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Internet Edition, February 13, 2008, Page 1


The Department of Defense is preparing to review its PR contract for the “America Supports You” campaign, a taxpayer-funded program which touts non-profit groups supporting U.S. troops that is under Pentagon investigation.

The program has drawn scrutiny by the media and the Defense Dept., which is investigating the relationship between the independent military-run paper Stars and Stripes and the ASY campaign.

A business relationship between the two entities caused consternation in the S&S newsroom after the paper learned and reported last fall that S&S had awarded a $499K PR contract to Washington, D.C.-based Susan Davis International to support the ASY campaign.

A spokesman for the Office of the Secretary of Defense told O’Dwyer’s that Susan Davis International’s contract has come up for renewal. He confirmed that the contract is with the Defense Dept.

Michelle Shortencarrier, a former Pentagon public affairs director who handles the ASY work at SDI, did not return a call.

The Pentagon said it expects to issue an RFP this week to find a D.C. area firm to provide a national strategy and outreach program for ASY.

The top two editors for Stars and Stripes said in December that they formally requested “immediate, full and complete disclosure” of their own newspaper’s dealings with the ASY campaign. The Pentagon’s Inspector General’s office is auditing the deal.


Will Ludlam joined Hill & Knowlton Feb. 11 as executive VP of its northwest region (Seattle, Spokane and Portland). He had been managing director of Porter Novelli’s western operations.

Ludlam began his career at The Rockey Co., which H&K acquired in `00.

He has counseled Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Washington Mutual, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Airco Gases and Centers for Disease Control. Ludlam reports to Paul Taaffe, H&K’s CEO.

Peggy Armstrong, who was press secretary to former Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, has joined the International Dairy Foods Assn. as director of communications. She takes over the spot held for the past 11 years by Susan Ruland, who left for Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick in November.

IDFA represents an industry with $90B in annual revenues.


Sitrick & Co. is handling crisis duties for struggling bond insurer MBIA Inc. that reported a $3.5B pre-tax write-off for its insured credit derivatives portfolio.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based MBIA registered a $1.9B net loss for `07 compared to an $819M ‘06 profit.

MBIA is dealing with the collapse of the subprime mortgage market. Bloomberg reports that meltdown has resulted in $146B in losses and markdowns at banks and securities firms since Jan. 1.

Fitch, on Feb. 5, announced that it was putting MBIA’s “AAA” bond insurance ranking under review for a downgrade.

The ratings company says it is reviewing MBIA’s rankings due to a worsening outlook for the subprime mortgage market.

MBIA CEO Gary Dunton said that the bond insurance business is “paying the price” for expanding beyond its traditional municipal bond turf to riskier ventures.


Caplan Communications launched “The Whole Truth” campaign to support the effort of victims of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill to recover punitive damages from ExxonMobil.

The U.S. Supreme Court has slated Feb. 27 as the date for oral arguments in ExxonMobil’s appeal of a lower court’s decision to grant $2.5B in damages to more than 32,000 commercial fishermen, native Alaskans, businesses and towns that were impacted by the spill into Prince William Sound.

Alaska’s Governor Sarah Palin filed a “friend of the court” brief on Jan. 29 backing the award of damages.

Talis Colberg, Alaska’s Attorney General, said in a statement that if Exxon succeeds in blocking the damages it would deny Alaskans the “compensation to which they are due” and “reduce the incentive for those who use our coastal waters to operate in a careful and safe manner.”

The campaign’s website is at

Patrick Doherty, an ABC News veteran and producer of “Good Morning America,” has joined Kwittken & Co. as managing director. He also handled ABC’s affiliate service, directing editorial coverage, coordinating satellite feeds and overseeing live shots.

Jason Schlossberg, president of K&C, believes Doherty’s access to top TV people will be a big value to clients. Doherty is a member of the Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century group and the U.S. Equestrian Federation.

Internet Edition, February 13, 2008, Page 2


The National Assn. of Manufacturers has filed a lawsuit to prevent enforcement of a provision of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.

The powerful trade organization of industrial giants believes the First Amendment rights of its members are threatened by Section 207 of the law requiring disclosure of names of those who pay more than $5,000 to finance lobbying activity.

The group fears members may not “express their opinions in the legislative process” if they have to “go on the record.”

John Engler, NAM President, raised the possibility that a company could be a target of a terror attack if it bankrolls lobbying in support of “hot button” issues such as global warming or nuclear power.

In his statement, Engler said: “For example, anti-globalization forces are increasingly resorting to violent means to oppose both political leaders and officials in the private sector who support transnational economic development."

