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Internet Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 1


The Government of Colombia has terminated its $300K a-year contract with Burson-Marsteller because it is angry with B-M CEO Mark Penn’s statement that said it was wrong to meet his client’s Ambassador.

B-M had been working for approval of a Free Trade Agreement and continuation of the Plan Colombia effort to eradicate narcotics. It provided PR and communications consulting services.

Labor leaders, ardent foes on new FTAs, expressed outrage that Hillary Clinton’s then-chief strategist would meet the Colombians. Clinton won the Ohio primary based on opposition to new FTAs. She is pressing that case in the battlefield state of Pennsylvania.

Penn, in response to union protests, issued a statement to say that it was an “error in judgment” to meet with Colombia’s top official in the U.S.

Colombia took umbrage, calling Penn’s statement a “lack of respect to Colombians” and “unacceptable.”

The South American country hired B-M in March, `07 based on its “track record in the field of public relations.” Colombia remains committed to highlighting its “dramatic improvements” in its “economy, social and security indicators” and will continue to press for a FTA.

Penn resigned as Hillary Clinton's chief strategist on April 6. "After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the Clinton campaign," said Clinton's campaign manager Maggie Williams.


The Glover Park Group is providing PR support to the Alliance for Climate Protection, the Al Gore-backed group which is breaking a $300M marketing campaign this week.

Interpublic’s Martin Agency has developed ads for the campaign with the Alliance featuring unlikely political pairings like Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich, and Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton.

Gore is funneling profits from his hit climate change documentary, his $750K cash award for the Nobel Peace Prize, and additional personal funds into the campaign.

Brian Hardwick, director of comms. for the Alliance, said that Glover Park’s Washington, D.C., office is working with the group. Jason Miner, VP at Glover Park, heads the account. He is a former research director for the Democratic National Committee and was a senior member of the Kerry/Edwards rapid response team in 2004. The campaign is budgeted at $100M a year for three years.


The Defense Department has brought in Robert Hastings, VP of corporate communications for defense contractor BAE Systems, to take on a senior public affairs role.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs post, the top PA position at the Pentagon, has been unfilled since last fall.

Hastings, who put in 20 years with the Army as a PAO and aviator, headed communications for the U.S. operations of BAE, which is based in the U.K. and posts annual sales of more than $14 billion. He previously directed communications for Marconi North America before Marconi Electronic Systems’ merger with British Aerospace to form BAE.

Hastings joined the Defense Dept. on March 10. His job title is principle deputy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. Neither his hiring nor Smith’s departure were announced.

‘America Supports You’ Pitches Sought

Meanwhile, the Defense Dept. has issued an RFP to review its six-figure “America Supports You” PR account. Washington, D.C.-based Susan Davis International is the incumbent firm. Its latest pact was worth $499K.

The ASY program is the subject of a Pentagon investigation over its use of funds and its PR ties to the independent military-run newspaper Stars and Stripes. The account was not triggered by that probe however, as SDI’s contract has come up for renewal.

To judge interested firms, the RFP calls for the development of a mock internal communications plan on a $300K budget to convey the American public’s support of the U.S. military and military families to members of the armed forces. A link to the RFP (deadline: April 17) is at


“PR Newswire delivered another excellent performance, generating profits of close to $100M,” it was announced by U.K.-based parent UBM.

Underlying revenue rose 6.9% to 141M pounds while adjusted operating profit rose 15.4% to 49.1M pounds. The pound’s value is calculated at about $2.

Overall operating margin continued to improve, rising from 32.3% to 34.8%.

PRN contributed almost one-third of UBM’s profits of 168.6M pounds, it was noted.

In second place was CMP Information with adjusted operating profit of 47.6M pounds on revenues of 192.2M pounds.

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 2


Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. has given a $15K a-month contract to Rosemont Assocs., which is the firm of former New Jersey Senator Bob Torricelli.

Rosemont is to “maintain and establish” contact with Congressmen and staffs, encourage favorable legislation to Taiwan and invite Members to visit the island.

The contract runs through the end of the year. Rosemont, according to the agreement, must “promptly notify” TECRO in the event it decides to work for any entity of the People’s Republic of China.

Taiwan held an election earlier this month, a tally that elected a president who has pledged to improve ties with the Mainland.

