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Internet Edition, May 21, 2008, Page 1


Ketchum is handling the Federal Communications Commission’s national consumer outreach ahead of a mandatory transition to digital TV broadcasting by February 2009.

The Omnicom unit has a $1.5M pact to handle media relations, PSA development, website work and other outreach.

The FCC is responsible for promoting the transition as outlined under the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005.

Ketchum noted in a document outlining its campaign that the “sheer number of people who must be made aware of the DTV transition in a short amount of time poses a significant communications challenge.”


The Government of Colombia has awarded The Fratelli Group a $25K a-month contract to promote a free trade agreement with the U.S. The final contract has not yet been sealed, Eric Thomas, principal at TFG, told O’Dwyer’s. “It is still in Bogota.”

That business was at Burson-Marsteller until last month when CEO Mark Penn said he was wrong to meet Colombia’s Ambassador, while advising Clinton’s campaign, which opposes any more trade pacts.

Colombia, in dismissing B-M, said Penn showed a “lack of respect to Colombians” when he said he made an “error in judgment” in meeting with officials from the South American nation.

TFG has done int’l affairs/trade work for Japan, U.S.-South Africa Business Council, US-ASEAN Business Council, ans American Business Coalition for Doha. It was founded by Francis O’Brien, the former chief comms. strategist for USA*NAFTA.


Janet Troy, who joined PR Society as VP-PR in May 2004, has left PRS. The group on May 16 posted a job in on its Job Board for a VP-PR of the Society under the headline, “PR for PR!” (exclamation point by PRS).

PRS is seeking someone who is APR with 15 years of experience.

Troy was not a member of PRS when she joined the staff and told the Bergen Record that she was "flabbergasted" that PRS even existed. Joe DeRupo, hired last fall as No. 2 PR person at PRS, was also not a member of the Society. He was at the National Coffee Assn.

Troy’s 25-year PR background included VP, marketing and PR, N.Y. Board of Trade; VP, mktg./comms., Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange, and stints at Ruder Finn, Edelman and Rubenstein Assocs.


The Rogers Group will tout the “rights and responsibilities” of HMO consumers in California under a new $925K PR and marketing pact.

The Los Angeles-based firm has picked up an 18-month contract with the Office of the Patient Advocate, California’s independently run state agency for HMO information.

TRG, which beat eight firms in a RFP process this month, is charged with developing and running a campaign to highlight the Office of the Patient Advocate’s programs for HMO enrollees.

Other firms submitting proposals for the account included Ad Ease, Fraser Communications, GMMB, Hill and Knowlton, Lumetra, Perry Communications, Wide Angle Communications and Ogilvy PR Worldwide.

The contract runs from June 1 through the end of next year.


Joel Curran, who handled the PR unit of Cramer-Krasselt, is joining Manning Selvage & Lee in Chicago on May 27.

As managing director of the midwest region, Curran also is in charge of the Detroit office and the “influencer marketing” unit in Ann Arbor.

He assumes the duties of Nancy Brennan, who moves to the senior VP/director of operations post.

Curran, a 22-year communications veteran, spent a decade at Walt Disney Co. before joining CKPR. He worked to develop marketing synergies between Walt Disney TV and Walt Disney Sports, and served as brand manager for Walt Disney Studios.

Previously, he was with Fleishman-Hillard in Los Angeles, counseling HBO, McDonald’s, Briggs & Stratton and GlaxoSmithKline.


The Academic Freedom committee of the faculty of Hunter College has found numerous violations of academic freedom in a PR course featuring products of Coach, Inc., that was offered in the spring of 2007.

The company had donated $10,000 to the class for creation of a website and purchase of items such as T-shirts, key chains and food for a reception at which students were urged to avoid counterfeit articles.

Lew Frankfort, a Hunter alumnus and CEO of Coach, had also donated $1 million to the college.

He received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters last year.

(Continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, May 21, 2008, Page 2


Goldwyn International Strategies, which registered May 6 as lobbyist for the U.S.-Libya Business Assn, a non-profit organization that wants to bolster American commercial relations with Col. Qaddafi’s regime, terminated that tie six days later.

David Goldwyn, executive director of USLBA, told O’Dwyer’s via email that his firm runs the association and he registered “out of an abundance of caution.”

He noted that “lobbying work was less than 20 percent of our time for the USLBA.”

That lobbying was connected to “Section 1083,” which allows victims of terror to claim assets of foreign states.

Goldwyn says the association’s board “has agreed that they do not need my firm to do any substantial amount of lobbying going forward.”

