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Internet Edition, February 18, 2009, Page 1


Peanut Corp. of America, the bankrupt company in the center of the salmonella crisis, is repped by Minneapolis-based Rotenberg Assocs.

RA is the firm of Amy Rotenberg, a former VP at Padilla Speer Beardsley who directed its litigation and critical issues communications practice.

She told O’Dwyer’s that RA was hired by one of the law firms working for PCA. “There are lots of lawyers involved in the case,” she said. “It’s a very complex situation that changes day by day.”

Rotenberg declined to go into specifics about her work, other to say she serves as media spokesperson and coordinates that effort with PCA’s legal team.

Prior to PSB, Rotenberg was trial lawyer at Dorsey & Whitney, newsroom counselor to KARE-TV (libel, privacy and newsgathering issues) and litigator at Cravath, Swaine & Moore for TimeWarner.

Burson-Marsteller also has had a hand in the PCA crisis. It was retained for a two-week period to help PCA with the FDA recall announcements, according to George Clarke, director of crisis & issues management at the WPP Group unit, which has product recall specialists in its crisis practice.

B-M is “not representing the company on the current issues it faces as our engagement ended on Jan. 30th,” wrote Clarke in an email.

The salmonella outbreak has taken eight lives and sickened more than 19,000 people in 43 states.


Ketchum, which received $2.9M from Russia for the six-month period ended Jan. 31, is sharing that wealth by hiring Alston & Bird as lobbyist to keep an eye on developments in Washington.

A&B, in its Jan. 1 engagement letter to Ketchum CEO Ray Kotcher, agrees to provide advisory services on policy and legislative developments.

The firm of former Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole and Tom Daschle will deal with trade, energy, economic and politico-military issues at a $35K a-month rate through May 31.

Both parties will decide in May whether to extend the pact.

Ketchum works with the highest levels of Russia’s Government and the state-owned energy monopoly, Gazprom.

The firm’s work covered U.S. ties, Russia’s invasion of Georgia, Iranian sanctions, Sochi ’14 Olympics, cut-off of gas supply to Ukraine, G8 Summit and nuclear/space developments.


Tony Cervone, a top communications VP at General Motors, is leaving for the senior chief communications officer slot at UAL Corp., parent to United Airlines, in Chicago.

The airline said VP-corporate and government affairs Rosemary Moore will take a broader role focused on industry, government and corporate affairs, as well as public responsibility. That includes oversight of the company’s corporate image and reputation, along with CSR initiatives.

Cervone takes the title of senior VP/corporate communications, starting Feb. 16, with oversight for internal and external comms., public and media relations, crisis comms. and partnerships comms. with Star Alliance and Continental.

At GM, he was comms. VP, global strategy and operations. Moore reports to Tilton, while Cervone answers to Pete McDonald, EVP and chief administrative officer.


Heidi Sinclair, chief communications officer for the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation, is leaving the charity at the end of the month. She is launching her own firm in Seattle.

Sinclair headed Burson-Marsteller’s European operations prior to joining the foundation of the Microsoft co-founder and his wife.

Earlier, she was in charge of B-M’s technology practice and served as managing director of International Creative Management, the talent and literary agency.

The Foundation has begun a search to replace Sinclair. The position reports to the organization’s CEO, Jeff Raikes. Its responsibilities include external/internal PR and leadership comms., among other tasks.


Counselor Mike Paul, PR Society chair Mike Cherenson, and PRS COO Bill Murray met last week to discuss Paul’s statement that the lack of blacks on the 2009 PRS 17-member board constitutes a “crisis” for the Society.

Paul had noted the “irony” of the U.S. having a black president and the PRSA board lacking any blacks.

In the 61-year history of PRS, only three black members have served on the board—1997 president Debra Miller; 2006 chair Cheryl Procter-Rogers, and Ron Owens, elected to a three-year term in 2006 but who quit after six months.

(Continued on page 7)


Internet Edition, February 18, 2009, Page 2


PR agency principals are bracing for a 2009 of slashed or frozen budgets, according to a survey of 237 principals across firms of several sizes.

StevensGouldPincus, the New York-based M&A consulting firm, said 65 percent of the executives polled for the study said 2009 budgets have decreased, while thirty percent reported no changes.

SGP noted those numbers are a sharp contrast to 2008, when 83 percent reported budgets on the rise and 75 percent forecasted revenue hikes. Only 25 percent see revenue increasing this year and 46 percent see a decline ahead.