President Ma Ying-jeou takes office May 20, ending eight years of rule by a pro-independence group.


British Airways has handed PR duties for its OpenSkies premium transatlantic airline to New York-based Sloane & Co.

The venture was made possible March 31 as the Open Skies Treaty between the U.S. and Europe went into effect. That agreement allows European carriers to fly to the U.S. from any city on the Continent. They had been restricted to providing service from their home country.

BA will use Sloane to kick off service from Paris to New York this summer. Other European flights will follow. Sloane, John Hartz, senior VP, and Tracey Sawicki, VP, handle the OpenSkies account.


Makovsky & Co., New York’s 12th biggest independent PR firm, is moving to 16 E. 34th St. in July.

The 83-year-old building is between Fifth and Madison Avenues, a short stroll to the Empire State Building.

Ken Makovsky will pay $47 per sq. ft. for 18,500 office sq. ft., which is the entire 15th floor of the building. That rent is a savings from the $75/sq. ft charge it would have cost M&C to renew its current lease at 575 Lexington (51 St.), according to Crain’s New York Business.

M&C posted a robust 32 percent growth in `07 net fees to $9.2M, according to the O’Dwyer rankings of independent PR firms.


Kimberley Goode has shifted to Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance as VP-communications.

She had been handling external/internal communications at $10B automotive parts supplier Visteon Corp. Goode will relocate from Ann Arbor to Milwaukee for the new post.

In her more than 20 years of corporate PR experience, Goode has held key posts at Kellogg Co. (VP-worldwide communications), Prudential Financial (VP-global communications) and American Express (director-communications).

Northwestern has been in business for more than 150 years. It has $1T of life insurance in force.


More than 70 percent of merger & acquisition advisers would be “more reluctant’ to advise a company to sell to a private equity firm, according to a survey conducted by Brunswick Group.

The financial PR firm believes the credit squeeze and termination of high-profile deals like Clear Channel Communications have hurt the reputation of PE firms.

Those surveyed expect corporate buyers to fill the void left by PE firms, and hold Microsoft’s hostile bid for Yahoo as an example.

PE firms, according to Steve Lipin, senior partner at Brunswick, “have some work to do both inside the board room and with banking and legal advisers when attempting to convince public companies to sell.”

More than half (52 percent) of the 30 M&A advisers polled by Brunswick believe the takeover market will rebound by mid-year.

On the downside, 41 percent believe the country is moving into a recession, and say it will take five years before the level of M&A activity to hit the level that it reached in `07.


Alan Marks, director of global media relations for Nike, is slated to take the senior VP of corporate communications slot at eBay on April 28.

Marks joined Nike in 2005 after seven years in corporate communications at Gap Inc. He started out in PR with 12 years at Avon after working in journalism.

At San Jose, Calif.-based eBay, he heads business and consumer media relations, employee communications and executive positioning, among other tasks, as a member of the company’s executive staff.

JACKED LOOKS FOR PR FIRM, which says it has developed the first “webtop” for broadcast media, is circulating an RFP for PR work.

Its “SportsTop” browser-based virtual desktop allows sports fans to customize data through a dashboard of dynamic content widgets, according to the RFP.

The Santa Monica-based company is looking for a firm versed in online media, sports marketing, technology and advertising.

PR will be aimed at business-to-business and consumer media. Budget is $10K a-month. The PR firm is to be selected by May 1.

Nicole Heyl, director of marketing, is handling the search. She is at 323/302-4460.


Steve Hawkins, managing director and senior VP for Burson-Marsteller in Los Angeles, has left for a managing partner role at PainePR.

Hawkins heads Paine’s national corporate communications practice, handling clients like Procter & Gamble, Sony and American Suzuki.

Prior to B-M, he was a SVP at Hill & Knowlton, PR director for Amgen and started his career as a journalist at U.S. News and World Report and BusinessWeek.

Irvine, Calif.-based PainePR is owned by Canada-based Cossette Communication Group.

Internet Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 3


Newsweek, which is owned by Washington Post Co., has accepted the buyout offers of 111 reporters and business execs.

Key staffers such as David Gates, David Ansen and Cathleen McGuigan are among those who will be exited, according to radaronline, which broke the story.