He describes GIS as an “advisory firm, but not a lobbying firm or a PR firm.” The USLBA mostly does “policy conferences and education.” He continues as its executive director and is working on a trade mission.

Goldwyn says since he could not “take back” the registration, he formally filed a termination report.

He served as Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs and National Security Deputy to former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson. Goldwyn worked in the State Dept.’s political affairs unit under both Presidents Bush I and Clinton.

Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, Hess, ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil are founding members of the USLBA.


Qorvis Communications is working with Finmeccanica, the Italian aerospace giant, which announced May 12 a $5.2B bid for DRS Technologies, a leading Pentagon contractor, according to Michael Petruzzello, CEO of the Washington-based independent PR firm.

Associated Press says Finmeccanica’s offer for DRS, maker of sensors, flight recorders and thermal imaging systems for military helicopters and ships, is the “biggest bid yet for a slice of the growing U.S. market.”

Finmeccanica’s CEO Pier Francesco Guarguaglini says the DRS move supports his company’s “tradition of investing in the U.S. and supporting the American war-fighter with superior technology and value.”

Qorvis led by Don Goldberg, a former Special Assistant to President Clinton, is working federal regulatory issues for its Italian client.

Under the deal, DRS is to maintain current management under CEO Mark Newman and retain headquarters in Parsippany, N.J.

Finmeccanica will propose to the Defense Security Service that DRS operate under a Special Security Agreement with its own board of directors composed of mostly U.S. citizens holding security clearances and a government security committee.

DRS employs more than 10,000 workers and generates nearly $3B in annual revenues.

Finmeccanica has 2,100 people in North America and facilities in Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, California and the Carolinas.


Craig Shirley, a top conservative PR pro, has cut ties with the McCain campaign due to his role as consultant to “Stop Her Now,” an independent “527” group opposed to Democratic candidates. He had a role in McCain’s Virginia Leadership Team.

Shirley’s firm, Shirley & Bannister Assocs., received $22K from McCain’s campaign in February and March for outreach to conservative groups. SHN paid the firm more than $155K in `07 for PR work.

Shirley’s exit from the McCain camp follows an inquiry to it from about his dual role.

Brian Rogers, a McCain campaign staffer, told Politico that if a person is involved with a 527 he cannot have a “named role” on McCain’s team. A 527 group is not supposed to coordinate activities with presidential campaigns.

McCain has outlined that position in a new policy, saying “No person with a McCain Campaign title or position may participate in a 527 or other independent entity that makes public communications that support or oppose any Presidential candidate.”

Shirley calls SHR a “lighthearted effort. Its goal is to “rescue the world from the radical ideas of Hillary Clinton” via news, cartoons and jokes.


Burson-Marsteller’s BKSH & Assocs. is working to block construction of America’s first offshore wind energy project that would be located off the coast of Cape Cod on behalf of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a local citizens group.

The Alliance calls the project, which will feature 130 turbines taller than the Statue of Liberty in an area the size of Manhattan, an eyesore that will hurt property values, tourism and the fishing business. It wants permanent federally protected status of Nantucket Sound. Sen. Ted Kennedy has been a leading opponent to the Cape Wind Energy project. Its turbines would be visible from the six-acre Kennedy compound in Hyannis.

Cape Wind argues that the $1B project is a no-brainer as the cost of a barrel of oil shatters the $120 mark. The venture is pegged as clean-tech power that will reduce pollution by replacing the need to burn 113M barrels of oil. CW, if constructed, will supply up to 75 percent of the region’s energy needs.

BKSH has a five-member team working for the Alliance including CEO Scott Pastrick and chairman M.B. Oglesby.

The U.S. Interior Dept.’s Mineral Management Service is preparing an environmental impact statement on Cape Wind.


Hayley Soffer, who ran the health practice at Publicis Consultants, is now at HealthSTAR PR. She is executive VP.

Soffer has 14 years of experience including stints at Porter Novelli and Manning Selvage & Lee. Her career began at Makovsky & Co.

HealthSTAR counts Bayer Consumer Care, Solvay, Forest Laboratories, Sepracor and Lundbeck on its client list.

Internet Edition, May 21, 2008, Page 3


Cablevision has officially notched the acquisition of Newsday in a $650M deal worked out with Sam Zell’s Tribune Co.

Chuck Dolan, CEO of the Bethpage-based cable TV operator, says it is both an “honor and privilege to return Newsday back to Long Island-based ownership after 40 years.” He is a big fan of Newsday’s “strong editorial voice and reputation for quality.”

The acquisition also includes amNew York, the 335K-circulation free paper, Star Community Publishing group of weekly shoppers and Island Publications’ mix of lifestyle magazines.