Principals at the largest agencies in the study (over $25M in fees) were the most pessimistic with 70 percent seeing the economic conditions having a negative effect on the ’09 bottom line.

That dour outlook decreased slightly among firms in the $10M-$25M range, where 64 percent forecast a hit to their bottom line.

Despite that pessimism, less than half of the respondents (46 percent) think revenues will decline this year, while about 30 percent see revenue in-line with ’08. An optimistic 26 percent forecast an increase in revenue for the year ahead.

New York Feels Pinch

Geographically, the biggest revenue declines are expected among firms in New York (72 were represented in the study) and Washington, D.C., (15 firms), where 51 percent and 50 percent, respectively, forecast a revenue decline.

Nearly 70 percent of the principals at New York firms said clients cut budgets for 2009.

Northern California, where technology rules the sector and 24 firms were represented in the study, reported relatively modest revenue expectations as 35 percent indicated declines for 2009 and client budget cuts were noted by 57 percent of principals polled.

The cuts reported have come fairly evenly from across several sectors, including technology (65 percent reported cuts), healthcare (63%), crisis (64%) and public affairs (61%).


Emanate PR, which was spun off from Ketchum in `06, launched Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., which was spun off Feb. 11 as an initial public offering by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

It was the first U.S. IPO since November.

The Evansville, Ind.-based maker of baby formulas Enfamil and Enfalac set the offering price at $24 for each of its 30M shares. MJN rose more than $2 a share on its first day of trading.

The IPO raised $720M.

MJN was founded in 1905 by E. Mead Johnson, one of the founding brothers of Johnson & Johnson. It has 5,000 employees who market MJNC products in more than 70 countries.

Mike Doyle, managing director of Emanate, is handling press. Emanate works on consumer, health, corporate and financial accounts.

It was launched to match PR with “emotion-based research.”


Brunswick Group, Brainerd Communications and Abernathy MacGregor Group are involved in the live entertainment mega-merger long rumored but announced Feb. 10 between Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

The all-stock “merger of equals,” which was signed off by both boards, will leave a $2.5 billion titan for promoting and ticketing live entertainment acts. The companies had a partnership agreement for a decade before it lapsed at the end of 2008.

But the deal is dependent on shareholder, bank lender and regulatory approvals, and the latter could be a hurdle amid anti-trust concerns which have dogged Ticketmaster for years.

The companies set a second half ’09 schedule to complete the merger.

Brunswick/San Francisco partner Michael Buckley, along with Jennifer Gery-Egan of New York-based Brainerd, are assisting Live Nation with media relations.
Tom Johnson, managing director for Abernathy in New York, is helping out Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster was spun off from IAC/Interactive Corp. last year. Its chairman, Barry Diller, will continue in that role with the combined company. Michael Rapino, who headed Live Nation, will serve as president and CEO while Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff becomes executive chairman of Live National Entertainment and CEO of its Front Line management unit.


Omnicom’s fourth-quarter net sank 14 percent to $271M, including a nearly five percent slide in U.S. revenue, compared with the same quarter of ’07.

The company said PR revenue hit $305M for the quarter, down more than 10 percent. Advertising slipped 7.6 percent to $1.5B.

For the year, overall U.S. revenue was up three percent to $6.9B during a period when the company cut as many as 3,500 of its 70K employees. In PR, 2008 revenue was flat at $1.3B.

Omnicom projects earn-out obligations for 2009 at $118M.


Simon Sproule, VP of global communications for Nissan Motor, will step down to join Microsoft in that same title in March.

Sproule takes up the VP post at the software giant’s Redmond, Wash., headquarters on March 2 reporting to Mich Matthews, senior VP of Microsoft’s central marketing unit. He will head public affairs, media relations, executive and employee communications, and manage the company’s global agencies like Waggener Edstrom and Weber Shandwick.

The position had been vacant since former comms. chief Larry Cohen was named Bill Gates’ chief of staff for his post-Microsoft career last year.

The 40-year-old executive, who was educated in London, exits Nissan after five years in Japan heading comms., corporate social responsibility, car launches and internal communications, among other disciplines.

Sproule was previously with Ford, rising to VP of comms. for Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover North America.


Internet Edition, February 18, 2009, Page 3


Jeremy Halbreich, former general manager of the Dallas Morning News, has been named interim CEO of Sun-Times Media Group. He replaces Cyrus Freidheim, the turnaround artist who stepped down this month. Halbreich was elected to the Sun-Times board as part of a dissident slate of directors. He unseated Raymond Seitz in a proxy fight.