Nearly 150 people were offered the severance package that offered two years of current pay as a departing bonus plus healthcare coverage until the age of 65.

There is concern that much of the magazine’s “institutional memory” will be lost in the mass exodus.

Political writers Jonathan Alter and Howard Fineman were among those offered the package, but they refused to take it.

The Washington Post also has had cutbacks. Don Graham, CEO of WashPost Co., tells investors that the company wants to be known more as an educational vs. media combine. The company owns Kaplan, the test-giving and training operation.


The Fox News Channel, which became the “cultural artifact of the Bush era,” will need to remodel itself when the new president takes office, according to Time.

CNN beat Fox in the prime time ratings race for viewers from 24 to 54 during the first-quarter of `08. That was the first time CNN topped Fox since `01.

Fox, according to James Poniewozik, rose with Bush. It was played in the White House and “reflected the same surety and flag-label-pin confidence in its tone and star-spangled look. It was not just a hit; it was the network of the moment.”

Poniewozik believes a McCain presidency would be the trickiest for Fox. McCain criticized former Defense Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and is the GOP “darling” of the liberal media.

Fox hasn’t yet figured out how to handle Obama, but a Clinton “restoration” would be welcomed with open arms by Rupert Murdoch’s network.


Entertainment and pop culture site has teamed with Tribune Media Services to distribute a magazine on Amazon’s Kindle digital reading device.

The Kindle edition of the publication includes features, columns, reviews, interviews, and blog content and is available for $1.49/month. A two-week trial is currently being offered.

Tribune’s TMS unit distributes the magazine, but Tribune has no editorial role in the venture.


The U.S. edition of the Wall Street Journal will go on sale in London on April 16, which means the print edition will be on newsstands there five hours before it hits New York newsstands.

The paper will sell for about $5 a copy and compete with Pearson’s Financial Times and the regional edition of Wall Street Journal Europe.

WSJE is celebrating its 25th year and has a circulation of 220K. News Corp. bought the Journal in December.


New York Observer owner Jared Kushner may enter the Newsday auction conducted by Sam Zell’s Tribune Company.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Mort Zuckerman’s New York Daily News and Long Island cable operator Cablevision Systems are in the hunt for the suburban New York daily.

Kushner is principal in Kushner Cos., a real estate operation founded by his father, Charles. Newsday is expected to fetch at least $400M. That price will determine whether Tribune will be forced to sell other properties, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Tribune Co. has reported “accelerating declines” in newspaper revenues this year, and plans “dispositions of certain assets or businesses” to keep ahead of debt obligations.


CBS News is cutting about one percent of its 1,200-member work force to deal with a tough advertising environment and an inability to attract younger viewers who are bombarded with news on the Internet. The cuts are made at mostly at the network’s 29 local news operations, and were not mandated by headquarters.

WBZ (Boston) took the biggest hit as 20 people were cut. WBBM (Chicago) let 17 go, while KPIX (San Francisco) pared 14.

High profile on-air staffers in New York (WCBS) Andrew Kirtzman and Scott Weinberger were dropped by that flagship station.


Barry Bearak, the New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winner, who was jailed April 3 in Zimbabwe for violating its draconian journalism laws was released on bail April 7. Johannesburg-based Bearak was covering the hotly contested election that apparently was won by opponents of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.

Police arrested Bearak and a British journalist in a sweep of political opponents to Mugabe. NYT executive editor Bill Keller said the paper would do everything it could to get Bearak out of jail.

Bearak, who suffered injuries from a fall in his concrete cell, was released on bail to a medical clinic.

Three judges have turned down requests to hear Bearak's case, but another court date is set for April 9.

Zimbabwe requires foreign journalists to get a license. It grants only a handful of foreigner requests for licenses. Few were okayed to cover the election.

Bearak had initially requested that the NYT withhold his byline as a security precaution. He then changed his mind as other western reporters had bylines published. The Committee to Protect Journalists had called for the immediate release of Bearak. CPJ executive director Joel Simon said it is "imperative that all journalists, foreign and domestic, be allowed to freely cover the important political situation unfolding in Zimbabwe."

Simon called Zimbabwe practice of turning down the vast majority of journalism license requests a "backdoor form of censorship."

