Contact O'Dwyer's : 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
ODWYERPR.COM > Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter return to main page

Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Subscribe today


Jack O'Dwyer's NL logo
Internet Edition, June 13, 2007, Page 1


The U.S.-led military force in Iraq is preparing an RFP to enlist a PR agency for help in engaging the Iraqi people to support their fledgling government.

The Iraq Information Operations unit of the U.S. force in that country wants a firm to develop “rapid reaction information operations support” for the purpose of boosting the Iraqi government, according to a procurement document targeting PR agencies.

The military is currently reviewing proposals for a multimillion dollar PR blitz for its electricity sector rebuilding, a contract that could be worth up to $25M.

That process – as well as the new RFP in development – is being conducted via confidential procurement portal because the government says information about hiring a PR firm for the work is sensitive.

The Multi-National Forces Iraq contracting division expects to issue the new RFP in mid June. A one-year contract with a year-long option is expected. No budget figure was given.

An email to the MNFI press operation was not returned.


Dick Gephardt, former House Majority Leader and Democratic Presidential candidate, spearheads DLA Piper’s $1.2M contract to represent the Government of Turkey.

Turkey’s military officials have threatened to invade northern Iraq to attack Kurdish rebel forces that are based there.

Pentagon chief Robert Gates, on June 4, urged Turkey, a NATO ally, not to attack Iraq.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Turkey that an invasion could touch off a series of wars in the region.

Gephardt’s job is to promote a positive image of the Turks and keep Congress updated on the “most controversial issues” facing Turkey.

DLA’s contract went into effect on March 1. The firm agrees to use Turkey’s former lobbyist, The Livingston Group, as a subcontractor through August.

TLG is the firm of former House Speaker-designate Bob Livingston (R-LA.). Livingston agrees to parcel out work to ex-Brooklyn Democratic Congressman Steve Solarz. Solarz heads Solarz Assocs., and is a member of APCO Worldwide’s international advisory panel.

TLG is to receive $625K under its agreement with DLA Piper.

Gephardt also represents Ethiopia and United Arab Emirates.


Burson-Marsteller Mark Penn, who doubles as Hillary Clinton’s top strategist, says he would never represent management in a dispute with labor.

“As matter of conscience work for management side of labor disputes is not something I will change on,” Penn said via an e-mail to this NL.

Penn’s statement follows a June 1 letter sent to Clinton by Teamsters president Jim Hoffa and UNITE Here president Bruce Raynor that complained about B-M’s effort to “undermine workers’ right to organize at Cintas.”

That uniform company hired B-M to thwart a union organizing effort. The Cintas assignment came before Penn became B-M’s CEO.

The Hoffa/Raynor missive was written in “distress,” but the writers wanted to inform Clinton about labor issues and “do not want to see you or the Democratic Party embarrassed.” Penn’s pro-union stance is due to his father’s work as a labor organizer and former leader of the poultry workers in New York.

Clinton attended an AFL-CIO town hall meeting in Detroit on June 9. AFL-CIO chief John Sweeney has asked Clinton to address the Penn issue.


Julie Roehm, the former senior VP-marketing communications at Wal-Mart, is using Sitrick & Co. to press her legal attack against the Bentonville, Ark., giant.

Sitrick’s Seth Faison told O’Dwyer’s the crisis firm is representing Roehm's attorneys, Sam Morgan and Andy Rifkin.

Wal-Mart fired Roehm, a former Chrysler executive, charging her with having an affair with a staffer and accepting gifts from suppliers.

Roehm filed a “counterclaim” on May 24, in which she denied the charges, and contended that Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott purchased boats and a diamond ring for his wife from companies controlled by financier Irwin Jacobs. Jacobs Trading Co. has the “exclusive right to purchase unsold Wal-Mart merchandise,” according to Roehm’s legal document.

Jacobs, who filed a defamation suit against Roehm, called her allegations “off the wall.” Wal-Mart, which uses Edelman for PR, denies any wrongdoing by Scott.

Patrick Barrow, MD of the U.K Public Relations Consultants Assn., joined Ketchum’s London office to head its corporate affairs operation. Barrow will keep his PRCA post until a successor is found. Ketchum’s 15 corporate affairs staffers counsel FedEx, Nokia, Towers Perrin, and the World Economic Forum.

Internet Edition, June 13, 2007, Page 2


The Dept. of Energy division in charge of disposal and storage of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, notably the controversial Yucca Mountain project, is on the hunt for a PR firm to develop its communications and public outreach.

The Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, based in Las Vegas, has issued an RFP to ink a one-year contract with four option years for strategic communications support targeting stakeholders and the public, through outreach programs in public schools and communities, and other elements like web work.

The work is to be performed in Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.

The OCRWM has been investigating the Yucca site in Nevada for more than two decades. Although the project is set to move forward with the support of President Bush and a March 2017 opening date, the new senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, has vowed to kill the Yucca project.

Proposals are due by July 9 (questions by June 18). The solicitation process is being conducted by the DOE’s online portal e-center:


Bill Wasserman, president of M+R Strategic Services, the D.C.-based public policy shop, serves as acting director of the Save Darfur Coalition, which consists of more than 150 advocacy groups fighting to stop genocide in the Darfur section of Sudan.

He assumed that post following the June 1 management shake-up of the SDC that led to the dismissal of director David Rubenstein.

The group gave no reason for Rubenstein’s ouster. The New York Times speculated that other aid groups opposed SDC’s hard-hitting advertising campaign, the work of GMMB shop.

Wasserman told O’Dwyer’s that he will head SDC until the “right person” is found to replace him. “Hopefully, that will be soon,” he added.

M+R has been SDC’s PR firm since August, `05. It launched the “A Million Voices for Darfur” grassroots campaign that resulted in more than one million postcards sent to President Bush demanding action. It also coordinated the “Global Day for Darfur,” which included activities in more than 40 countries calling for the dispatch of United Nations peacekeepers.

SDC says 400K people have been killed in Darfur during the past three years by Sudanese government forces and their militia allies. Two million people have been displaced.

Wasserman was director of the Agriculture Dept.’s office of consumer affairs in the Clinton Administration before joining M+R.

Bo Derek, the star of the 1979 movie, "10," will help O'Keeffe & Co. celebrate its first decade in business.

The "perfect 10 to help us celebrate an almost perfect 10," said Stephen O'Keeffe, founder of the tech firm. Festivities are June 14 at Ireland's Four Provinces in Falls Church, Va.


David Almacy, who headed the White House’s digital operations, has been named VP of Waggener Edstrom’s digital strategies group, based in Washington, D.C.

He is charged with developing new digital products and services for WE.

Almacy was at the White House for two years leading Internet and e-communications in the Office of Media Affairs and serving as a spokesman to “digital influentials. He also oversaw the revamp of earlier this year.

Almacy was previously an advisor to Deputy Education Secretary Eugene Hickok during a three-year career in that department that also included serving as communications director for the White House’s education outreach to Hispanics.


Burson-Marsteller’s San Francisco office has emerged from a field of 10 firms to guide PR for a non-partisan group working to put climate change at the top of the next U.S. president’s agenda.

B-M was among four finalists invited for an interview by the Presidential Climate Action Project, which is chaired by former Sen. Gary Hart and backed by the Univ. of Colorado at Denver and the Johnson Foundation. Fraser Communications (Santa Monica, Calif.), Lipman Hearne (D.C.), and Metzger Associates (Boulder, Colo.) were among the finalists.

Despite a relatively small PR budget of $45K through the election next year, several other firms pursued the work including Bell Pottinger USA (Boston), Simpson Scarborough (D.C)., Ikon Public Affairs (Denver) and Southard Comms. (New York).

The PCAP wants to put together policy proposals to form a Climate Action Plan for the 44th president to act on in his or her first 100 days in office.


Sharon Barclay, who headed Boston operations for Hill & Knowlton’s Blanc and Otus tech shop, has joined MWW Group as senior VP and general manager in San Francisco. She counseled Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Deloitte and Airvana at B&O.

Previously, Barclay was with Manning, Selvage & Lee, working on Motorola, MicroTouch and Xircom.

Barclay, holder of an advanced certificate in PR from the Sydney Institute of Technology, also worked in the U.K. (The Public Relations Ltd. in London) and Australia (Sydney’s Dept. of Water Resources) during her 18-year PR career.

Judith Brennan, managing director at Sard Verbinnen & Co’s Chicago office, has shifted to Cushman/Amberg Communications.

During her career, Brennan handled proxy fights, divestitures, IPOs, litigation, mergers/acquisitions and crisis situations.

Prior to SV&C, Brennan served as COO of Ogilvy PR Worldwide's corporate/finance group. She began her career at Burson-Marsteller.

Internet Edition, June 13, 2007, Page 3


John Byrne, an 18-year BusinessWeek writer and editor who left for a two-year stint as editor-in-chief of Fast Company in 2005, has been named executive editor/editor-in-chief of with full responsibility for content and development for the site.