Halbreich spent nearly a quarter of a century at the DMG in marketing and other executive positions. In `98, he founded American Consolidated Media, which runs more than 100 local papers.

The Sun-Times also announced that Rick Surkamer is its new president & COO. He joined the company in `07 from Rollex Corp., a building products operation.

Sun-Times is the parent of the Chicago Sun-Times and community papers.
The paper has just lost its editor-in-chief, Michael Cooke, who left for the same job at the Toronto Star, Canada's biggest newspaper.


Newsweek will organize the magazine into four different sections beginning in May in an effort to revamp the Washington Post Co. property.

The New York Times reported the sections will be short takes, columnists, commentary and long reporting pieces on the cover story or culture.

The magazine will print on heavier stock to appeal to a more upscale audience. Jon Meacham, editor, said Newsweek is dropping its newsweekly mentality of weighing in on happenings of the week. “The drill of chasing the week's news to add a couple of hard-fought details is not sustainable,” he said.

Newsweek is lowering its rate base from 2.6M to 1.9M in July and 1.5M at the beginning of ’09.

The magazine says it has a core of 1.2M subscribers who are highly educated people with more money than average readers. It believes those people are willing to pay more for the magazine.

The average Newsweek subscriber pays 47 cents a copy, which is a far cry from its $4.95 cover price.


Tribune Co. has created an online entertainment news bureau, building on the strength of its Los Angeles Times property.

The move is a partnership with Zap2it, which compiles listings of TV shows.

The bureau promises extensive coverage of movies, blogs and updated information on developments in the top 60 TV programs.

LAT veterans Richard Rushfield and Joe Kapsch lead the venture.


The National Press Club president Donna Leinwand has blasted David Plouffe’s decision to ban media from covering his speech at the Club.

He was keynote speaker at a luncheon sponsored Feb. 13 by Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies and Politico. Plouffe, who was Obama’s campaign manager, was there to plug his book, “The Audacity to Win.”

The event was supposed to be open to the press, but reporters were told Feb. 12 by Georgetown staffers that reporters would be barred upon Plouffe’s request. [An event sponsor has the right to restrict media access. The Club “hosted” the event.]

The reporter ban led John Harris, Politico editor, to step down as moderator and Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank to protest outside the NPC ballroom wearing a sandwich board that said “Where’s the Plouffe?”

He handed out reporter notebooks to people going to the speech. Those quotes were used in Milbank’s column Feb. 13 called “The Audacity of Audaciousness.”

Leinwand’s letter to Plouffe and his representive, Washington Speakers Bureau, registered “strong opposition to the prospect of a newsworthy event at the Club being off the record.” She wrote that blacking out news coverage of this speech reduces the free flow of information that is at the core of the NPC's mission.

Leinwand noted that though Plouffe is not a member of the new White House, his identity is closely tied to Obama. She believes the media ban runs contrary to Obama’s “recent executive order and statements in support of a more open government.”


Jill Zuckman, a Washington correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, is joining the Obama administration as Assistant Secretary and Director of Public Affairs in the Department of Transportation.

“I’m excited about going to a department in the administration that's going to play a huge role in hopefully putting people back to work,” she told the Tribune.

Zuckman was previously with the Boston Globe, Congressional Quarterly and Milwaukee Journal.

Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood made the selection.

Peter Gosselin, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, another Tribune paper, previously took a job as chief speech writer for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.


The Post Register in eastern Idaho said last week it will cease printing its Monday edition because of the economy. The paper was published six days a week until 1996 when it started a Saturday edition.

Publisher Roger Plothow said the paper will be printed six days a week starting March 2. “In this changing economic environment, businesses that don't stay nimble will be left in the dust,” he wrote.

The paper will be updated online on Mondays.

BRIEFS: Charter Communications, the No. 3 publicly traded cable TV company, will file for bankruptcy by April Fool’s Day. ...Young Broadcasting, owner of 10 owned/operated TV stations, went belly-up Feb. 15.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, February 18, 2009, Page 4


Vanity Fair’s March issue raps the billions of bonuses being dished out to executives of Wall Street firms that have also taken billions in government bail-out funds.

Writer Michael Shnayerson attacks as “spin” the claim that the bonus money does not come from government funds.

The bonuses were based on profits made from “risky securities now turned to ashes” and shouldn't be paid, argues Shnayerson.

“I don’t see how to separate the $45 billion bailout that Citigroup gets from [one trader’s] $125 million bonus,” Graef Crystal, who tracks executive pay, told VF.