Cablevision president Jim Dolan noted that both Newsday, which reaches 1.5M Long Islanders each week, and Cablevision are in the “content, customer relationship and advertising businesses.” He envisions offering Cablevision customers deals for Newsday subs, and marketing Cablevision’s live sports and entertainment programming via ads in amNew York.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch was thought to have a “handshake” deal with Zell, while Mort Zuckerman, owner of the New York Daily News, believed regulatory hurdles facing a Murdoch deal would give him an edge for the paper.

Wall Street has been scratching its head over Cablevision’s bid for Newsday.

Cablevision serves more than three million customers. The company also owns Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks, New York Rangers and operates Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre.

Tribune will retain a three percent stake in Newsday following completion of the transaction.


George de Lama, managing editor at the Chicago Tribune, is leaving the paper after a 30-year run.

Hanke Gratteau, deputy managing editor for news, will take over.

De Lama began at the Trib as a summer intern and served as metro reporter, foreign correspondent and several editor posts. He’ll step down on May 23.

Gratteau joined the paper from the Chicago Sun-Times with the late columnist Mike Royko in 1984. She has been a reporter, columnist and editor.


Tabloid editrix Bonnie Fuller has resigned her executive VP and chief editorial director posts at American Media, to become editor-at-large of AM’s Star magazine and a consultant to the publishing company.

She is working on an unspecified media-related venture, according to news reports. Her three-year-contract with AM was set to expire early next year.

“I am proud of the significant achievements of American Media's celebrity and fitness brands over the past five years, and I am now ready for a new adventure,” she said in a statement.

Before helming Star, she built Us Weekly for Wenner Media and edited Glamour and Cosmopolitan.

Kekst and Company announced the departure for AM.


Author and magazine editor Richard Bradley, recently executive editor of the Harvard-centric magazine 02138, has been named editor-in-chief of Worth.

The financial and lifestyle magazine for wealthy individuals was recently acquired by Sandow Media.

Bradley, who edited a special issue of Worth in 2001, was formerly executive editor at Regardie’s and George. He has written several books on topics like John F. Kennedy Jr. and the Yankees-Red Sox Playoff of 1978.

02138 acquired

Manhattan Media has acquired 02138, the lifestyle magazine for Harvard University graduates, from Atlantic Media and the mag’s founders Daniel Loss and Bom Kim.

CEO Tom Allon said 01238 will serve as the foundation for its Ivy League Media, which will target alum from Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, Columbia, Brown and University of Pennsylvania with magazines, websites and social networks.

02138 has a readership of more than 100K. It will increase from a quarterly to a six times a year schedule beginning next year.

Michael Kaminer PR does PR for MM.


Ed Lewis, founder of Essence Communications, has been named chairman of Latina Media Ventures, the integrated media company that targets Hispanics. He co-founded Latina Magazine in `96 with Christy Haubegger.

Lewis had been vice chairman of LMV, which is owned by Solera Capital, a private equity firm in New York.

EC publishes Essence, the leading lifestyle magazine aimed at African-American women.


Jane Eisner, former editorial page editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, is taking the editor post at The Forward, a Jewish newsweekly.

She is taking the post of J.J. Goldberg, who left a year ago.

Eisner worked at the Inky from `80 to `05. The Forward, which began as a Yiddish paper more than 100 years ago, began an English version in `90.


Cumulus Media’s plan to go private under a deal engineered by CEO Lew Dickey and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity has fallen apart because of the credit crunch. The group is to pay the nation’s No. 2 radio group a $15M termination fee.

Dickey says his investor group is studying other strategic alternatives.

CM’s business is “fundamentally sound” and the company plans to explore a possible stock repurchase plan in the “very near term.”

Atlanta-based CM lost $4.2M on $79M first-quarter revenues. It owns 339 stations in 65 markets.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, May 21, 2008, Page 4


CBS Corp. has moved to acquire Internet media company CNET Networks for $1.8 billion adding a huge online audience from CNET’s stable of entertainment and tech news sites.

CNET, based in San Francisco, claims to be the 10th most popular network on the ‘Net with 54 million unique visitors, a large potential advertising market for CBS. Its properties focus on entertainment and news and include CNET News, ZDNet,, and Revenues for 2007 were $406M and CBS noted its large international footprint, especially in China.

CNET’s board unanimously approved the deal and has recommended approval of the $11.50-per-share offer (a 45 percent premium) to shareholders.

Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS, said in a statement: “There are very few opportunities to acquire a profitable, growing, well-managed Internet company like CNET Networks.”