He succeeds Kathy Rebello, who has left the company.

Byrne had recently served as exec. editor of BW and is the author of eight books, including “Straight from the Gut” with Jack Welch.

A replacement for his role as EE for BW has not yet been named.

The site claims more than 6.7M unique visitors per month.


Jon Petrovich, a CNN veteran, has joined Associated Press as chief of its U.S. broadcasting unit.

The 60-year-old held the executive VP post at CNN, and was heavily involved in the development of its online operation. He reports to James Williams, AP's senior VP/global broadcast.

Petrovich, who began his career as a TV reporter in Louisville, chairs the broadcast department at Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

He also held the executive VP/international networks post at Sony Pictures TV before joining CNN.


Peter Gumbel, who covered European business/politics for Time from Paris, is now European editor for Time Inc. sister magazine Fortune.

He worked for the Wall Street Journal for 16 years before moving to Time.

Gumbel is the author of “French Vertigo,” a book that was frequently cited in the recent presidential election in France.


Michaelangelo (Mike) Volpi, who was once pegged to succeed John Chambers as CEO of Cisco Systems, has been named CEO of Joost, the high-profile Internet company that plans to distribute movies and full-length TV programming.

He takes over from founding CEO, Fredrik de Wahl, who moves to the chief strategy officer post.

Joost, which was launched by the founders of `Net phone company Skype, has lined up programming deals and investment dollars from Viacom International, CBS and Time Warner. It has ad deals with Microsoft, Sony and United Airlines.

Volpi served on Skype's board and exited following its $2.6B sale to eBay in `05.

The 40-year-old told the New York Times that traditional TV "is gradually going to go away." His mission is to "capture the hearts and minds of users who have turned away from TV as a form of entertainment."

Joost programs will run on a variety of platforms such as computers, TV screens, mobile phones and "some alternative device that might come out in the future," he told the NYT.


Hearst-Argyle Television, the largest affiliate of Walt Disney Co.'s ABC unit covering nearly 20 percent of U.S. households, will provide entertainment video, sports, weather and news programming to Google's YouTube operation.

Broadcasting & Cable praises the deal as a "watershed partnership" and "landmark pact" marrying "old" and "new" media.

H-A's Baltimore, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Boston properties will be the first stations to have individuals channels on YouTube with the remaining 25 sister stations to follow.

Terry Macklin of H-A says the venture allows his company to "expand its footprint online and rapidly expand into new markets."

The partners will split ad revenue.


Viacom International’s Nickelodeon cable network has partnered with Miller Global Properties to launch Nickelodeon Resorts by Marriott, a chain of hotels for people with children.

SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and the rest of the animated gang will open for business in `10 at a San Diego hotel. That facility will feature a water park and interactive attractions.

Nickelodeon says its research found that a "physical manifestation" of its characters looms as a growth center as the first generation of its viewers is now having children of their own.

It expects to have 20 hotels in place by ’20.


Janie Gabbett, a 23-year veteran of Reuters who has been director of interactive online marketing for Burson-Marsteller, is slated to join Meatingplace, an online and print media company focused on on-line community for red meat and poultry processors in North America, on June 25 as executive editor.

Gabbett was managing editor for Reuters’ North American operations from 2000-04 and earlier served as Midwest bureau chief, Asian financial editor, and West Coast financial editor.

She has managed her own communications firm in addition to work at B-M.

At Meatingplace, she will lead efforts to build the online community and Meatingplace magazine.


Apple is negotiating with major Hollywood studios about a deal to put new movies available for rental on its iTunes service, according to a report in Financial Times.

The arrangement would call for a $2.99 rental for a few days as the film is released. FT reports that Viacom’s Paramount favors a tie-up with Apple, while General Electric’s Universal opposes the idea.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a director and major stockholder in Walt Disney Co. following the sale of his Pixar Animation to Disney.

Apple currently sells old movies on its iTunes site.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, June 13, 2007, Page 4


Journalism has a lot to learn from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” according to a seven-page cover story of the June/July American Journalism Review.

The overview, “What the Mainstream Media Can Learn From Jon Stewart,” makes the point that the “fake news” program succeeds mainly because it doesn't need to worry about ‘balance.’”

Venise Wagner, chair of San Francisco State University’s journalism department, believes journalists are boxed in by the practice of 50/50 reporting or offering both sides of a story.

For instance, stories about global warming always include scientific doubters even though the overwhelming evidence is that things are heating up.

Reporters present a balanced picture to the public, but is that picture accurate or authentic, Wagner asked.