“Obviously, if the government hadn’t bailed out these people they would have gone bankrupt and the [trader] wouldn't have gotten a bonus–no one would have,” said Crystal.

Nicholas Ashooh, senior VP-corporate communications at AIG, is quoted as saying that the final number of retention-award winners for A.I.G. employees will likely be about 5,000 and the amount involved, $600 million.

A.I.G. had said in an 8-K SEC filing Sept. 22, 2008, shortly after the first injection of $85 billion from the government, that about 130 executives would be given retention awards.

This was later upped to 168, with the awards ranging from $92,500 to $4M.

Bloomberg then reported that the awards would go to 2,000 employees who had been warned to keep such awards secret. The story added that as many as 7,000 could get the awards.

Cummings a Severe Critic

A critic of the bonuses to A.I.G. employees is Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland. He said the “arrogance of A.I.G. is unbelievable.”

Ashooh said the $600 million does not include possible awards to the 380 employees of the financial-products division, which traded the securities whose value later collapsed.

The “secrecy” of the awards was to keep recipients from reporting their awards to other employees, Ashooh told VF. “It’s confidentiality, not secrecy, that’s the issue,” he is quoted as saying.

Cummings told VF: “If they give a bonus, it’s public money. They are owned by the taxpayers of America, the same ones who are losing their jobs and homes and damned sure didn't have a bonus for Christmas.”

Bonuses to employees of Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and J.P. MorganChase are also described.


Linda Dunbar, who led global communications at Dow Jones & Co., has been named to the board of Boys Town New York.

She worked as executive director of communications strategy at Ford Motor and PA/PR director at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants prior to taking the Dow Jones slot in March ’07.

Dunbar, who was in charge of DJ&C’s corporate positioning, CEO communications, internal PR and media relations, exited following completion of the merger of the Wall Street Journal’s publisher into Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. in Dec. `07. At that time, she told O’Dwyer’s she had a “great experience albeit brief.”

Boys Town provides care to struggling boys and girls in the city. Each year about 500 children received aid through Boys Town’s Treatment Family Services and Intervention Services in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Another 100,000-plus are assisted via BT’s Child and Family Support unit.


Walter Anderson, chairman & CEO of Parade Publications, part of Conde Nast, is retiring after 31 years. He’ll stay aboard until a replacement is found.

Anderson, 64, is credited with boosting Parade’s circulation from 21.6M in 129 Sunday newspapers to 33M in 470 papers. As editor, he secured pieces from authors like David Halberstam, Norman Mailer and Herman Wouk.

“One of Walter’s greatest achievements was his creation of the ‘modern’ Parade,” Si Newhouse said. “He transformed the Sunday magazine with new columns, ideas, and a higher level of reporting and writing.”

Newhouse called Parade one of the most successful publications in his company.
Anderson has been chairman/CEO since 2000, previously serving as editor-in-chief. He joined as a senior editor in 1977 after stints with Gannett papers in Westchester County, N.Y.

The Vietnam veteran has written five books including, “Courage Is A Three-Letter Word,” (1986, Random House), “The Greatest Risk of All,” (1988 Houghton Mifflin), “Read With Me,” (1990 Houghton Mifflin), “The Confidence Course,” (1997 HarperCollins), and “Meant To Be: The True Story of a Son Who Discovers He Is His Mother’s Deepest Secret,” (2003 HarperCollins).


The Wall Street Journal is shuttering its research library in March, leaving its two staffers without jobs.

Leslie A. Norman, assistant librarian, wrote in a memo published by Editor & Publisher, that she asked who will do research for Journal reporters and was told “no one.” She said her and another assistant will be put on a re-hire list if the jobs open up in six months.

Norman estimated that reporters will spend 10 times the compensation of the two library staffers trying to do their own research.


Sam Donaldson is retiring this week after 41 years with ABC News.

Donaldson, 74, has worn several hats at the network, including co-host of “This Week,” with Cokie Roberts, and “PrimeTime Live,” with Diane Sawyer.

Donaldson will continue to appear as a panelist on “This Week” and do projects for ABC.

Internet Edition, February 18, 2009, Page 5


Video game developer Midway Games has engaged FD Chicago to handle communications for its Feb. 12 filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Viacom mogul Sumner Redstone dumped his 87 percent controlling stake in Midway in November and the gaming company said in its bankruptcy filing that the change in ownership triggered debt repurchase obligations it can’t meet.