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 4


Tom Furlong, former deputy national editor of the Los Angeles Times, has joined crisis shop Sitrick & Co.

After more than 30 years of reporting/editing, Furlong retired from LAT last month. He covered the banking, real estate, gambling and white collar crime beats. Furlong served as deputy national editor for a decade and spent the last two years supervising national political coverage.

Furlong is the third LAT journalist to join Mike Sitrick’s firm during the past year. The others are Glenn Bunting, former senior deputy business editor, and James Bates, ex-deputy business editor for entertainment.

Furlong also worked as a crime reporter for City News Bureau, sports reporter for Evanston Review and business writer for Chicago Daily News and Sun-Times.


Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has acquired chef Emeril Lagasse’s media and merchandising in a deal pegged at $50M, but could reach $70M if performance benchmarks are met by `12.

The deal includes Lagasse’s TV shows, website and licensed food and kitchen products. Lagasse retains his restaurant business, which includes 11 units in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando, Atlanta, Miami and Gulfport (Miss.).

Susan Lyne, CEO of MSLO, says the company looks forward to applying its expertise in “managing multiplatform lifestyle brands to further build and develop the high-quality Emeril franchise.”

Lagasse has hosted more than 150 TV shows on the Food Network and is food correspondent for ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

He will host “Emeril Green” set to debut this summer on Discovery Communications’ “Planet Green” eco-lifestyle network.

PEOPLE & BRIEFS _____________________________

Michelle Preli, VP of editorial programming at NBC’s, has been named editor-in-chief of Conde Nast’s

She was previously general manager of and earlier spent 10 years at, where she was part of the launch team and oversaw the websites of the “Today” show, “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Dateline NBC,” and “Meet the Press.”

Jennifer Carroll was promoted to vice president of digital content for Gannett Digital.

She helps design products that “take advantage of the value of Gannett’s vast content,” according to the company. Kate Marymont replaces Carroll with the new title of VP/information center content in Gannett’s U.S. community publishing division.

Marymont was executive editor and vice president/information center at the News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla.

Jennifer Cisney, a 10-year veteran of Kodak and writer for the company’s two blogs, has been named Kodak’s first “chief blogger.” She is charged with boosting the company’s social media presence and serves as the company’s “eyes and ears online, listening to customer feedback and sharing ideas and tips related to Kodak’s products and services.”

Jeffrey Hayzlett, VP/chief business development officer for Kodak, said just over ten percent of Fortune 500 companies have public blogs, and noted Kodak is among the first to name a female chief blogger. The company sponsors “A Thousand Words,” a blog of employees’ personal stories, and “A Thousand Nerds,” about Kodak technology.

Cisney also blogs for the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle’s Insider.

Lisa Delaney, former executive editor of Health and senior editor of Cooking Light and Prevention, has been named editor-in-chief of Spry, a health magazine slated to launch in September.

Franklin, Tenn.-based Publishing Group of America, owned by Bain Capital Partners and Shamrock Partners, is billing the Spry launch as the “largest health magazine launch in history.” It will be distributed through newspapers PGA says the title will focus on Baby Boomers living active lives who also consider the health of their parents and children.

PGA publishes the newspaper supplements Relish and Texas Profile.

David Kaplan, former chief investigative correspondent at U.S. News & World Report, has been named director of the Center for Public Integrity’s International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Kaplan, who stepped down from USN&WR last June and penned its “Bad Guys” blog, has been an ICIJ member for more than eight years.

XM Satellite Radio plans wall-to-wall coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to the U.S., which is slated for April 15-20. The “Papal U.S. Visit `08” channel will air in a partnership with EWTN Global Catholic Network and provide news and commentary as the Pontiff says masses at Nationals Park (D.C.), Yankee Stadium and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Eternal World Television Network reaches 140M TV households in 27 countries. XM has nine million subscribers.


Yahoo! Shine has been launched to provide women all the news that is relevant to their daily lives.

YS will focus on the nine categories of fashion & beauty, food, healthy living, work and money, love and relationships, parenting, at home, entertainment & culture and astrology.