CBS’ Internet operations include, and, among other sites.

The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter.

CNET is working with financial communications firm The Blueshirt Group on the deal.


The struggling CW network, which is a partnership between Time-Warner and CBS, is selling a block of prime-time programming to Media Rights Capital, the independent movie and TV studio.

MRC will own a three-hour block of Sunday time beginning in the fall. It will create shows and sell ads. That revenue will be split with CW.

MRC says its programming will be geared to an older viewing audience. CW focuses on the 18-to-34 old market. WPP Group is an investor in MRC.


Macrovision Solutions Corp., which completed the nearly $3B acquisition of Gemstar-TV Guide early this month, wants to sell the venerable printed TV Guide.

The company is retaining, which offers celebrity news and a search engine. It also wants to unload the TV Guide cable channel and its sister TVG horse racing station.

TV Guide has a circulation of more than 3.2M and is now profitable after a string of 15 quarterly losses.It recently named Debra Birnbaum editor-in-chief and Craig Tomashoff executive editor.

TV Guide once had a circulation of more than 17M. Its decline is due to online listings and on-demand programming.


Walt Disney Co. eyes a July launch of its first Spanish language magazine, Disney En Familia.

The magazine will be sent to 350K families with children from ages four to 12.

Content will revolve around family activities, cultural and celebrity features. There will be a Disney section to promote its movies, products and theme parks.

Disney publishes Family Fun and Wondertime.


Activist investor Carl Icahn charges Yahoo management acted “irrationally” and was “irresponsible” to reject a $33 a-share takeover bid from Microsoft, according to a letter to Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock.

Icahn claims a number of shareholders asked him to mount a proxy fight to oust Yahoo’s board and then negotiate a takeover deal with Microsoft. He has formed a 10-member dissident board to launch that effort.

The investor believes such a combination would “form a dynamic company” and a “force strong enough to compete with Google on the Internet.”

Icahn feels it was “unconscionable” that Yahoo’s board did not allow shareholders to vote for the Microsoft offer, one that represents a 72 percent premium over the $19.18 price that Yahoo stock was trading for right before the bid.

He believes the Microsoft money is “superior alternatives to Yahoo’s prospects on a standalone basis.”

Icahn’s allies include former Viacom CEO Frank Biondi, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, former Grey Global chief Ed Meyer and venture capitalist Adam Dell, brother of Dell Computer CEO Michael Dell.

Yahoo’s annual meeting is slated for July 3. Icahn announced his challenge May 15, the deadline for shareholders to submit nominations for board duty.

Bostock replied that Icahn has a “significant misunderstanding of the facts about the Microsoft proposal and the diligence with which our board evaluated and responded to that proposal.” He believes a “fair-minded review of the factual record” shows that Yahoo’s current board is the most qualified group to maximize value of all shareholders.

Bostock said it is not in the best interests of stockholders to allow Icahn’s “hand-picked nominees” to take control of the company, especially since the group wants to force a sale to Microsoft, a “formerly interested buyer who has publicly stated that they have moved on.”


Science News, which was founded in 1922 as Science News-Letter, has shifted from a weekly to biweekly schedule and is increasing page count from 16 to 40 pages.

The magazine of the Society for Science & the Public is adding new features and upgrading its website.

SN reaches 117K print subscribers and attracts 45K visitors each day to its website.


The BBC plans to take a run at National Geographic with the launch of a 100-page glossy BBC Knowledge Magazine slated for August.

The magazine will be a mix of articles gleaned from BBC Wildlife Magazine, BBC History and Focus, a popular science title.

It will be priced on newsstands at $5.99. The initial print run of the six times a year pub is 85K.

Internet Edition, May 21, 2008, Page 5


Cossette Communication Group, the Canadian communications conglomerate that owns PainePR, has acquired a majority stake in social media and word-of-mouth marketing firm Rocket XL, based in Los Angeles.

Rocket describes its staff as a combination of former marketing executives and video game developers. The firm has worked with Sony Playstation, KBO and Activision. Cossette said Rocket will compliment its New York operations as well as the work of PainePR.


Starmark International, a travel and hospitality PR and marcom firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has set up an entertainment practice with two new staffers at the helm and a third joining in an account service role.

Jeremy Cockrell, who joins as VP of entertainment markets, and Kurt Sievert, a new creative director for the sector, head the new unit after both serving at McCann-Erickson Worldwide. Amanda Graham has signed on as an A/C after a stint at Germany’s Hitflip.