Engler also believes “taking policy positions that are unpopular with other groups may lead to boycotts, political pressure, shareholder suits, or other forms of harassments.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut said the measure was passed to thwart “stealth lobbying campaigns.”


The National Assn. of Chain Drug Stores plans to blanket the Washington, D.C., regions with ads created by Edelman’s Blue Worldwide unit to stress the importance of local pharmacies to the healthcare systems.

Steven Anderson, CEO of the group, unveiled the program Feb. 4 at NACDS’ conference in Florida. He said NACDS wants to “turn up the volume” on the central message that drug stores are essential to the nation’s overall health.

The ads target Capitol Hill, executive branch, media and opinion leaders inside the Beltway.

The $750B industry, according to Anderson, is expected to be targeted for cuts.

With a new president headed for Washington, Anderson expects a “renewed debate” on the direction of the country’s healthcare system.

The ad campaign carries themes showing the convenience, accessibility, and expertise of local pharmacists along with how they counsel patients to take their medications as prescribed.


Vicki Newbold, managing director-corporate communications in Hill & Knowlton’s London office, has moved to Manning Selvage & Lee.

She assumes corporate duties from Kate Steele, who slides into the U.K. new business director position.

MS&L, which is owned by France’s Publicis Groupe, counts Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Diamond Trading Co. and Philips as clients.

Newbold has repped Shell, AOL Time Warner, Vauxhall, SABIC and bmi/ British Midlands Airways in the areas of corporate reputation. MS&L has 80 pros in London. Stuart Wilson is CEO of the operation.


Kekst and Company is handling communications for meatpacking giant Smithfield Foods as it wages a public and legal fight to paint labor union PR effort critical of a plant in North Carolina as racketeering.

Smithfield filed a suit against the United Food and Commercial Workers in October under the federal racketeering statute known as RICO citing the UFCW’s PR campaign against what it calls anti-union tactics and alleged dangerous working conditions at Smithfield’s Tar Heel, N.C. plant.

The company said Feb. 5 in a statement distributed by Kekst that it made that move “in order to seek relief from the extortionate corporate campaign perpetuated by the UFCW and their agents over the last several years.”

The suit, among other allegations, says the union killed an “incomparable marketing opportunity” for Smithfield by convincing Oprah Winfrey to not have a celebrity chef promote Smithfield hams on her show.

Smithfield seeks $17M and a court order barring the union from issuing press releases or using other PR tactics targeting the company.

Kekst partner Adam Weiner and analyst Lindsey Estin are handling media for Smithfield.


Major League Baseball is facing grassroots pushback stemming from its decision to drop the annual Hall of Fame Game that has been played in Cooperstown, N.Y. since 1940.

Bob DuPuy, MLB’s COO, announced Jan. 29 that the June 16 contest between the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres at Doubleday Field will be the last played there. He gave scheduling difficulties for junking the exhibition game.

The Freeman’s Journal, Cooperstown paper, has launched an online petition drive urging MLB to reconsider its decision to respect the traditions of the national pastime.

“More than any other American sport baseball draws strength from its traditions,” says the petition.

Craig Muder, sports editor of the Utica Observer-Dispatch, doesn’t want to hear about the “arduous bus trip to central New York.” He blasts both MLB and the players union for stiffing the fans of the game.

A “Save the Hall of Fame Game” blog has been launched to highlight 17 reasons for keeping the game.

The HoFG reminds “spectators and participants alike that baseball is a glorious game and an undeniable part of American culture and identity.”

The blog notes that legends such as Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Roberto Clemente and Duke Snider played in Cooperstown.

The blog dismisses MLB’s scheduling problems with Cooperstown, noting that schedule-makers have figured out how to pencil in games in Japan, China (next month), Mexico, Memphis, Orlando and Puerto Rico.

Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey is exploring opportunities for Doubleday Field.

They include scheduling a day for top Japanese and South Korean teams and hosting New York State’s high school baseball championship series.

Internet Edition, February 13, 2008, Page 3


The Washington Post Company has promoted VP of advertising Katharine Weymouth to CEO of Washington Post Media, a new unit of the company encompassing the Washington Post and

She also serves as publisher of the Post, the fifth member of the Graham family to hold that title.

Weymouth, 41, joined the paper in 1996 as assistant counsel and moved to Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive after two years to be associate counsel.

She later became director of the advertising department’s jobs unit in 2002 and was named director of advertising sales in April 2004.

Weymouth is a great-granddaughter of Eugene Meyer, who bought the Post in 1933.

Bo Jones, Jr., who has been publisher of the Post since 2000, was named vice chairman of the company and succeeds Donald Graham as chairman of the paper.