Yahoo has developed relationships with Conde Nast, Time Inc., Rodale and Hearst to provide content from their magazines such as Glamour, Self and Good Housekeeping. Brandon Holley, editor-in-chief of YS, also promises to create original content for the site.

Internet Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 5

O'Dwyer's Ranking of New York PR Firms

Click here for rankings


New York Area

Abelson Group, New York/Dynamax Technologies, digital signage software, as global AOR for PR for the U.K.-based company.

Cece Feinberg PR, New York/Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier, for PR support of a new fragrance collection.

MyPRGenie, New York/Melvin Van Peebles, filmmaker as AOR for PR. His latest project, “ConfessionsofaEx-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha,” debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month.

Ogilvy PR Worldwide, New York/TJX Companies, as AOR for PR and experiential and consumer promotions, following a review, for its T.J. Maxx and Marshalls retail units. OgilvyAction handles promotions.

Peppercom, New York/InfoSpace, web search products, for a consumer and corporate campaign highlighting its search engine properties.

Sharp Communications, New York/Centris, market research, for corporate comms. and media outreach to announce findings on the transition to digital TV; Sportime, tennis/fitness facilities, for media relations and publicity for opening of a Randall’s Island location; North Shore Golf Group, for PR for the renovation and operation of Randall’s Island Golf Center, and Minted, for launch of online stationary store The firm also picked up non-profits Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Ghetto Film School, and Academics in Motion.


Jack Horner Communications, Philadelphia/Parata Systems, automation technologies for pharmacies, as AOR for national PR.

Fleishman-Hillard, Raleigh, N.C./Thomasville Furniture, for launch of a new designer collection. The firm held a preview event in New York last month.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/LAI Engineering, consulting engineering firm, as AOR for corporate identity and sales support material development.

Hope-Beckham, Atlanta/Entaire Global;, sports agent Manny Arora; Stateside Capital; Dunwoody Self-Storage, and The Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola, for PR and experiential marketing.


Nicholson Kovac, Bloomington, Minn./The Toro Company, as AOR for research, planning, creative and PR support for its U.S. golf course management, sports field and grounds, and professional irrigation markets.


Burditch Marketing Communications, Los Angeles/
Val Harding, as AOR for U.S. PR including the launch of a bath amenities line, Halcyon Blue.


GolinHarris, Beijing/Legation Quarter, lifestyle development in Beijing, for “brand building” ahead of its pre-Olympic opening in Q2. LQ is a luxury dining, arts and entertainment upgrade of a century-old compound immediately east of Tiananmen Square.

Internet Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 6


Medialink reported that its '07 net loss grew to $4.6M from $946K for the year earlier period. Revenues increased 5.3 percent to $33.4M.

The company’s stock dropped nearly 20 percent to $1.26 on the news.

CEO Larry Moskowitz announced that the board has approved a plan to purchase up to 150K of his company’s common shares.

Moskowitz also has put Teletrax, the 76 percent-owned global TV tracking and media asset management service, under a microscope.

Medialink suffered a $1.1M operating loss on $1.1M Teletrax revenues during the fourth-quarter of `07. It lost $823K on $879K revenues during the comparable `06 period.

Moskowitz said Medialink is “pursuing all avenues to realize the value we believe this business warrants, and have undertaken a re-evaluation of the overall business plan for Teletrax, including continuing to explore tracking of video on the Internet.” He said Teletrax revenues “remain below our internal projections.”

Medialink owns Teletrax with Royal Philips Electronics.

Medialink announced three new direct response advertising agencies as Teletrax clients in late March.

G2 Direct & Digital (formerly Grey Direct), Kent Creative Group and Gold Mountain Media all inked deals to use the service.

G2 said it is using Teletrax to expedite the reporting process and increase accuracy. Kent said it is monitoring ad copy changes and media clearances to report expenditures, while Gold Mountain is verifying TV airings of client commercials.


Mariott International CEO Bill Marriott will receive the 2008 Excel Award from the International Association of Business Communicators in June at the group’s annual conference in New York.

Excel is an acronym for excellence in communication leadership. IABC said Marriott’s commitment to employee engagement while inspecting 250 properties each year through adopting new tools like blogging merits the honor.

Past honorees included Stu Reed, EVP of Motorola; Rajesh Subramaniam of FedEx Canada, and Mark Hurd of Hewlett Packard.