Martin Kaplan, associate dean of USC’s Annenberg School of Communication, believes straight news has “fallen into a bizarre notion that substitutes something called ‘balance’ for what used to be called ‘accuracy’ or ‘truth’ or ‘objectivity.’”

Stories, he continued, are portrayed as a battle between two sides. The reporter does not want to appear biased so he offers both views though one is “manifestly right” and the other is “trying to muddy the water with propaganda."

The beauty of the Daily Show, according to Kaplan, is that it is not afraid to “call people spinners or liars when they deserve it.”


Brooks Barnes, who covered the TV beat for the Wall Street Journal, is joining the New York Times' Los Angeles office to cover the entertainment scene.

He replaces Laura Holson, who is returning to New York to report on media/technology/entertainment convergence. Barnes began his writing career at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Briefs ___________________________

Demystifying Digital, the USA Today magazine insert about electronics, has launched a website aimed at helping consumers understand technology. Jerry Grossman is editorial director. He says the site targets consumers who are "smart, enthusiastic and ready to buy, but may not know the questions to ask."

Al-Jazeera's request for credentials to cover the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup finals was turned down by the league. Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated pointed out the slight on his "Rink Side" blog.

The Newspaper Guild of New York has lodged an unfair labor practice charge against Time Inc. that says the media giant has bargained "in bad faith" without any intent to reach an agreement. The Guild represents editorial staff at Time Inc. properties like Time, People and Sports Illustrated. Their contract expired on March 22 and negotiations had been ongoing since December. Time Inc. put forth a "best and final offer" in March.


Quinn Gillespie has been hired by both Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio to overcome opposition to their proposed $13B “merger of equals” announced in February.

The deal has drawn wicked criticism from the National Assn. of Broadcasters, which would be “shocked” if it is approved, and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.).

The Senator, who chairs the subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights, wrote a letter to Justice Dept. antitrust lawyer Tom Barnett and FCC chairman Kevin Martin on May 23 to say the merger should be forbidden under antitrust laws and goes against the Communications Act.

He urged both agencies to "take all necessary actions to deny approval of this merger and prevent the creation of this satellite radio monopoly."

QG is fielding a 15-member lobbying team to work on behalf of Sirius and XM.

That squad includes Jack Quinn, former counselor to President Clinton and chief of staff to ex-VP Al Gore, and Ed Gillespie, ex-chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Other members include top aides to Trent Lott and Harry Reid, plus a deputy campaign manager for Bush.

People ______________________

Jessica Stedman Guff, senior broadcast producer of ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” has been named executive producer of ABC News Now, the TV and web-streaming channel. She was senior producer of “The View” from 1997 to 2003.

Christopher Sheridan, executive producer of ABC News’ weekend content, has been named EP for Michael Clemente remains senior executive producer of ABC News Digital Media. He is overseeing the online component for ABC's newsmagazine i-Caught, set for an August debut.

Beth Dunlop, architecture columnist for the Miami Herald, has been named editor of Home Miami, a monthly magazine focused on the area's design, architecture and real estate.

Mediaweek promoted six editors under editor Michael Burgi. Tony Case was upped to editor of Adweek magazines' special reports,, including its "hot lists," covering Adweek, Mediaweek and Brandweek and their websites. He replaces Patty Orsini and has been a contributor for Mediaweek since 1998. Jim Cooper was promoted to executive editor of MW. Lisa Granatstein was elevated to managing editor for MW. Marc Berman was upped to "The Programming Insider/Mr. Television" columnist from senior editor. Anthony Crupi and Mike Shields were both promoted to senior editor.

Sabrina Crow, VP of Nielsen Business Media’s marketing and media group, has been promoted to senior VP with oversight for business and editorial operations of publications like Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, Marketing y Medios, and Editor & Publisher.

Internet Edition, June13, 2007, Page 5


Waggener Edstrom Worldwide has added Adfactors PR Pvt. of India as an affiliate.

Adfactors, based in Mumbai, was founded in 1997 and has counseled the State Bank of India, the Teradata division of NCR, and Websense. It has 10 offices in India.

Pam Edstrom, executive VP, said the firm undertook extensive research for an affiliate in the India tech market, noting Adfactors is “fiercely independent” and praising its training and professional development.


FD has acquired London-based healthcare firm Sante Communications to complement its life sciences practice and develop its international reach in the sector.

Sante, founded in 1995 by Liz Shanahan, has counseled Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and BMS, among others. The firm’s staff will fold into FD’s U.K. corporate and brand unit.

FD global clients in the space include Novartis, Wyeth, GE Healthcare and Sanofi Pasteur MSD.