Kekst and Company and Sard Verbinnen & Co. are counseling opposite sides in a proxy fight for seats on the board of semiconductor maker Micrel Inc.

Kekst and Innisfree M&A Incorporated are working with Obrem Capital Mgmt., which owns a 15 percent stake in Micrel and has nominated a full slate of directors to shake up Micrel’s “entrenched” board.

“With Micrel management missing its targets by a country mile, why doesn’t the board hold management accountable,” Obrem said in a letter to shareholders publicized by Kekst and Innisfree.

Micrel, meanwhile, has hired Sard Verbinnen and MacKenzie Partners as the company sent its own letter to shareholders ahead of a May 20 special meeting saying Obrem wants to take over and force an immediate sale of the San Jose-based company.


Legendary Hollywood publicist Warren Cowan died May 14 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, three months after he was diagnosed with cancer. He was 87. In a more than 60-year career, Cowan represented A-listers such as Frank Sinatra, Clint Eastwood, Judy Garland, Lucille Ball, John Wayne and Cary Grant.

Cowan teamed with Henry Rogers in 1950 to form Rogers & Cowan, which was acquired by Shandwick in 1988. Rogers died in 1995. Cowan had been running Warren Cowan Assocs. at the time of his death.

BRIEFS: Racepoint Group and Digital Influence Group, both under the umbrella of Larry Weber’s W2 Group, are handling social media and PR for “Burma: It Can’t Wait,” a 30-day campaign by the Human Rights Action Center and U.S. Campaign for Burma. The push aims to attract one million people to urge that country’s oppressive regime to release pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi. The work was launched prior to the devastating cyclone that has increased scrutiny of the country’s ruling junta.


New York Area

Butler Associates, New York/N.Y. Junior Tennis League; Mastermind Development; Stamford Police Assn., and Local 1197 of the Int’l Assn. of Fire Fighters (Edison, N.J.).

Jaffoni & Collins, New York/A-Max Holdings Ltd., Hong Kong-based gaming and entertainment company, for IR and financial comms. alongside HK-based Strategic Financial Relations.

Travers Collins & Co., Buffalo, N.Y./Catholic Health System, for marketing communications services. TC handled an integrated PR and ad campaign, dubbed “We Believe,” for CHS over the last year to respond to a state commission’s call to close local hospitals in the Empire State.

Swordfish Communications, Voorhees, N.J./Pinot, Philadelphia wine accessories superstore, as AOR for PR for the store, its products and events.

Integrated Corporate Relations, Westport, Conn./
Open Link Financial, trading, risk management and portfolio management software, for comms. as the company pursues its IPO.


360 PR, Boston/Stonyfield Farm, organic yogurt marketer, for a series of online campaigns for its YoBaby, YoMommy and Oikos brands. 360 won the business following a competitive review.

PRStreet, Cary, N.C./The Brody Medical Scholars Program at East Carolina University, as AOR for PR.

Trevelino/Keller Communications Group, Atlanta/
RTEV, electric vehicle maker, for consumer PR. The firm’s green, consumer and tech practices service the account, which initially focuses on the launch of two product lines, Ruff & Tuff, a recreational vehicle line, and Wheego, a line of electric scooters and bikes.


Bianchi PR, Troy, Mich./RDA Group, market research and consulting firm, as AOR for PR. The work includes PR planning, counsel and media relations.

Hybrid Marketing, Cleveland/Maui Sands Resort, indoor waterpark opening in late May, for media relations, promotions, advertising and marketing; Credit Union Business Solutions and CBS Certified Public Accountants, for media relations, marketing and graphic design for their Partnership for Success program; The Bagsmith, needlecraft supplier, for media relations, grassroots marketing and collateral design; Child Impressions, fingerprinting services, ID packets and DNA collection, for PR, collateral, and strategic marketing counsel, and HC Smith, recruitment services, for PR, branding, identity work, and web development.


Ruder Finn, San Francisco/The Good Earth Company, organic coffee, for launch of its Good Earth Coffee brand. SVP Lisa Novak heads the national account. The campaign is slated to kickoff in the fall.

Berman-Singer PR, Los Angeles/The MLS, real estate listing service, as AOR for the L.A. area.

Pollack PR Marketing Group, Los Angeles/, media sharing platform, for media relations and executive positioning.

Internet Edition, May 21, 2008, Page 6


Tom Fiedler, most recently a teacher at Harvard College and formerly executive editor of the Miami Herald, where he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1991, will succeed Tobe Berkovitz June 1 as dean of the College of Communication of Boston University.

Fiedler's appointment is unusual for a university because he does not hold a Ph.D. The PR faculty includes seven full-time faculty, three of whom have Ph.Ds.