Marriott will address the June 23 confab.

BRIEFS: Spongecell, San Francisco, is offering a free online marketing and calendar software program that can be integrated into websites or blogs to tout products and events. Info: ...D S Simon Productions, New York, picked up two Mercury Awards in March. Simon won a silver and a bronze award for VNRs produced for the American College of Physicians.

Correction: The email contact for info on D S Simon Productions’ satellite media and ground tours with home improvement guru Gary Dymski is [email protected].



David Chamberlin, former GM of Edelman’s Shanghai office, to Manning Selvage & Lee, Dallas, as a senior VP in its corporate practice. He handles Huawei, Chase Paymentech and Entrust. Chamberlin was previously VP of external afairs at JPMorgan Chase and director of global comms. for Nortel Networks.

Heather Ward, regional marketing manager, Commerce Bank, to Subaru of America, Cherry Hill, N.J., as manager of corporate comms. She was previously PR manager at Raymour & Flanigan Furniture.

Tessa Bajema, previously with Crosby/Wright in Scottsdale, Ariz., to French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C., as a senior A/E. Earlier, she was an editor and reporter for the East Mesa Independent Newspaper. Tess Tabor, senior publicist for Penguin Group, joins as an A/E.

Susan Ruland, VP of comms. for the International Dairy Foods Assn., and Greg McCarthy, director of comms. for law firm Latham & Watkins, to Powell Tate, Washington, D.C., as senior VPs. My Le Ducharme, program director for the Smithsonian Institution; MP Gay, formerly of TBA Events; Kristin Gossel, director of the Home Security Dept.’s “Ready” campaign, and Colin Moffett, of Mindshare Interactive Campaigns (now Virilion), all join as VPs.

Dan Barnhardt, previously with William Mills Agency, joins Winderkind PR, Atlanta, as a senior A/E. Kristin McAuley, formerly of The Haystack Group, joins as an A/E. Justin Siefert has been promoted to senior A/S.

Damon Sanchez, senior interactive director, Charleston | Orwig, to Bader Rutter, Brookfield, Wisc., as a senior interactive media specialist. Tara Hammond, formerly at TEKSystems, joins as a web programmer, analyst.

Flora Lels, senior marketing manager for Pipeline, to Arieff Communications, San Francisco, as marketing communications director. She was previously with Gap Inc. She handles consumer accounts at Arieff.


Kellie Specter to director of communications, Thirteen/WNET, New York. Specter handles media relations, institutional positioning, program publicity and editorial services for the public TV station and major producer for PBS. Rick Thompson was upped to director of promotion and advertising.

Timothy King to VP of corporate communications and IR, The E. W. Scripps Co., Cincinnati, as the company splits into two units. King succeeds Timothy Stautberg, who takes the title of CFO and senior VP. Mark Kroeger was named VP of corporate communications and IR for Scripps Networks Interactive, the lifestyle TV network operator which is set to separate from Scripps. King is 42 and had been directror of employee comms. since 2005. Kroeger, 55, was director of corporate comms. and IR since 2001. Scripps announced its split into two companies last October. It is expected to be completed by July 1.

Internet Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 7


Helping the gain in profits was the shift of editorial staffers from 11 offices to facilities in Cleveland, Albuquerque and Washington, D.C.

The Albuquerque facility was to be completed by the end of March.

PRN had 730 employees in the U.S. at the end of 2007. It has yet to announce how many employees are in Albuquerque or what percentage of the transferred workers made the switch.

The office consolidation “successfully reduced overall costs, and, in time, will enable PRN to improve both its service levels and its ability to win business,” said UBM.

It noted that there were some “service lapses” because of the moves and the “demands of training new staff.”

There was continued growth of the use of US1, the company’s national newswire, which costs $680 for the first 400 words. Photos are $1,325 extra.

Helping growth were contributions from non-regulatory, non-wire services such as MultiVu, MEDIAtlas and ProfNet and expanding business in Europe, China and Latin America, UBM said.

PRN Makes Three Acquisitions

PRN made three acquisitions in 2007 costing 33.7M pounds including estimated earnouts.

These were Vintage Filings, serving EDGAR filings; Notilog, media monitoring service in Mexico, Argentinia and Brazil, and Hispanic PR Wire.