On his promotion, Jones said that a voluntary retirement incentive program will be offered in March to some employees of the newspaper “in light of the current economic environment and to assure the future strength of the business.”

The paper said it will close its College Park, Md., printing plant in early 2010, after two presses are moved to The Post’s Springfield, Va., plant.

Jones joined The Post in 1980 as vice president and counsel.

Both Weymouth and Jones are attorneys.


The Sun-Times Media Group has officially put itself on the auction block in a bid to rebound from the sharp decline in advertising.

Cyrus Freidheim, CEO, says the company will evaluate “strategic alternatives” such as the sale of any or all of its assets. Joint ventures and strategic partnerships also will be considered.

Freidheim’s statement praises S-TMG’s “solid portfolio of publications and websites that deliver the highest quality journalism to the communities that we serve and great value to our advertisers.”

S-TMG is the parent of the Chicago Sun-Times and 120 community papers and websites in the Chicago area.

The company has been in a cost-cutting mode of late with a plan to reduce operating expenses by $50M.

Tammy Chase is IR director at S-TMG.


Jason Binn, who publishes glossy lifestyle magazines in New York, Aspen, Hamptons, Boston, Los Angeles and Washington, has acquired Philadelphia Style from socialite Dana Spain-Smith.

The deal also includes online publications DC Style and

PS publishes seven times a-year and has a circulation of 70K. Its audience has household income topping $250K and liquid assets of more than $1M.

PS publisher John Colabelli and editor Sarah Schaffer will remain in their posts, according to a report in


Spin has teamed with MySpace to produce the music magazine’s first digital issue, which includes links to artists’ MySpace pages and to the iTunes music store to buy the tracks featured in the issue. The next 12 issues of the magazine will be available for free digital download at

Spin’s president, Tom Hartle, said the music and magazine industries are in a “state of turmoil” and sees the digital publication as a “major step forward.” He said the digital magazine drew more than 250K page views in the first week after a “soft launch.”

The issue also includes digital audio and video samples, as well as advertisements hyperlinked to the companies that buy space.

MySpace says it hosts more than six million sites for major, independent and unsigned music artists.

Digital publisher Texterity handled the project for Spin.


News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch is engaging in a risky strategy with plans to make the Wall Street Journal a more mass-market paper to compete with the New York Times, according to Crain’s New York.

The weekly says Murdoch’s conflict with the Times is personal. He and his top aides refer to the NYT as “sanctimony central.”

Consultant John Morton told Crain’s that if the WSJ becomes more of a general interest it “diminishes its standing as the business newspaper.”

Murdoch could always trash his mainstream vision of the WSJ as he did by backing away from talk of making the online version of the paper free.


Vanity Fair has canceled it annual over-the-top Oscars party that was slated for Feb. 24 in support of the striking Hollywood writers.

Editor Graydon Carter had planned the 15th party to begin with an invitation-only dinner for 170 “A-listers” at Craft in Century Center.

He told the New York Times that the bash would probably top out at 700 by the early morning.

Hollywood publicist Leslee Dart is saddened that the shindig is getting the kibosh. Clients started calling Dart a month ago looking for help to get into the party. To Dart, the VF affair is a “crown jewel.”

Carter ruled out reviving the party in the event the Writers Guild of America and production companies settle. He expects many “bruised feelings” and does not think that it is appropriate for a “big magazine from the East to come in and pretend nothing happened.”

Karl Rove, the top Bush administration strategist and senior advisor to the president, has joined FOX News as a contributor.

Rove was formerly a member of the Board of International Broadcasting and taught at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the Univ. of Texas at Austin.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, February 13, 2008, Page 4


The Industry Standard officially re-launched on Feb. 4 to document the “new Internet age,” according to its general manager Derek Butcher.

The online-only publication has “abandoned the traditional media model based on a large editorial staff,” he wrote to visitors at the site.

The Standard favors a “new paradigm that values commentary from thought leaders and perspectives of our community.”

Butcher believes the “prediction section” of the Standard ranks as its “most groundbreaking aspect.” 

It relies on input from the community and collects the sum of “collective intelligence.” 

Butcher wrote: “Prediction markets have proven to be remarkably powerful tools for gauging events and trends, and we think that the addition of this technology to the site will provide a very special type of meaningful interaction.”

The initial prediction is that 44 percent of Standard readers believe Yahoo is going to accept Microsoft’s takeover bid.

Intel is the charter sponsor of the Standard’s launch.

People ______________________

Wonya Lucas, GM and executive VP of The Weather Channel Networks, is slated to exit to become chief marketing officer for Discovery Communications, parent of the Discovery Channel.

She joins DC on March 24 in Silver Spring, Md.