Fiedler, a 1971 graduate of the College of Communication, won his Pulitzer for investigative work that was part of a Herald series on a religious cult.

The entire Herald staff also won a Pulitzer in 1993 for coverage of Hurricane Andrew.

He was picked from a field of 75 applicants for the BU post. The college has 2,350 students and 168 faculty.

Fiedler chaired a 2007 external review committee that considered whether the journalism dept. should break away from the college's film and TV, and mass communication, advertising and PR depts.

The committee rejected the proposal that the journalism dept. become independent.

"Our strong belief," he said, "was that there are many more strengths and synergies that will arise from the college remaining as it is than could possibly flow from having journalism as a separate school."

Lectured at Harvard

Fiedler recently has been Visiting Murrow Lecturer and Goldsmith Fellow at Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

He is co-director of a project, sponsored by the Carnegie Corp. and the Knight Foundation, exploring the future of journalism education, which will be conducted next month.

BRIEFS: Lisa Golden, executive director, Georgia chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Mangement, has joined the PR Society as director of the professional interest sections. Ricky DeGenaro had held the post several years until 2006. ...PR Society’s Georgia chapter has awarded Stephanie Stinn its Chapter Champion honor. Stinn, a senior communications specialist with Kaiser Permanente, was recognized for her longstanding volunteer work for the chapter. She is chair of the group’s healthcare special interest group and coordinates volunteers for the chapter’s annual pro bono event. Georgia is the second largest chapter in PRS. ...Sami Jajeh and Mike Neumeier, principals for Arketi Group, Atlanta, have joined the Technology Executive Roundtable board of directors, a group of 100 Atlanta-area technology executives. ...Communication World, the magazine of the International Association of Business Communicators, recently won a Maggie Award from the Western Publications Assn. for its “Tech Talk” column by Angelo Fernando. The column, which has run since 2004, was named the best regularly featured department/section/column in a trade magazine at the awards, now in their 57th year.



Paul Dyer, founder/CEO of NewMediAwake and former new media specialist for Marketwire, to CarryOn Communication, New York, to head the firm’s new media practice. Dyer also serves as managing director of COi, the firm’s wholly-owned interactive agency.

Frank Dinolfo, digital project manager at Show & Tell Productions, to Harrison Leifer DiMarco, Rockville Centre, N.Y., as director of digital comms. services.

Mohit Ghose, 34, senior VP of public affairs for America’s Health Insurance Plans, to Aetna, Hartford, Conn., as VP of PA.

Suzanne Kimelman, assistant VP at Coyne PR, to Beckerman PR, Bedminster, N.J., as a VP. She was previously at MWW Group, Edelman, Rubenstein and Hill & Knowlton.

Shannon Holt, director of sport services for the Northeast Conference of collegiate sports, to Utopia Communications, Red Bank, N.J. She was forrnerly with the New York Jets and Bender/Helper Impact.

George Ward, senior information architect, Avenue A | Razorfish, to Neiman Group, Philadelphia, as associate director of strategy and insights. Tara Sollenberger and Jennifer Fetter have joined as A/Cs.

Dana Metzger, a recent grad, to Devaney & Associates, Baltimore, as a PR specialist.

Patrick Stobb, director of investor relations for TRW Automotive Holdings, to The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Akron, Ohio, in that same title. He previously held IR posts at Visteon Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

Kimberly Kanary, manager of corporate communications and investor relations, AEC, has re-joined Associated Estates Realty Corp., Cleveland, as VP of corporate comms. She was previously assistant VP, retail communications, for National City Bank.


Jaime Cassavechia to VP, Susan Blond Inc., New York. She joined the firm in May 2007.

Ted Besesparis to senior VP, communications, National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, Washington, D.C. He joined the group, known as PIA, in 1995 after a career in journalism. He was national editor for radio network and wire service Standard News in D.C., where he was on the White House press pool. He earlier worked for Tribune.

Joel Richman to director of social media, PAN Communications, Andover, Mass. He joined the firm in 1999.

Noel Perkins to executive VP, PR, Ypartnership, Orlando, Fla. She had been SVP and succeeds Rod Caborn, who is retiring on May 30.

Jared Chaney to executive VP of corporate communications and advertising, Medical Mutual of Ohio. He also serves as chief communications officer and joined the company in 1997.

Amanda Borichevsky to VP, Vollmer PR, Dallas. She joined in 2002 as an A/E and has handled Travelocity, Smart Circle Int’l and Expedited Travel.

