications, Boston/
Enterprise Ireland, Irish economic development agency; Assette, client reporting software for management firms; Pericor Science, biopharma, and The Beacon Hill Civic Assn., anti-expansion group.

Creating Results, Woodbridge, Va./National Association of Homebuilders, for design of four new logos, three of which are to be associated with the trade group’s conferences.

Littleton Advertising and Marketing, Raleigh, N.C./K. Hovnanian Homes, Houston, Tex., as AOR for advertising, media placement, PR, event planning, and brand marketing for its Houston division.


Landau PR, Cleveland/Freightliner, truck maker division of DaimlerChrysler; Allied Tube & Conduit, unit of Tyco Electrical and Metal Products, for PR following a national agency search, and Baker & Hostetler, law firm, for community relations.


Ant Hill Marketing, Portland, Ore./Clackamas Community Federal Credit Union, for a marketing and branding campaign.

Internet Edition, January 10, 2007, Page 6


The History Factory, Chantilly, Va., curated, designed and built the American Electric Power Centennial Museum, an internal project for AEP to coincide with its 100th anniversary celebration recently.

The museum, which is not open to the public, features 10 exhibits in the 3,500 square foot lobby of the company’s corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

The HF used nine artifact display cases and more than 400 photos from AEP’s archives and outside repositories like the Library of Congress to produce the showcase.

Along with the museum project, AEP commissioned a travelling companion exhibit that will visit the company’s seven operating units over the next few months.

The exhibits showcase AEP’s work, along with efforts of the electric utility industry, over the years.

BRIEFS: M+R Strategic Services has launched a campaign called GetItStraightby2008 with Common Cause to urge Congress to back an “auditable, verifiable” voting system, after questions arose about votes in Sarasota County, Fla., in November. M+R and CC spurred more than 25K online activists to send messages to Congress and another 20K to now ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush after the mid-term elections. The effort also raised more than $86K for CC. ...Dotster, an Internet domain registrar, has wrapped up a national spokesmodel search following tryouts in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Atlanta to find some of the “most beautiful, poised, knowledgeable and energetic professionals” to serve as brand ambassadors. The winners, called Dotster Dots, received one-year contracts and will travel to shows and events in the U.S. to promote the company’s “MyInternet” services. HWH PR helped promote the contest for Dotster. ...Reputation Partners, Chicago, has concluded its fifth year in business with a website revamp at ...PR counselor Eric Dezenhall has penned his seventh book, “Spinning Dixie,” a novel about a fired presidential press secretary with a gangster-tied family past. Shirley & Banister Public Affairs is handling press. ...Columbia Books, Bethesda, Md., has published the 25th annual edition of the National Directory of Corporate Public Affairs. The book contains listings on individuals, annual revenue and PAC contribution figures. Douglas Pinkham, president of the Public Affairs Council, penned the introduction of the directory, which includes a section on the Council and its own 591-member directory. About 1,700 companies are listed and 12,000 people. Info: ...D S Simon Productions recently developed and implemented a video marketing campaign for X/O Condominiums, a luxury development in Chicago. The New York-based company created a high-definition corporate video featured on X/O’s website and showcased at its sales center. President Doug Simon said the project is “the perfect example of how web video can be used to effectively increase sales.”



Frank Funaro, executive VP and GM of consumer healthcare at Weber Shandwick, to Marina Maher Communications, New York, as group senior VP in its healthcare unit.

Karen Mazzotta, an independent consultant and publicist, most recently for Men’s Health and Best Life, to Prevention, as executive director of brand communications. She oversees comms. and PR for the magazine’s branded businesses. Angelica De Las Salas, associate director of PR, reports to Mazzotta.

Stefanie Williamson, a former publicist for Christie’s Auction House and The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, to RTC Publicity, Brooklyn, N.Y., as a partner and VP.

Nancy Vargo, communications manager for the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Business Bureau, to Eric Mower and Associates, Buffalo, N.Y., as an A/S. She handles Primrose School Franchising Co., Sorrento Lactalis, Ryvita, and the New York State Canal Corp.

Sheila Faith, campaign manager for MIVA Media, to Shorey PR, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., as an AA/E.

Nora Grannell, senior A/S for Hill & Knowlton, to Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C., as a member of its PreK-12 practice. Her clients at H&K included H-P, ExxonMobil, and Enron. Jessica Love, formerly of Venture Communications, and Eric Rayvid, senior director of comms. for the ASPCA, also join the PreK-12 practice as senior associates.

David Harvey, senior business development exec for law firm WilmerHale, to Qorvis Communications, Washington, D.C., as a managing director.

Rhonda Brooks, freelancer, to Rhea & Kaiser Marketing Communications, Napervillle, Ill., as an A/S on its Bayer CropScience team.

Erin Pickard and Ian McIntyre have joined Metzger Associates, Boulder, Colo., as account associates.

Thomas Foltz, president of Patriot Biofuels, to Earth Biofuels, Dallas, as VP of public affairs.

Pete Oppel, founder of PR firm Fairchild/Lemaster/
Oppel, to Brooks & Associates PR, Howe, Tex., as a senior A/E. Robyn Brown joins as a PR assistant.