BRIEFS: Weber Shandwick is working with Cleantech Venture Network to raise the profile and reach of CVN’s forums. Events in Frankfurt, Toronto, San Francisco, and Beijing are planned on the growing cleantech sector. Wiliam Brent, senior VP, heads WS’ cleantech unit. He noted the sector is beginning to enter a “more mature cycle,” raising a need for strategic communications to differentiate. In addition to promoting the events, WS will tab speakers and companies to present at the forums. ...Rich Polt, president of Waltham, Mass.-based Louder Than Words, said the firm will counsel Volunteer Family and the Massachusetts affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure as pro-bono clients under the PR firm’s “Press for Action” program. ...Foley Government & Public Affairs, Potomac, Md., has marked its 20th year. Joseph Foley, a former House legislative aide who worked in the Carter and Reagan administrations, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said he’s worked for more than 50 clients over the last two decades... Coyne PR, Parsippany, N.J., was named 11th out of 25 medium-sized companies on NJBIZ’ list of the best places to work in the state. ...Nashville firms McNeely Pigott & Fox PR and Atkinson PR have formed an alliance after working recently on client assignments. MP&F senior partner David Fox was a VP at Atkinson before leaving for MP&F in 1990. Fox said the firms would operate independently where there might be potential client conflicts, but he sees “tremendous growth potential” for the two firms under the pact. Atkinson will move from its 21-year home to MP&F space in downtown Nashville. MP&F reported 55 staffers and PR billings of $6.7M for 2006.

Correction: Sard Verbinnen reps URS in its $2.6B acquisition of Washington Group International (formerly Morrison Knudsen). Kekst & Co. works for WGI.


New York

FD, New York/Phosphagenics Limited, Australia-based biotechnology company, for an integrated financial comms. program targeting the North American investment sector.

Kwittken & Co., New York/Stylesight, trend forecasting and product development tools for creatives in the fashion and style industries, as AOR for PR following a competitive pitch process. The work includes national and trade media relations, event and sponsorship mgmt., and social media outreach.

M. Silver Associates, New York/Furnished Quarters, corporate housing provider, as AOR for marketing comms., PR and promotions.

5W PR, New York/Roy Jones Jr., boxer, for media relations, strategic counsel, and marketing comms. leading up to a July 14 pay-per-view bout vs. Anthony Hanshaw.

Consulting for Strategic Growth, New York/
Marketing Worldwide Corp., car customization programs for auto makers, for IR and PR.


Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C./
Northwestern Univ., for an independent admissions market research study.

Jackson Spalding, Atlanta/Fred Gretsch Enterprises, drum and guitar maker, for PR for its 125th anniversary in 2008.


MWW Group, Chicago/Council of Great Lakes Governors, non-partisan cooperative between eight U.S. states, Ontario and Quebec to promote environmentally responsible economic growth in the region. MWW is handling public affairs, media relations, economic development, and sustainability work.

Mountain West

Armada Medical Marketing, Denver/Sutter Solano Medical Center, for integrated comms. including physician marketing, advertising and PR.

GD&A Advertising and PR, Denver/Netlojix, IP telephony, for a direct mail campaign; Impulse Internet Services, business voice and data comms., for adv., direct mktg. and PR, and Ballard Power Systems, hydrogen fuel cell energy, for brand naming.


M/C/C, Dallas/Valtech, software development, for marketing comms.


Martin Levy PR, Seattle/Zeenami, self-improvement website, as AOR for PR.

Cain Communications, Portland, Ore./Stretch Inc., configurable processor development, for PR and marketing comms.

Mobility PR, Lake Oswego, Ore./uPlayMe, entertainment-focused social networking, as AOR.

The Honig Company, Burbank, Calif./HRE Performance Wheels, custom alloy wheel designer and maker, for PR.

Verse Strategic Communications, Los Angeles/;, and Prescriptive Music (

Internet Edition, June 13, 2007, Page 6


VMS has added “real-time” TV digital monitoring of all 210 designated market areas in the U.S.

The company said the move to develop and implement the new service, VMS RealTime, which lets users search, track and view streaming video within minutes of airing, came about from customer demand.

VMS had been tracking all 210 DMAs since 2005, but the growing popularity and demand for video on the Internet, and the need for fast review of TV coverage, were also factors in offering the new service in the monitoring sector.

“We decided to expand our products and serve a market that we really hadn’t served in the past – clients that want something on a real-time basis,” said VMS president and CEO Peter Wengryn. “It had been a small market up until now, but our clients have been asking for it recently so we put it together.”