Michael Geczi, managing director, special situations and crisis communications for FD, is handling the Midway account.

The software developer created the hit Mortal Kombat franchise and said its recent edition is approaching the 2M-unit sales mark. Midway announced cost reduction measures in December, including a workforce cut, suspension of development of “non-core” games, and the shuttering of an Austin, Tex., studio.

President and CEO Michael Booty, a former engineer and programmer with Midway, took the reins last October and was named chairman in January. He said Midway’s “underlying fundaments” are strong and noted Q4 sales beat expectations in a tough climate.

Private investor Mark Thomas bought Redstone’s stake in Midway for $100K. Midway’s stock is trading in the $.16 range, off its 52-week high of $4.20.


Ketchum has signed a partnership agreement with Hakuhodo, a large intergrated marketing firm in Japan.

Ray Kotcher, senior partner and CEO of Ketchum, said the two firms have done a “good deal” of work together in the run-up to the formal agreement.

Jon Higgins, a senior Ketchum partner who oversees its international operations, will work closely with Hakuhodo as it is introduced to and provides service to Ketchum clients in Japan, the firm said. He is in charge of the global collaboration efforts between the firms.

Ketchum said a particular focus of Higgins will be building a relationship between Ketchum’s China operations and its new Japan-based partner.

Ketchum is part of Omnicom. Hakuhodo says its the second-largest integrated marketing operation in Japan.

BRIEFS: The IPREX network of PR firms has recruited Spokane, Wash.-based Desautel Hege Communications as a partner. The firm says it handles healthcare, higher education, tech, manufacturing, banking, tribal communications and natural resources, among its experience, with a particular emphasis on public education work. ...Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher is handling communications for Muzak, the Fort Mill, S.C.-based audio company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 10. ...Berg Muirhead and Associates, Detroit, has marked its 10th year in business. Georgella Muirhead and Bob Berg, who both served the late Detroit Mayor Coleman Young, noted that two original clients -- Strategic Staffing Solutions and Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel -- are still with the firm.


New York Area

Trylon SMR, New York/We Media, for PR for its 2009 conference Feb. 24-26 at the University of Miami.

Rubenstein Associates, New York/SINY, Staten Island promotion agency, for PR for its ”I Love Staten Island” commercial competition.

5W PR, New York/Dr. Kent Holtorf, founder of the Holtorf Medical Group, and the Yan Center for Corrective & Cosmetic Surgery, both for PR.

Thomas PR, Melville, N.Y./, connector designer and manufacturer, as AOR for PR, including launch into the consumer electronics mkt.


Clark & Weinstock, Washington, D.C./Environmental Solutions and Projects, for strategic communications and public affairs consulting related to energy efficiency in building materials and government marketing.

Beaman Incorporated, Baltimore, Md./Nielsen Company, for PR and community outreach for the launch of its Local People Meter service in the Baltimore market. BI is already Nielsen’s advertising AOR targeting African-American, Hispanic and Asian communities.

IMRE, Baltimore, Md./Tate Access Floors, for “brand positioning,” design, communications and guerilla marketing, and BiltBest, for digital, PR and creative.

French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh, N.C./Isagenix, “nutritional cleansing” product, as AOR for PR, including media relations and partnership development.

Largemouth Communications, Durham, N.C./
Catapult Communications, to promote its digital telecom test systems, including an introduction at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Spain.

Arketi Group, Atlanta/Advanced Productivity Software, as AOR.


LimeGreen Entertainment Group, Chicago/Bo Jackson Elite Sports, as AOR, including securing naming rights for its training facility in Chicago and corporate partnerships.

Carmichael Lynch Spong, Minneapolis/Calphalon, cookware and kitchen products, as AOR; Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, for media relations and experiential initiatives supporting its new Matador brand for teens, and Prestige Wine Group, for creation of a media relations outreach plan for its Conquista wines and Fair Trade Certified Fairhills line.


Sandler Communications, Houston/RTG Ventures, for a six-month IR/financial comms. contract to prepare the company for listing on a higher exchange.

MG PR, Phoenix, Ariz./MedPlast, medical and specialty healthcare manufacturer, as AOR.


Glodow Nead Communications, San Francisco/St. Helena (Calif.) Chamber of Commerce, for a one-year, $50K tourism PR contract.

Mayo Communications, Los Angeles/Sol Romero, model/actress, for entertainment publicity.