Chinese revenues doubled and new offices were opened in Dubai and Sweden in 2007 and Mumbai in February 2008. An office in Norway will open later this year.

PRN charges users a $195 annual “membership” fee while three competitors (Business Wire, Market Wire and PrimeNewswire) do not.

The national wires of BW, MW and PN cost $650, $460 and $435, respectively. MW charges $50 extra for images that accompany a story.

A prime source of business for PRN is the PR units of ad agency conglomerates WPP and Omnicom, according to a 2007 UBM pitch to analysts.

Under the headline, “Driving Growth in the PR Sector” is shown the logos of Porter Novelli, Ketchum, Fleishman-Hillard, Ogilvy Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller.

Revenues from them (and others said a UBM spokesman) were up 18.9% in the first half of 2007 to $23.1M, said the slide.

Another slide said: “PR becomes marketing.”


Two attempts to reduce the potential influence of 2007 PRS CEO Rhoda Weiss on 2008 nominations failed at the board meeting Jan. 25.

Christopher Veronda of Kodak and Prof. Dennis Gaschen of California State (Fullerton) motioned that not only could the immediate past chair (Weiss) take part in nomcom discussions, but so could all 17 directors.

A 2004 reform had blocked directors, except for the immediate past chair, from participating in nomcom.

After this motion failed, Tom Eppes of Eric Mower and Assocs. and Dave Imre of Imre Communications motioned to block the past chair from “actively campaigning for or against any candidate and may not participate in the deliberations for any candidate.” This also failed.

Power of Attorney Given to O’Dwyer

Details of the Jan. 25 meeting came out after more than a month of efforts by a group of members to obtain minutes of the Jan. 25 board and executive committee meetings.

Citing New York State law for non-profits, the group had given Jack O’Dwyer of this NL power of attorney to view the minutes of the board and EC for 2008 and 2007.

COO Bill Murray cited a section of the law that said board and EC minutes could only be viewed as part of a lawsuit.

However, he sent the group the minutes of the Jan. 25 meeting by e-mail and posted them in the members’ area of the PRS website.

Directors Muzzled

The minutes show that CEO Jeff Julin, under the heading, “Documents Requiring Board Signature,” passed out to directors “disclosure, confidentiality and conflict of interest statements.”

Past directors have said they had to sign promises that they would not speak in behalf of the Society with the press or other audiences, leaving such activity to the CEO and designated PRS staff.

The EC met by itself the morning of Jan. 25 and this was followed by a meeting of the entire board and ten staffers that started at 1 p.m. that day.

On the next day, a Saturday, the board spent the entire day listening to instructions from a boardroom “expert” on how to behave as a directors.

PRS Tightens Online Access

Concerned that too many members are allowing non-members to use their online access codes, PRS is eliminating the practice by blocking access to anyone but the members themselves.

PR people who joined in the past two years did not get the usual 1,000-page directory listing members and other information since publication was suspended as of 2006.

At least 5,000 of the 22,000 members don’t renew each year and now find they no longer have access to membership records.


Joe Paluska, who headed Hill & Knowlton’s high-tech practice, has moved to Project Better Place, the Silicon Valley-based company that plans to build a grid in Israel and Denmark to power a fleet of electric cars.

He assumes the chief marketing officer post, responsible for brand, communications and strategic planning.

Paluska, who headed the PBP account at H&K, reports to CEO Shai Agassi.

Maureen Davenport assumes Paluska’s role at H&K.

She has worked on key tech clients like Hewlett-Packard, BEA, VeriSign, Qualcomm, EADS and PBP.

Internet Edition, April 9, 2008, Page 8




The record $98M profits of PR Newswire (page one) coupled with the $400M+ that Business Wire's Lorry Lokey has been able to give to charities are signs of PR's mechanization and automation - both bad trends.

PRN and Lokey ("what I earn is far out of proportion to what I'm worth") were lucky to be there at a time when the financiers who took over a large part of the PR business automated it to the best of their ability in order to maximize profits. They had done this to the ad business with great success, creating gargantuan media buying units that could drive down media prices.

PR profits could be greatly increased, they reasoned, if the human part of PR could be slashed.