The RealTime search platform, based on closed captioning, is powered by Autonomy. The service alerts users when a segment that includes specific criteria airs. After viewing the clip online, transcripts, DVDs and tapes can be ordered. The RealTime capability is a separate add-on service that is part of VMS’ Integrated Media Intellgence platform.

“It’s another arrow in the arsenal to understand what’s happening in the media marketplace,” Wengryn added.


Steven Brown, former VP of business development at e-commerce software company AdStar, has joined Cision in Chicago to lead its sales management team as VP of national sales.

Brown was formerly senior VP in Monster/TMP Worldwide’s advertising and communications division after Monster acquired the company Brown started, Nolan Recruitment Advertising.

Cision is the former Bacon’s Information.


Dow Jones has partnered with audio and video search comany PodZinger to integrate its services into DJ’s Factiva service.

PodZinger has developed speech-to-text and natural language processing platforms to track the rising cache of audio and video content on the web. eMarketer reported that there were more than 7.2 billion video streams viewed on the web in January. DJ points to AccuStream iMedia data that predicts 30 percent growth in multimedia viewers annually.

The PodZinger services will be integrated into and Factiva iWorks by August, DJ said.


Holly Matson, executive team leader for Target Corp., has joined Risdall Search Marketing, New Brighton, Minn., as an online visibility specialist.

Chris Peterson, online marketing director for online shopping company Corp., also joins as online marketing manager.

RSM is one of 11 units of Risdall Marketing Group.



Stephanie Channell, formerly of Thacker & Frank Communications, and Colin Wells of Big Hassle Media, to Rubenstein PR, New York, as associate VPs.

DeWayne Lehman, director of media and PR for the Boston Dept. of Neighborhood Development, to Schneider Associates, Boston, as director of public affairs for the firm’s corporate group. He was formerly deputy press secretary to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

Angela Bonarrigo, who developed and oversaw comms. and public affairs activities for the Environmental Protection Agency in New England, to Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Boston, as an associate VP in the firm’s energy and environment practice. The firm has also promoted Travis Small to associate VP in that unit. Also, Melissa Monahan was promoted to VP and group leader of RB’s nonprofit, healthcare and academic practice.

Peggy Woodruff, who ran her own firm for 17 years, to Arketi Group, Atlanta, to handle marketing and PR counsel. Earlier, she was director of advertising and promotion for General Sports Ventures, parent to The Athlete’s Foot chain.

Krista Beres, marketing coordinator for The St. Joe Co., to St. John & Partners, Jacksonville, Fla., as an account manager on the Winn-Dixie account.

Steven Hendricks, a veteran of Motorola, Xerox and Compaq, to Gerdau Ameristeel, Tampa, Fla., as director of corporate comms. and public affairs.

Calmetta Coleman, VP and senior comms. manager for JPMorgan Chase & Co., to Ketchum, Chicago, as senior VP and director of editorial services for Ketchum Midwest. She was formerly media relations manager for Bank One Corp. before it merged with JPMorgan Chase in 2004. Earlier, she was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal in Chicago.

Andrew Evans, director of marketing for Pinecastle Records, to Henry Russell Bruce, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as client manager.

James Crossland, executive VP, Cossette Communication Group, to Kinross Gold Corp., Toronto, as senior VP of government relations and corporate affairs.


Joe Nolan, a New Jersey native and student in USC Annenberg's master's in strategic PR program, has been chosen for the General Motors Strategic PR Fellowship for summer 2007. The award consists of a $5K scholarship and 10-week paid internship with GM's communications unit. Nolan, who called the fellowship a "dream assignment" to work under GM executive director of corporate comms. Edd Snyder, underwent a rigorous nomination and interview process against other competitors. He will serve as a full-time "business communications integrator" with the internal communications division at GM's Lordstown manufacturing facility in Warren, Ohio. Jerry Swerling is director of PR studies for the USC Annenberg program.

Internet Edition, June 13, 2007, Page 7


Dow Jones & Co. has revamped its “change in control” mechanism to expand executive coverage as the Bancroft family considers a $5B unsolicited takeover offer from News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.

In its Securities and Exchange Commission filing, DJ&C extended its “separation plan for senior management” program to an additional 135 management employees. Minimum severance is 12 weeks.

The move was made to “enhance the company’s ability to retain and attract management-level employees.” The revamp benefits the company by “allowing such employees to focus on the company’s business objectives in the event of a potential change in control of the company, notwithstanding the personal uncertainties and concerns that ordinarily arise in connection with such an event,” according to the filing.