Lucas was responsible for corporate strategy/development, and strategic marketing for The Weather Channel and, and operations and programming for The Weather Channel, The Weather Channel HD, Weatherscan, The Weather Channel Radio Network, and newspaper syndication.

She was previously with Turner Broadcasting System in posts like SVP of marketing for CNN Networks and VP business operations and network development for TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies and Turner South.

Jessica Sibley, VP of multimedia sales at the Wall Street Journal, has been named senior VP and worldwide publisher of BusinessWeek.

She handled New York, New England and Europe for the WSJ.

At BW, Sibley directs the magazine’s sales team and heads all advertising-based revenue for its multimedia products. She was previously with Forbes Inc.

Barbara O’Dair, executive editor at More magazine, has been named the second current executive editor of Reader’s Digest.

She shares duties with Tom Prince, who recently joined the magazine from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

O’Dair was a senior editor on the launch team at Entertainment Weekly, deputy editor of Rolling Stone, editor of US magazine and executive editor of Details, among other posts.


Organic Style, which was published by Rodale Inc. from `01-`05, has been revived as an online publication to chronicle the “green” era.

Eco-entrepreneur Gerald Prolman bought the OS brand from Rodale and is behind the re-launch.

Prolman promises the born-again pub will feature items on “truly inspirational” people including growers, artisans, environmentalists and humanitarians.

The premier issue has stories about sustainable flower growing in Ecuador, cotton farming in India and a tribute to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.


Tribune Company said it will purchase properties currently leased for the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant after receiving an option to purchase the real estate for $175M through the 2006 restructuring of the properties’ owner TMCT, LLC.

Chicago-based Tribune is selling its Tribune Studios and related real estate in Los Angeles, which it acquired in 1988, to Hudson Capital, for $125M and plans to use the proceeds as “part of a like-kind exchange” when it closes on its acquisition of the TMCT properties, expected in April.


Rubenstein PR is distributing a release from Manhattan Media claiming that it is the king of the borough, the “media capital of the world.”

MM publishes New York Press, Our Town, City Hall and Avenue, which combine for a circulation of 176,500.

That's 20K more than the New York Post, 70K more than the Daily News, as well as above the Wall Street Journal (110K) and the New York Times (152K).

Tom Allon is CEO of MM.


Andrea Koppel, a CNN veteran, has joined M+R Strategic Services in D.C., to head its communications division.

The 20-year broadcast veteran served as foreign service and Capitol Hill correspondent of the Time Warner unit.

Bill Wasserman, M+R president, believes Koppel’s experience will be an “invaluable resource” as the firm moves to “leverage the media in order to influence public dialogue and policy decisions on critical issues.”

M+R has worked for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Save Darfur Coalition, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity and Oxfam America.

Tina Barseghian, a magazine writer and author, has been named editor-in-chief of Craft magazine, based in Sebastopol, Calif. Barseghian has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and penned the book “Get a Hobby! 101 Diversions for Every Lifestyle” (Harper Collins 2007). Current EIC Carla Sinclair is staying on for a transition period, but is stepping down to write a novel.

Internet Edition, February 13, 2008, Page 5


Veteran D.C. public affairs pro Samuel Simon and Robin Strongin have set up Amplify Public Affairs to encompass and build on Simon’s tech-focused PA firm Issue Dynamics.

Simon, who was one of Ralph Nader’s first lawyers, set up IDI in 1986 after serving as president of the Telecommunications Research and Action Center, a consumer group focused on telecommunications issues.

He said the firm aims to blend Beltway know-how with innovative communication technologies.

Strongin was a partner during an eight-year stint at Polidais, a D.C.-based healthcare communications firm.

Strongin was previously senior research associate with the National Health Policy Forum at George Washington University and acting executive director and director of research for the Health Care Technology Institute.


Racepoint Group has set up a practice to establish online and offline dialogues between communities and clients like corporations, countries and NGOs.

The firm believes corporations are shifting from a “product-centric” mentality to one driven by corporate responsibility leading to a boost in engagement with stakeholders like employees, shareholders and governments.

The new practice, called World 2.0, is a good fit for “progressive thinking and acting” entities, said Larry Weber, chairman of RG. He noted digital technologies have allowed clients to engage in global and real-time dialogues about issues that affect society. “The organizations that cultivate and participate in these dialogues will shape the future of the world,” said Weber.

Peter Prodromoi, executive VP, heads day-to-day operations of the new practice for Waltham, Mass.-based RP, with team members in London and Washington, D.C. Weber and Mark Fuller, chairman of Monitor Group, which has a stake in Weber’s W2 Group, are also strategists for the practice.