Clients had to be convinced that the best and cheapest route to disclosure was PRN and BW, (which cost a measly $680 and $650) rather than building relationships with individual reporters and/or answering their questions. (The Lokey quote above came from the Feb. 22, 2007 Chronicle of Philanthropy).

The great bulk of releases sent out over these wires tell one side of a story and need questions answered if they are to pass the test of journalism.

Our experience in getting questions answered from companies using the wires and the wire services themselves is bad. We refer to Omnicom, WPP, Interpublic, Publicis and Havas, publicly-held companies that own at least 25 large PR firms and hundreds of others.

Their electronic PR releases are an impenetrable electronic fence. Our first financial questions to OMC about ten years ago were met with contempt and ridicule: "You're going to cover're going to take us on!?" said its CFO. In other words, we were a mere grease spot to the giant conglomerate and writing about it would be doing battle with it.

The over-reliance on these wires has had a negative effect on journalism, cutting down on human interaction.

Many firms using them just want to avoid any complaints from the SEC or stockholders and are not interested in being grilled by the press.

But a new day is dawning in electronic press release distribution. PRN and BW are being left "in the dust" by new services such as Vocus, our readers tell us. The PR Web unit of Vocus goes to tens of thousands of media including blogs and disclosure media (the AP) and can be customized to go to more disclosure media and financial outlets. Instead of $680 or $650 a release, Vocus only charges $80. The new Vocus "Small Business Edition" costs around $3,000 annually (vs. $5,000 and up for its more extensive "Enterprise" and "Professional Editions") and includes 12 releases at no extra cost. Vocus went public in 2005 and had 2007 sales of $58 million.

As if to illustrate our point, both BW and PRN refuse to answer our questions although both are parts of public companies. We called Lokey months ago about his gift-giving but he didn't return the call. Oddly, he told the University of Oregon Quarterly that he "loves journalism." It's no wonder he doesn't call us back. He doesn't want to explain how he left his wife, Eva, out of the story of BW. She co-founded the company in 1961 with him and worked for it 29 years. She was chair of the board when they were divorced in 1990 and continued to own 50% of the company. We would like to know if she is alive or not and whether she continued to own 50% of BW. We would like to ask PRN how many employees lost their PRN jobs by deciding not to move to Albuquerque. PRN employs more than 700 in the U.S. and we wonder if the total was 100+. Editorial staffers in 11 offices were shifted to that city, Cleveland and Washington, D.C.

OMC CEO John Wren does not want to discuss why OMC stock is only $45 currently when it was $53.50 in 1999 and he has taken at least $50M in pay from the company since then. Also, if OMC is such a great stock, why did he sell $16M of it in February. Companies such as PRN and BW do things that might embarrass them or which they don't want to discuss and when reporters raise such issues, they are condemned and shunned on charges of being "too negative."

The Lokey profile had some revealing quotes about the way business works and we hope both PR profs and students will take note of them.

According to Lokey, PRN "brass" told him in 1986 either to sell out to PRN or "you will be run over." Said Lokey: "They were really trying to kill us."

PRN (and BW) had bought out numerous local wires over the years and we'd guess PRN said the same thing to such companies. These threats capture the ferocious nature of business competition that PR students should know about. Mostly students are taught that PR people are like "social workers" and arbitrators of community disputes. More likely they will be thrown into fierce competitive battles.

The pathetic nature of the 2008 board of PR Society (page 7) was shown when it allowed the five-member executive committee to meet by itself all morning on Jan. 25 while the other 12 directors sat on their hands. The board then allowed ten PRS staffers to sit in on the afternoon board meeting (no doubt to keep directors in line and/or distract them with numerous inconsequential reports). The directors were "required" to sign documents of silence about PRS matters (even to their own district members). They then spent all day Jan. 26 being lectured to by an "expert" in board behavior instead of, for instance, creating a "PR for PR" program or planning 60th anniversary celebration events... ambiguous Section 621 of New York law shows why PRS must shift its charter to Delaware.

The section says board and executive committee minutes must be kept at the h.q. of a group but members can only see them if they file a lawsuit.

NYS law, which is heavily in favor of boards rather than the members of groups, also blocks electronic meetings of members.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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