Internet Edition, May 21, 2008, Page 7


A 34-page “Professor/Faculty Advisor Project Kit” created by Paul Werth Assocs., Columbus, was given to Asst. Prof. Tim Portlock who told the Clarion monthly newspaper of the Hunter faculty that Werth staffers ordered him not to vary from it.

Portlock also said he asked not to be assigned the class because his specialty was fine arts and studio visualization and he had no background in PR.

Werth prepared the kit for use by Coach and other members of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition.

The Academic Freedom Committee said the materials “imposed a narrow and biased perspective in the classroom” and that students “were not provided with materials or the opportunity to pursue multiple points of view of the counterfeit product market.”

It also said “Controversy is at the heart of free academic inquiry” and that “students were not presented with a scholarly analysis of the counterfeit market.” Rather, said the report, “an extremely narrow perspective” was presented.

Fake Website Was Created

Students created a website with a fake student personality with the name “Heidi Cee.” She complained her Coach handbag had been lost and offered a $500 reward for its return.

Said the Academic Freedom Committee report: “The course made use of Hunter students to advance corporate interests, and created a false ad campaign that deceived Hunter students (who were not in class). The nature of the course allowed for a casual approach to the dignity of students and relied on deception to achieve some of its aims—which were, we emphasize, as much corporate as pedagogical.”

Coach Issues Statement

Heather Feit, director of PR of Coach, New York, supplied a written statement to this NL saying Coach felt the Hunter class “would be a great medium to inform younger consumers about the ills of counterfeiting and how it affects our everyday lives.”

The statement said students were urged to research the topic themselves after the basics of intellectual property were explained to them and “both sides of the issue were addressed.”

The class itself, she said, “made an informed decision as to the position they felt that the campaign should take about counterfeiting.”

Counterfeiters use child labor, dangerous parts and provide unhygienic working conditions that lack safety procedures, said the statement.

Feit said the company was “pleased with the students’ positive response to the course and their enthusiasm for educating their peers.”

They made a video for the Hunter intranet detailing their reactions to the course. “All the comments were positive, and it appeared that the students all got something out of their participation,” said the statement.

Feit declined to discuss the topic further when questions were put to her by this NL.


Eight possible candidates for a record 11 board and officer posts at the PR Society posed nine questions May 13 at hour-long sessions in the morning and afternoon conducted by nominating chair Cheryl Procter-Rogers, 2006 president.

This was an improvement over similar calls April 8 when only two questioners showed up.

Because of the shortage of candidates for national positions, Blake Lewis of Richardson, Texas, and 49 other members last year created a task force to attract candidates from the chapter level on up.

No candidates at all filed by the deadline from the Southeast district last year and only one candidate filed from the Southwest. The candidate was rejected for unstated reasons and a special search was made after the deadline for nominations.

Because of the requirements for national office, more than 95% of members are ineligible.

The rules have been in effect since the 1970s and resulted in former president Jack Felton saying in 2000 that an inner “elite” had taken control of the Society.

The accreditation requirement eliminates more than 80% of members and in addition, a candidate must have headed a district, chapter, section or national committee or voted in an Assembly.

Long Presentations, Few Questions

The two sessions May 13 started with 35-40 minute presentations by leaders including Procter-Rogers; chair and CEO Jeff Julin; chair-elect Mike Cherenson; immediate past chair Rhoda Weiss, and COO Bill Murray.

They again told what board service entails including the number of required meetings. Cherenson described it as the best possible “professional development” and an opportunity to greatly increase one’s circle of contacts. Noting that he is only 40 years old but is chair-elect, he said there are “lots of opportunity in the Society for young people.”

Eppes Asks if Letters Can Be Re-used

Director Tom Eppes of the Charlotte, N.C., office of Eric Mower and Assocs., posed the first question at the afternoon session.

He said he had asked “quite a number” of people to write letters for him when he ran for the 2006 board and said he now “feels a little bit uncomfortable going back and asking the same people to write letters again.” He wondered if it is possible to use the letters “that were used previously.”

Procter-Rogers urged the use of “fresh letters” with “fresh dates.” The question by Eppes indicates he is seeking one of the three open officer posts—chair-elect, treasurer or secretary.

Also open are seven district directorships (East Central, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Sunshine, Tri-State and Western) and one at-large board seat.

Leaders have shown no interest in removing the APR or other requirements for national office.

Weiss sits on the current nomcom and is able to voice her opinions while the other 16 directors are not allowed to voice theirs.

Internet Edition, May 21, 2008, Page 8




The PRS conference calls May 13 for potential candidates of the “world’s largest organization of PR professionals” (page 7) could only be described as a pitiful exercise. Almost no one showed up for two hour-long sessions.