BRIEFS: Schwartz Communications has set up a renewable energy and green technology practice group led by VP Jason Morris. Clients include Global Solar Energy, Business Council on Climate Change, and Borrego Solar Systems. Edelman Financial, New York, is working with Summit Global Logistics as the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced plans to be acquired by TriDec Acquisition Company as part of a restructuring. ...Rubenstein Associates is handling communications for luxury retailer Fortunoff, which has filed for Chapter 11 and announced it has agreed to be sold to NRDC Equity Partners, owner of Lord & Taylor. ...Goldstein Communications, New York, has a new website at developed by Artyso. ...RF|Binder Partners was named one of New York’s 30 Best Companies to Work for in 2007 by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management. The firm will be recognized at an awards dinner in April in Albany.


New York Area

Affect Strategies, New York/Touchpaper, IT business management services, for PR as it expands in the U.S.

The Cannon Group, New York/Bethesda Skin Care, as AOR to launch a sunscreen soap brand; Ribbit Films, motion graphic film footage, for PR, and Jeff Wallner, financial manager for pro athletes, for media relations.

Child’s Play Communications, New York/Elmer’s Products, for PR for its arts & crafts and education divisions, and to launch new products for Toy Fair and the holiday season.

HWH PR/New Media, New York/iriver, digital media devices, for a national PR campaign. The company makes devices like MP3 players and ebook viewers.

Redpoint Marketing PR, New York/Student & Youth Travel Assn., non-profit trade group, and The Liaison Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., hotel slated for April 1 opening.

Rubenstein Investor Relations, New York/Minco Gold Corporation, Vancouver-based mining company, for IR.

Stephen Style Group, New York/ATON, home audio and video routing and distribution products, for marketing communications.


Warner Communications, Manchester by the Sea, Mass./Sentinel Benefits, benefit consulting and administration, for media outreach, branding and lead-generation programs, and OmegaBrite, dietary supplement, for consumer research, brand messaging and media relations.

BackBay Communications, Boston/Grant Thornton, for PR for its Private Equity Initiative, including brand positioning, media relations, media training and conference speaking support.

FD Dittus, Washington, D.C./Pan American Health and Education Organization Foundation; American Academy of Forensic Sciences; Portland Cement Assn.; International Dairy Foods Assn.; Salt River Project, and Fluor Corporation.

Hyde Park Communications, Washington, D.C./
United Rentals, for IR, and Disabled Veterans of America, for legislative support and to bring attention to veteran healthcare funding reform.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Healthy Living Academies, for PR and media relations.

The Jeffrey Group, Miami/Association of Tennis Professionals, as U.S. Hispanic AOR for strategic communications.

CTA Integrated Communications, Louisville, Colo./
GreenHunter Energy, renewable energy, for a national PR campaign.


Mackenzie Agency, Santa Rosa, Calif./Consorzio per la Tutela del Prosecco di Conegliano – Valdobbiadene, trade group for Italian sparkling wine makers, as AOR for PR.

Walt & Company, Campbell, Calif./Adaptec, storage solutions, as AOR for PR.

Internet Edition, February 13, 2008, Page 6


AgencyLink has been launched by two Canadian marketing executives to pair U.S. marketers with marketing agencies that focus on the Canadian market.

AL says it handles searches for companies, associations, government and non-profit entities. Didzbalis and Corriveau cite Hoover’s research that found the number of marketing agencies operating in Canada has risen from under 4,000 in 1990 to more than 5,600 in 2007.

Stan Didzbalis, co-founder and partner, was the founder and CEO of BenchMark Communications, a PR and marketing firm built up to 65 people, sold to Omnicom and integrated with Porter Novelli. Earlier, he worked for IBM Canada in PR, public affairs and marketing posts.

Sheila Corriveau boasts solid international business acumen with a proven track record in corporate, agency, not-for-profit and association environments.

Corriveau, who serves as president and CEO, was a key exec for Porter Novelli Canada and was later promoted to global network director and partner. Earlier, she headed media, employee, investor, community and client relations at The Dynacare Health Group.

“We know this market and its agency roster extremely well, and can be a huge assist,” said Corriveau. Info:


The National Capital Chapter of PRS is offering a free widget application to members and non-members to keep them in tune with the chapter.

The National Capital Channel application takes about a minute to download from and appears in the lower right-hand corner of a computer desktop. It can be moved anywhere after that.

Chapter announcements, jobs, upcoming events, etc. are streamed via the widget and appear in a text scroll at the bottom of the monitor. The application can also be used to view podcasts and videos. Local weather is featured.