The company also improved severance packages for nine top executives including CEO Richard Zannino, publisher Gordon Crovitz and VP-corporate communications Linda Dunbar.

The sweetened deal, according to the Wall Street Journal, increases the “tax gross up” package currently valued at $19.5M for Zannino by 20 percent to 30 percent.

Reuters, meanwhile, reports that other bidders have surfaced for DJ&C, including ad/PR man Brian Tierney. He led the investor group that bought the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News from McClatchy Co.

After closing the deal, Tierney slashed 17 percent (68 people) of the Inquirer’s editorial staff to improve financial performance.

Tierney calls the DJ&C “one of the greatest journalistic enterprises ever created.” He does not believe Murdoch is overpaying. If he could line up an investment group, Tierney would be at least willing to match Murdoch’s offer.


Richard Plepler, who joined Time Warner’s Home Box Office in ‘92 as senior VP-corporate communications, has been named co-president of the cable network in a restructuring following the resignation of CEO Chris Albrecht.

The former aide to Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) adds programming duties to his PR responsibilities. He joins Harold Akselrad, who was general counsel, and Eric Kessler (ex-president of sales and marketing) as co-presidents.

They report to CEO Bill Nelson, who was promoted from the COO slot.

TW CEO Dick Parsons, in a statement, said the new co-president structure will give HBO a “sharper, fresher and more pronounced” edge.

Plepler assumed the executive VP-corporate communications post at HBO in ‘97. Prior to joining HBO, Plepler was running his own firm, RLP Inc.

Albrecht stepped down in May following his arrest for assaulting his girlfriend in a Las Vegas parking lot.

He was in charge of developing HBO hits such as “Sex in the City” and “The Sopranos,” which concluded its final season on June 10.


Glover Park Group is repping the Better World Campaign, an offshoot of media mogul Ted Turner’s United Nations Foundation, to encourage Congress to increase American funding for the world body’s peacekeeping mission and to pay off arrears.

The U.N. is overseeing 18 peacekeeping missions in “hotspots” such as Lebanon, Sudan, Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The BWC claims that the U.S. past and current funding shortfall is in the $1.3B range, while pointing out that as a permanent member of the Security Council this country voted in support of the peacekeeping activities.

[The U.S. has spent $168B to fund operations in Afghanistan and Iraq so far this year.]

BWC launched a web-based initiative called in May to “engage Americans and encourage the U.S. government to pay its full and fair share” of the critical peacekeeping missions. POP plans to deliver a petition to Congress over the next few weeks in support of more U.N. funding.

Susan Brophy heads the account at GPC. She was senior VP and global policy director at Time Warner and deputy assistant to the President for legislative affairs in the Clinton White House.

Brophy also served as chief of staff to former Colorado Senator Tim Wirth, who heads Turner’s UNF.


Britain-based Airwair International Ltd. has fired agency Saatchi & Saatchi over a public furor resulting in an advertising campaign launched by its London office.

The campaign in question involves S&S's creation of print ads for Airwair's popular Dr. Martens footwear brand.

In the ads, deceased former Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain is seen sitting atop a cloud in heaven wearing a pair of the iconic boots. Underneath the image a caption reads "Dr. Martens, Forever."

Similar ads were created by the agency featuring dead punk icons Joe Strummer, Sid Vicious and Joey Ramone.

Though the ads appeared in a single publication, outrage over the debated tastelessness of the campaign has been high, with the uproar particularly loud over the blogosphere.

Courtney Love, Cobain's widow, has personally blasted the campaign. Love's official website states that the 42-year-old musician and actress was "not aware this had been done and is upset that they would use his image without permission."

Cobain killed himself in his Seattle home in 1994. He and Love were married in 1992 and had a daughter, Frances Bean.

In a press release, Airwair CEO David Suddens apologized and said the company has officially terminated its relationship with S&S as a result of the campaign. Suddens also noted that the "Dr. Martens, Forever" campaign was never officially approved by the company.

A statement from the London offices of S&S, however, defended the campaign and noted that Airwair had indeed approved the campaign.

Internet Edition, June 13, 2007, Page 8




The chronic mis-reporting and under-reporting of its finances by PRSA and its inexpert internal auditing committee (6/6 NL) led us to the website of the New Jersey Soc. of CPAs. PRSA’s auditor is Sobel & Co., Livingston, N.J.

There we found the words “highest standards” which we don’t think are being followed here. National and state CPA groups enforce standards via their “Joint Ethics Enforcement Program” (JEEP). Someone can complain about a CPA without being made a plaintiff or being drawn into arguing over the case. First, an individual CPA has to be found at the auditor because individuals belong to CPA groups rather than corporations.