There are 11 board and officer positions open but there is little interest in them.

At least 95% of members are barred from running and few of the rest would put up with the humiliations that directors are subjected to, plus costs in time and money, unless they’re desperate for some way to pad their resumes.

They not only have to sign an iron-clad agreement that they will be silent about PRS for life (even to their constituents) but they must undergo a full day of indoctrination at h.q. by PRS staffers.

They will be given a bright red line dividing board duties (providing “thought” leadership and working on the strategic plan) from staff duties (basically everything else).

An “expert” will lecture them on how to be a “good director.” At the first board meeting this year, the 12 directors not on the executive committee had to sit outside all morning while the five members of the EC met separately. A 2006 bylaw says the EC can act as the full board. Finally, at 1 p.m., the EC met with the 12 but also present were 10 staffers.

Big decisions will be made by the staff. We believe the move of h.q. downtown was staff driven and so was the ditching of the printed members’ directory.

Directors won’t get the true cost of staff time on the annual conference because staffers don’t feel like giving it out. Ditto for posting the full audit on the PRS website and many other things.

In addition to the “basic training” at h.q., directors will have to attend four board meetings of two days each and another two days at the June Leadership Rally and Silver Anvil evening. They also have to spend 3-4 hours a week on PRS business and more in busy periods. Meals and local transportation are not paid for. Adding insult to injury, the directors will be told they are not to represent their districts but only national interests.

So vapid were the two sessions May 13 that phony questions had to be asked. What other explanation is there for callers asking how many board meetings there are, does PRS have directors’ liability insurance, and how many letters should a candidate submit? No candidate would dream of raising a substantial issue such as whether PRS should explore a Delaware charter, bring back the printed directory, set up a midtown New York library, open a PRS web bulletin board, etc.

We feel sorry for director Tom Eppes, who apparently is running for an office. When no one volunteered to ask a question at the p.m. session, Eppes, after about 15 seconds, asked if he could submit letters from two years ago. We think he had just grown nervous at the silence since there were only two questioners at the April 8 sessions for candidates. We can’t imagine him seriously wanting to recycle old letters...the nomcom appears to be in the firm grip of Rhoda Weiss and Cheryl Procter-Rogers. The latter at one point spoke enthusiastically of Weiss, saying Weiss was one “who I could not do without, of course.” There’s bad blood between the two and Eppes and the other three directors who tried at the Jan. 25 board meeting to silence Weiss on the nomcom. The others were Christopher Veronda, Dennis Gaschen and Dave Imre. This is an obvious male/female split.

Rosanna Fiske is a lock for chair-elect. She emphasized her Cuban-American background in running for the board in 2003 and would be the first Hispanic PRS CEO since Luis Morales in 1996. Other considerations are that Fiske is youthful and a woman (PRS having been headed by a man in 2008-2009). Ageist, sexist and ethnic considerations mar the selection of PRS officers...Tony D’Angelo of blue chip UTC, although PRS treasurer and in line to be CEO, was dumped last year simply because he was too old...Procter-Rogers, in a move to fill the a.m. session, had Cherenson talk about 2009. Study the strategic plan, was his answer. He again said board/officer service has been great “professional development” for him and he has made so many new friends.

Bill Murray said staff is nearly 60 and one percent is being added to assets (only because PRS books a year’s dues as cash instead of deferring the income like most other associations). Murray has a noticeable speech defect which causes his voice to continuously crack and which is discomforting to hear. Coupled with his lack of experience in PR, it makes us wonder how the Debra Miller search committee had the nerve to name him as president and “spokesperson” for PRS. His public appearances have been rare. At a minimum he should have addressed PRS/NY.

CEO Jeff Julin has yet to speak to any chapter, as far as we can tell. This would top the record of Weiss and Procter-Rogers for unavailability to major chapters...Murray said there are 22,333 members but how many are students (who can join while still five months from graduation)?

The PRS VP-PR job (page one) apparently means Janet Troy is leaving after nearly four years. Other PR staffers who left since 1998 were Cedric Bess, Libby Roberge, Richard George and Steve Erickson. An APR is being sought this time (Troy and PR staffer Joe DeRupo were not even members when hired). One duty of the new VP-PR will be overseeing Tactics and Strategist to insure nothing is printed that would annoy the board. Applicants must be ready to work 8-10 weekends yearly. Troy was getting at least $150K so we expect lots to show up for one of the toughest jobs in PR. Applicants should talk to previous PR staffers or research on

--Jack O'Dwyer


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