NCC sponsorship committee co-chair Robert Udowitz hopes the technology will eliminate the person who says, "I wish I knew about that program, I would've gone!" He said there's no excuse now not to be informed with the NCC widget. Udowitz noted that the National Capital Channel is safe for corporate network environments and contains no adware or spyware. Running the application for an hour uses about as much bandwidth as loading a single web page.

ActiveAccess, a provider of customized, interactive content delivery services, developed the widget for NCC. Mac users must have a PC emulator installed.

BRIEFS: Melissa Data, a data verification and mail management company based in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., has a new service to verify email addresses called Email Object. The customizable tool can search through databases, address books, spreadsheets and website forms to remove invalid character and correct or update email contacts. The service is standalone or part of MD’s suite of software. Info:



Sharon Tolpin, VP of marketing and communications, Critical Mention, to Articulate Communications, New York, as senior VP. She was previously VP of corporate communications at V-Secure Technologies. Kate Corcoran was promoted to A/S at Articulate.

Melanie Scharler, senior manager, communications, Disney Publishing Worldwide, to, New York, as director of corporate comms. handling internal and external comms. She was previously with Four Corners Comms., Connors Comms., Rubenstein PR and SSA PR. She began her career at a subsidiary of Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine.

Donald Kelly, chief external relations officer for the Appraisal Institute, to Zaio Corporation, as chief communications officer based in the company’s new Washington, D.C., office. He heads investor relations, external comms., media and gov’t relations for the appraisal technology company.

Erica Fitzsimmons, a member of the U.S. Chamber’s national political program, to The Herald Group, Washington, D.C., to support accounts and handle new media development.

Sydney Ayers, who ran her own Denver-based PR firm, to Arment Dietrich in the Mile High City. She has worked at Servoss PR and DDB/Needham. AD is based in Chicago and recently opened a Denver office. Rendall Ayers takes the reins on Ayers Strategic PR.


Jenelle Forin to account director, Pierce Mattie PR, New York. She handles beauty clients.

Greg Aschman to director of investor relations, Alcoa, New York. Aschman, 39, takes over for Tony Thene, who was upped to VP and controller.

Ned Ward to VP, Stern + Associates, Cranford, N.J. He joined the firm in 2006.

Laura Luke, director of corporate communications, SRA International, to defense contractor Science Applications International Corp., San Diego, as VP of media relations based in McLean, Va.

Kelly Ferrara and Laura Lock to executive VP and team leaders, The Vandiver Group, St. Louis. Ferrara joined in 1999, while Lock signed on in 2007.

Jason Brown to VP, Hermanoff & Associates, Farmington Hills, Mich. Also, Aswathy Mathew to senior A/E and Kristin Mullen to A/E.

Brooke Bloomfield to A/C, Armada Medical Marketing, Denver. Leah Boccanfuso has joined as an A/M.

Elizabeth Diaz to VP, Armanasco PR, Monterey, Calif. She joined the firm in 1997.


Douglas Spong, a founder of Carmichael Lynch Spong in 1990, has been named to the inaugural eight-member advisory panel for the Univ. of Minnesota’s master’s degree program in strategic communication.

Donna Vandiver, president/CEO of The Vandiver Group, St. Louis, will be given a 2008 Enterprising Women of the Year Award by Enterprising Women magazine at a three-day event at the end of the month at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Internet Edition, February 13, 2008, Page 7


Porter Novelli has sublet the entire 72,843 sq. ft. sixth floor at 75 Varick st. in the West Village from Getty Images for just over 200 staffers but 97,711 sq. ft. are still available on six other floors.

The building is owned by a unit of Trinity Church which is spending upwards of $50M to modernize it.

Asking rents for the remaining space are $52 a sq. ft., according to a web posting by rental agent Cushman & Wakefield.

An article in the Jan. 24, 2007 New York Times said the “Hudson Square” area (75 Varick is also known as 1 Hudson Square), is a “relative bargain in a corner of the Village.”

It also called the neighborhood “relatively quiet and visually charming,” adding that “hushed candle-lighted restaurants like Chanterelle and Bouley and clubs like the Knitting Factory, throbbing at 2 a.m., are a convenient walk for Hudson Square’s tenants, who tend not to work 9 to 5.”

Vacancy Rate Is Improving

The office vacancy rate was 18.2% in Q4 of 2006 but real estate executives told the NYT that the area was “much healthier than its vacancy rate would suggest.”

Rents had risen as much as 25% from the previous year, they pointed out.

More than five million sq. ft. of office space was lost in 9/11 and it’s just now being replaced by new construction. One result is that factory space is being converted to office space. A “stigma” is being removed from such space, the NYT commented.