We have asked NJCPA to examine the 2006 audit of PRSA in the light of our criticisms and those of college accounting professors. For one thing, members are not getting anywhere near the true cost of staff time on the annual conference. This misleads them into thinking PRSA makes money on the ill-attended meeting. Money is saved by ditching the printed directory of members which is much missed.

PRSA audits fail to defer dues (which the CPA Societies do as well as the ABA, AMA, ASAE, IABC and other groups). The balance sheet does not show the amount owed on the 13-year lease. PRSA recently started lumping millions into “administration” rather than breaking out these costs under 13 categories of spending. A “red flag” is that PRSA, with revenues of $11.4M and 55 staffers, does not have an on-staff CPA. Also, it used to have one of the majors as its outside CPA (Deloitte & Touche and Ernst & Young) before it went with Sobel four years ago. Another red flag: senior members don’t work at h.q.

We don’t like the definition of “public” that is on national and state CPA websites: “The accounting profession’s public consists of clients, credit grantors, governments, employers, investors, the business and financial community and others.” The public is everyone and CPA reports should be understandable by anyone over nine years. In the minds of many, accounting is an unnecessary complication. It shifts income and payables around until the whole thing becomes a game of Three-Card Monte or Which Shell is the Pea Under? It’s even worse.
None of the cards is the correct one and the pea isn’t under any of the shells (i.e., the off-balance sheet entities of Enron and Omnicom’s offloading of sour dot-com investments). The public can’t win this game.

Catastrophe can strike an institution when members lose faith in how their money is being managed. One victim of this syndrome was the Overseas Press Club which was the hub of New York press and PR life in the 1960s. OPC had 3,300 members and hosted such speakers and guests as Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Golda Meir, Henry Kissinger, King Hussein, Fidel Castro and secretaries of state, kings, princes and prime ministers. Its 11-story building at 54 W. 40th st. (purchased in 1961 for $600K) was the scene of jazz and classical concerts, art exhibits and monthly dinners. The 1,645 “associates” (local press and PR) topped the 1,599 “actives” (foreign correspondents).

It started to unravel in 1969 when Club manager Frank O’Rourke’s embezzlement of some $300K was discovered. He told leaders he was a CPA and therefore they didn’t need an audit, which would have checked deposits and discovered the missing funds. He killed himself the night before he was to appear at police h.q.

Most members refused to pay a $50 assessment. They had seen dues soar from $50 to $125. Financial reporting was poor. Bruno Shaw, president of the OPC Correspondents Fund, which owned the building, told the annual meeting: “Everything you read in the OPC Bulletin about the Club’s financial affairs is a lie.” OPC couldn’t make payments and lost the building.

Mary Beth West, advocacy chair of PRSA, told a teleconference May 24 that a “rant” against PR in the Washington Post May 20 was so far-fetched that she could think of “no way to respond to it.”

Besides, she said, responding would be a “waste of time” because it would not “change the reporter’s opinion of our profession.”

Here’s what columnist Gene Weingarten wrote: “From time to time, I am cruelly slandered by members of the PR industry, who accuse me of writing unfairly about their profession. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love PR professionals. They’re a hoot, because they are such pathetic, desperate dillweeds.”

Weingarten then tore apart releases sent to him via “Your Market Wire Newsletter” from MasterCard, HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, and Clarkson Consulting, faulting them for verbosity, undefined terms and lack of needed details. He called up the sources and tried to pump out more details but had little success. “I felt I had entered an alternate reality,” he wrote.

West’s initial reaction is the usual “D&D” (defame and duck). Knock the critic and run. Instead, we urge her to visit Weingarten and listen to his gripes. See things from his viewpoint. Try to bridge the gap between PR and press that has widened in recent years. D&D only worsens the situation.

We don’t understand the $300K severance pay to former COO Catherine Bolton. She gave a year’s notice and had plenty of time to look for a job which she found. She quit the job and was not fired. She was not able to break in new COO William Murray because he did not arrive until Jan. 22, 2007. Murray’s pay is being concealed from members.

When Ray Gaulke joined as COO in 1993, his signing bonus, length of contract, pay, and performance bonus terms were revealed... news item: Oxford Health Plans, New York, raises rates 18% on its best plans to $29,352 yearly for families and $9,468 yearly for singles. Its lesser plans (higher deductibles) are $16,754 and $5,410, respectively. Other HMOs will probably go up the same.

--Jack O'Dwyer


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471