Armin Huttenlocher, a top public affairs exec for Burson-Marsteller in Germany, to Fleishman-Hillard, as managing director of PA in Germany and head of the firm’s Berlin office. He was previously a spokesman in the Hamburg parliament.


Lisa Simone Westlake to VP of IR for Moody’s Corp., New York. She joined the company in September 2004 as managing director of finance.

Janet Whelan to senior A/E, Eric Mower and Associates, Buffalo, N.Y.
Rebecca McAlear to A/S, Focused Image, Falls Church, Va.


Hilary Topper, president and CEO of HJMT Communications, Westbury, N.Y., was appointed to the Long Island Forum for Technology’s board of directors.

Internet Edition, January 10, 2007, Page 7


William Murray, who takes the position of president & COO of PRSA on Jan. 22, is as yet unavailable to the press or members for interviews.

PRSA PR manager Cedric Bess said on Dec. 27 that "Mr. Murray will be coming to New York in early January and will be happy to take interviews at that time. We will send out a media advisory when he's available."

However, Bess is now saying that the press will be told when Murray is available for interviews and it will not be until he has had a chance to “settle in” his new position.

“Early January” is no longer being mentioned.

Prof. Robert French of Auburn University called up Murray's office in Thousand Oaks, Calif. on Dec. 27 and wrote in his blog that Murray "returned the call rather quickly" and "has agreed to an interview after he takes the reins in January."

French tentatively sent the interview date for his class on Monday, Jan. 29 and said, "I've written to Cedric Bess at PRSA to help set up the call."

Instead, Bess informed French that there would be no interview with Murray until Bess himself has met with the new COO and Murray "can get settled into the new role."

French investigated Murray online and did not find much material. Among articles where Murray was either mentioned or was the author of the article were these two from Business Week: “Manage Your Media Content–or Else!”" and “The Upside to Video Uploads.”

"The upside to Murray's writings," wrote French, is that he is a proponent of `both proactive and reactive plans,' whereas too often PR today is mostly reactive–or numbing silence."

Business 'No Longer Active'

The William Murray & Assocs. website, which previously said the firm offered "Global Media Strategy" focused on developing international media strategies and digital content, now carries an announcement that Murray is joining PRSA as of Jan. 22 and “as a result, WMBA is no longer active."

Among activities WMBA consulted on were audiovisual regulation, film production tax policy, and international government relations.

Clients were said to be venture capital firms, governments and media companies.

Frequent Speaker

His bio at the Center for the Digital Future and the USC Annenberg School, where he was a senior fellow, said he is a "frequent speaker to the entertainment industry" before such groups as the International Federation of Film Producers and Toronto International Film Festival, and that he delivered the keynote address at the 2003 Marshall School of Business International Case Competition.

He has served on the boards of the Assn. of International Collective Management of Audiovisual Works, the Canadian Copyright Collective, International Federation of Film Producer's Assns., the International Video Federation, the US-Mexican Film Bilateral Committee, and the Franco-American Cultural Fund.


Thomas Drohan, former Boston Herald Traveler sports columnist who worked in PR for Allied Chemical and Pepsi-Cola, later becoming VP-PR of UTC, died Jan. 1 at Yale New Haven Hospital after a long illness. He was 73. His family said he had a bad fall last summer.

Drohan worked at the Herald Traveler and the Boston Post after graduation from Boston College, where he majored in marketing.

He served at Allied Chemical, Inmont Corp. and Pepsi-Cola before joining United Technologies Corp. in 1981. He rose to VP-PR before starting his own firm, Tom Drohan Enterprises, in 1988 in Old Saybrook, Conn.

Survivors include his wife, Linda, two daughters and two grandchildren.
Clients included Colonial Realty which filed for bankruptcy after a scandal; the Diocese of Bridgeport when it faced charges of sex abuse by its priests, and Education Alternatives Inc., which made an unsuccessful attempt at running the Hartford public schools.

He helped former Yankee Dave Winfield fight gambling charges and Fairfield real estate executive Vincent Roberti when he faced arson charges.

Donald Gaudreau, his lawyer, said Drohan "gravitated to the story that other people didn't want to touch ... he was a wisecracking Bostonian who had a love for cigars, golf and the Boston Red Sox."

Al Terzi, news anchor for WFSB-TV, Hartford, said Drohan was a "straight shooter who understood news and reporters and took the time to explain what was happening" rather than giving a curt, "no comment," or leave reporters with an opaque company statement.

"He was a fun guy to be around on a professional level and a personal level," said Terzi.

Harry J. Gray, former chairman and CEO of UTC, said Drohan was "well liked and he did an excellent job for us." Drohan's father had also been a reporter for Boston newspapers.


If you can’t justify an action to your mother, don’t do it. That’s what Richard Levick of Levick Strategic Communications tells clients, according to a `06 crisis wrap-up in the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ has John Kerry, Judith Regan, Michael Richards, Donald Rumsfeld, Mel Gibson, Barry Bonds and James Frey on a “short list” of the image-impaired of `06.