Space available at 75 Varick, a street named for Richard Varick, mayor of the city from 1789-1801, includes 5,407 sq. ft. on the third floor, 10,936 sq. ft. on the 16th floor, and 16,801 sq. ft. on the 11th floor.

Trinity in 2001 obtained the right to build 18th and 19th floors after it converted interior space in the first 16 floors to air cleansing and distribution equipment. Previously, there was no central heating, ventilation or air-conditioning. The 17th floor is a 38K sq. ft. penthouse. However, no tenant has been found for the planned 27,386 sq. ft. space on both the 18th and 19th floors so it is yet to be built. The three floors are being offered as a unit at $75 sq. ft.

PN Has “Huddle Rooms”

Most of the PN staffers at 75 Varick are in small offices that have a desk and a chair with two chairs placed in front of the desk.

Floors in the triangle-shaped building have about 72,000 sq. ft. Interiors of each floor house heating, air conditioning equipment and rest rooms.

When a meeting of more than three staffers is involved, they are to go to any of three “huddle rooms” that are about twice as big.

There are five presentation rooms where client pitches are shown; seven meeting rooms where executives and staffers can meet; a lounge where clients can be interviewed, and four “phone booths” where clients can make calls in privacy.

Current major tenants of the building are Adelphi University, Command Financial, Getty Images, Lego Systems, Metropolitan College, Morgan Stanley, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Red Herring.


Mid to upper-level managers at PR firms and corporate communications managers who work with PR firms attended a professional development program Feb. 6-8 at the Atlanta Airport Marriott.

Sponsoring the fourth program in a series was the Institute for PR, with the Arthur W. Page Society and Council of PR Firms as co-sponsors.

The blend of learning and networking in a limited enrollment setting has proven popular with corporate and agency managers and has been a sell-out each time, said Donald Wright, Ph.D., of Boston University, director of the program with Michelle Hinson of the IPR

Mattia of Coke Among Instructors

This year’s instructional team included Tom Mattia, senior VP of worldwide communications at Coca-Cola; Peter Debreceney, recently retired as VP of corporate communications, Allstate; Maril Gagen MacDonald, CEO of Gagen MacDonald; Bill Nielsen, recently retired as the chief communications officer at Johnson & Johnson; Ken Sternad, VP of corporate PR, UPS; Elliot Schreiber, formerly the top communications officer at Bayer and Nortel and now affiliated with the business school at Villanova University and the communication school at Penn state; Ray Kotcher, CEO of Ketchum, and Tom Tee, CEO of Arceil Leadership Ltd.

Corporate Execs Attend

Corporate registrations in the Leadership Forum class included Sage Rhodes, AT&T; Paul Hollie, Safeco Insurance; Britton Josey, Deloitte & Touche; Xochitl Yanez, State Farm; Tonya Polydoroff, Michelin; Jason Cuevas, Southern Company; Rhonda Crawford, USAA; Patricia Geno and Chanel Lagarde, Entergy; Regina DeLunca-Imral, Edward Jones; Wendy Parks, Atrium Medical Center; plus Kathryn Johnston, Cynthea Reeder and Holly Humphrey of Ernst & Young.

PR firm executives attending included Thomas Dowling, Burson-Marsteller; Alison McMillon, Weber Shandwick; James Campbell and Mary Gallagher, Fleishman-Hillard; Tregwyn Collins, John Schachter, Jonathan Tsucalas and Karen Oliver, Porter Novelli; Jenny Braga, Jocelyn Jara, Diane Storey and Tara Hanney, GolinHarris; Samantha Cranko, Donna Fleishman and Diane Silver, GCI Group; Bill Billingsley, Horn Group; Jennifer Birks, Linhard PR; Danielle Dunne; Chandler Chico; Hala Mirza, Weisscomm Partners; Amanda Sellers, Spectrum Science Communications; Michael Waldron, FD Dittus Communications and Bill Richmond, Behan Communications.

The next Leadership Forum will be Sept. 3-5 in San Francisco. The Institute and Page Society also produce the annual PR Forum which will be May 6-8 at the Chicago Club. Details available at

Vocus posted 2007 revenues of $58M, a 44 percent increase over the previous year as the company signed up 700 new subscribers for its PR management software. The Lanham, Md.-based company reported fourth quarter ’07 revenues rose 35 percent over Q4 of ’06 to $16.3M. It added 213 net new subscribers during the quarter. Loss from operations narrowed to 821K for the year, compared to $1.1M for the previous period.

Internet Edition, February 13, 2008, Page 8




Policies of two of PR’s trade groups are in violation of the tax code as we read it.

The groups retain large amounts of interest-earning money instead of paying rightful taxes.

The trade group based on Maiden Lane (we no longer use the word “public” with this group because it has turned its back on the public, press and even members too many times) has $4.88 million in cash and savings that it is not paying taxes on.

Perhaps the taxes should be $1M or more. This money belongs to you, me and all taxpayers.

In the same boat is the Council of PR Firms. It has revenues and costs of about $1M and keeps $600K+ on hand. It, too, should be paying taxes on this.

The Maiden Lane Group (MLG) is a “business league” under the tax code and is supposed to act like a “chamber of commerce.” Its principal activity is supposed to be promoting an “entire” line of business rather than providing “particular services” to members.

Its services are supposed to be as open to non-members as members and it should charge both about the same for such services.

The $300 extra (+28%) that the group charges non-members for its annual conference ($1,375 vs. $1,075 for members) violates that principle.

The nearly 30 MLG workshops yearly that cost members $150 but are $250 (+66%) for non-members are also a violation. Ann Wylie’s “Communication Tool Kits” are $297 to members but $397 to non-members (+33%)—another violation.

Charging non-members significantly more can cause loss of the tax exemption, says page 373 of “Tax-Exempt Status for Assns.” of the American Society of Assn. Executives.

In one case, a research group lost exempt status because it only let members see its research. In this vein, MLG won’t allow non-member access to its online directory of members. Research is denied to non-members. A CofC must not conduct a business “of a kind ordinarily carried on for a profit even though the business is conducted on a cooperative basis or produces only sufficient income to be self-sustaining,” says the code.

We believe this section prohibits the CPRF from starting an e-mail service that will provide “thought leadership pieces” and “timely industry data” that “most practitioners, at PR firms, corporations and not-for-profit organizations” will get “value” from. This service involves a PR trade publisher and advertising will be solicited. It’s obviously in competition with the legit PR press. Tactics online of MLG is also covering news and selling ads, another violation. Groups are not supposed to run all sorts of businesses on the side. Ad sales in a periodical (and by inference, websites and e-mails) is an “unrelated business that exploits an exempt activity, the circulation and readership of the periodical,” says Publication 598 of the IRS.

Any payment of “cash” to members of a group is a giant red flag. Says the code: “In the case of cash payments, even an incidental amount of inurement to members may be enough to defeat tax exemption when it is applied for or challenged by the IRS.”

How about the $400K in cash that MLG has given to presidents-elect of the 110 chapters for the “Leadership Rallies” that were started in 2000?

The chapter officers each got $500 in cash to help defray expenses of a weekend in New York in June and many, if not all, also got reimbursed by their chapters. MLG has said the total cost of such weekends runs between $80K and $120K.

Another seeming violation is the lifetime free dues of the 20+ living ex-presidents of MLG (worth $225 yearly) and their yearly free passes to the conference (normally $1,025 each). “Elimination of dues of members” is specifically mentioned as a red flag by the ASAE (page 371). The $2.9M subsidy to APRs from 1982 to 2002 (expenses over APR income) seems to qualify as favoritism to certain members rather than boosting the entire industry. An interesting poll would be whether a cross-section of PR pros considers MLG’s overall effect on the industry to be positive or negative. Can a group retain a tax exemption if its effect on the industry is negative?

The CPRF has only 100 members (out of 10,000+ PR firms) after ten years. Groups are not supposed to be organized for an ostensible purpose while providing some other purpose. One group lost its exemption because its activities were primarily social rather than promoting a line of business.

Some members of the CPRF tell us what they are mainly looking for is new business leads.

CPRF is supposed to promote the “entire” counseling industry but its “Find-A-Firm” service only lists its 102 members, a violation of this principle. CPRF can list its members but it should also direct visitors to the several other listings of PR firms including the O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Firms that lists more than 2,000 firms.

CPRF gets more than half of its dues from conglomerate PR firms and its ad-buying policies match those of the conglomerate PR firms rather than those of its independent members.

Porter Novelli’s move to 75 Varick st. (page seven) adds at least an hour’s commuting time to many of the 220 or so employees there. Those who live in New Jersey or Brooklyn may have shorter trips. Also inconvenienced are clients. Instead of a short walk from Grand Central Station, they face the prospect of finding a cab, a difficult feat anytime near rush hours. Blue chip clients will probably be met by limousines. GCT for decades was the prime location for PR. Hill & Knowlton, when it was the crown jewel of the industry, had offices at 150 E. 42nd st., 633 Third ave. (41st st.) and 466 Lexington (by GCT). It is now at 909 Third (54th st.). We wonder what Omnicom ad agency got PN’s space at 450 Lex?

--Jack O'Dwyer


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