Levick commented on fallen Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s “arrogance.” Americans, he said, forgive mistakes, but not the haughtiness that helped seal Rumsfeld’s fate.

Eric Denzenhall of Denzenhall Resources gave his view of the Richards’ racial tirade that was carried worldwide compliments of the Internet.

“The Internet neutralizes redemption because the original sin lives on,” he said. “Your darkest side and greatest failures can be showcased forever.”

Denzenhall also aimed at executive entitlement. He believes those who downplayed the furor over the backdating of options are clueless.

Internet Edition, January 10, 2007, Page 8




“Information overload,” the opposite of stonewalling, is just as bad as the latter when it comes to blocking the public’s understanding of something, says an article in the Jan. 8 New Yorker.

It notes that all the information necessary to fry the leaders of Enron was available in SEC documents years before the accounting scam was uncovered.
However, the complexity was daunting.

For instance, there were 3,000 “Special-Purpose Entities” from which expected revenues were booked through a series of corporate shells that were often owned by Enron executives. It was a case of improper revenue recognition (which the SEC says is the chief area of fiscal abuse) hidden by voluminous filings.

Paperwork for each SPE ran to 1,000 pages and more and “it scarcely would have helped investors if Enron had made all three million pages public,” says the article by staff writer Malcolm Gladwell.

Jonathan Weil, reporter for the Wall Street Journal based in Dallas, started working on the story in July of 2000 after receiving a tip from a financial source.
He dug into income and cash-flow statements and it took him a month to get past the “noise in the financial statements.”

Weil met with accounting staffers of Enron at the WSJ and they “acknowledged that the money they said they earned was virtually all the money that they hoped to earn,” says the Gladwell article.

Ironically, the article points out, CEO Jeffery Skilling was sentenced to jail for 24 years last October on charges of “hiding the truth” from stockholders and the public when “everything Weil learned for his Enron expose came from Enron and when he (Weil) wanted to confirm his numbers the company’s executives got on a plane and sat down with him in a conference room in Dallas.”

Perhaps investors and Enron executives would have been saved from this debacle if old-fashioned “financial PR” pros were on the scene to dig through the filings and provide explanations in English about financial dealings to general and financial press.

The former financial PR pro has been replaced almost completely by IR specialists who speak the language of Wall Street rather than the public’s.

Even many of Enron’s own directors failed to understand the rationale and consequences of the SPE deals, said the Powers Committee, which looked into the demise of Enron.

The company did not “communicate the essence of the transactions in a sufficiently clear fashion,” says the report.

William Murray, who joins PRSA as president and COO on Jan. 22 (page 7), just before the new board’s first meeting in New York on Jan. 25-26-27, was with the Motion Picture Assn. of America for 20 years. MPAA is known for its fierce policy against copyright infringers. It currently has 36 lawsuits in China alone charging copyright violation.

Critics (as quoted on “claim the MPAA inhibits legitimate uses of its products through laws such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and that it is too draconian in pursuing copyright infringers.”

The MPAA was said to “support closed standards (DRM, Formats, etc.) that make competition more difficult.” MPAA was headed from 1966 to Sept. 1, 2004 by Jack Valenti, who retired at the age of 82.

It is ironic that Murray, who pursued copyright violators in a 20-year career at the MPAA, is now joining PRSA which for 19 years copied and sold (PRSA says it charged a “loan fee”) works of scores of authors and publications without their permission.

The charge was $17 to members and $55 to non-members for packets of 50-80 pages of copied articles.

We think few, if any, of the authors knew about the copying but PRSA has admitted it never asked any of the authors for permission to distribute their works.

It has said this was just a failure of “professional courtesy” but we don’t think any of the authors would have allowed their articles, including entire chapters of books, to be combined with other articles and distributed even if originals were involved.

This is anthologizing or creating a new work and is a greater offense than merely sending around one article. Also, the materials involved were not just “information” but were for “professional development,” meaning the users hoped to make more money by reading the articles (such as how a PR firm can draw up a legal contract with a client, how to place stories in media, etc.). This makes it an even more serious offense.

The PRSA info packet business had ballooned to 3,800 yearly by 1993 when it was discovered by 13 authors who sought recompense. They were told legal bills could run to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in pursuing “murky” copyright law and they abandoned their legal pursuit.

However, a moral obligation remains with PRSA on this issue.

Katie Couric, hit by poor ratings after an initial splash as the new anchor of the CBS Evening News, must emphasize her “serious journalistic side” and stop trying to be “everybody’s darling,” Vanity Fair columnist James Wolcott advises in the January issue. He thinks she is spending too much time trying to prove “she’s still the same unpretentious batch of homemade fudge she was before reaching the top.”

The $210 million severance pay that Home Depot chairman Robert Nardelli is getting was among the big financial stories last week. Papers are continuing to play up extravagant CEO pay.

The ousting of Nardelli was depicted as a victory for shareholders who had seen the stock slide from $70 a share in 2000 to $40 currently in spite of $64M in pay that Nardelli was given in those six years. Efforts by the board to put brakes on his pay were rebuffed, leading to his demise at the company.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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