Internet Edition, February 18, 2009, Page 6


The Advertising Council has partnered with the PR Society to build on a national public service campaign for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Peppercom is the lead agency on the pro bono project, which is aimed to ease the transition and readjustment challenges faced by veterans of the two wars as they return to the U.S.

PRS managed an RFQ process and recommended qualified firms for the work.

The effort led by Peppercom follows what the Ad Council said is an already successful PR campaign managed internally by that organization.


MyEdcals, which compiles editorial calendars, said its database has surpassed the 350K mark.

The company says it employs more than 100 full-time researchers to identify and enter the calendars into its database.

Users can activate an alert feature as a reminder of looming deadlines before pitches are due.

Laura Beck, managing director for Porter Novelli/Austin, endorses the service and said it saves her team hours every month.

Subscriptions start at $499 a year.

Waltham, Mass.-based RedEgg solutions owns the service, as well as MyMediaInfo, a media contact and profile service.

BRIEFS: Just Drive Media, a marcom firm with offices in Atlanta and San Francisco, has tapped Radian6’s social media monitoring service for its campaigns. Ali Croft, director of PR for JDM, said the firm can use Radian6 to gauge perception before a campaign and continue analysis during and after a marketing push in social media. ...Airstar America, Orlando, provided lighting balloons for the Kids’ Inaugural Concert, six inaugural balls and the service day press conference in Washington, D.C., as President Barack Obama took office last month. Airstar invented the lighting technology and said the inaugural assignments were its second biggest job ever, behind a Formula 1 night race in Singapore last September. The company said 110 of the balloons were needed for the D.C. events and were flown in from around the world. Info: ...Small Plate Radio, Portland, Ore., is marketing live interactive podcasts and “pop up radio stations” for marketers to reach niche audiences over the Internet. Live podcasting broadcasts, which are created as “private label” services, run from 30 to 60 minutes and are pre-promoted and set up for users to interact with listeners via instant message, email and phone. The service is part of Xhang Creative of Portland. ...The South Florida PR Network said Business Wire, Marketwire and Partyline have signed on as sponsors. BW and MW are newswires while Partyline produces a weekly round-up of media leads. Membership in the SFPRN remains free because of the sponsors, said founder Linda Hamburger. Info:



Ted Smyth, senior VP of corporate and government affairs for The H.J. Heinz company, Pittsburgh, has retired after 21 years with the company and moved to The McGraw-Hill Companies, New York, as executive VP, corporate affairs. Michael Mullen is being promoted to VP of corporate and government affairs at Heinz. Smyth will also serve as executive assistant to the chairman, president and CEO at McGraw-Hill. He succeeds David Stafford, who rejoins the company’s legal department as VP and associate general counsel.

Christina Kolbjornsen, VP of client services at Wragg & Casas PR, to Republica, Miami, as VP of communications. She was formerly a director and VP at Citigate Dewe Rogerson and served as an international management and trade consultant in Washington, D.C. At Republica, she heads the firm’s comms. practice.

Peter Harris, who joined MS&L two years ago as a senior VP, to director of its corporate practice in North America. He maintains his director role for the New York corporate unit.

Bib Hubbard to senior VP and managing director of Widmeyer Communications’ New York office. She heads the firm’s New York education practice, as well as its arts and culture unit.

Sue Muzzin, director of marketing, KGO Radio, to Pier 39, San Francisco marketplace and entertainment center, as director of PR and advertising. She was previously regional marketing manager at The Walt Disney Company.

Loren Rutledge, a marketing intern at Lindsey Management, to Lewis PR, Dallas, as an associate.

Sylvia France, formerly of Bailey Lauerman and Reis McKenna, to Bozell, Omaha, Neb., as partner in charge of dialog relations. She previously ran her own shop in Silicon Valley. Kevin Hutchison, former A/D at Karsh/Hagan Communications, joins as partner in charge of brand navigation.

Megan Kahn, formerly of Waggener Edstrom and Ketchum, to Nyhus Communications, Seattle, as VP of PR. She is also a co-founder of tech company Infoflows Corp. Michelle Craig, managing director of Lewis PR’s Seattle office, joins Nyhus as director of PR. Robert Julavits, former director of communication for Citibank North America, joins as a senior writer. He was previously a reporter for National Journal, Sport magazine and American Banker.

Caroline Hoenk, VP at FD, to Insidedge, Chicago, an employee communications unit of Interpublic, as a VP.

Jonathan Nicholas, who was interim CFO at SengWare and Cha Dao Tea Co., and ex-financial controller at The Fox Group, to Publicis Consultants | PR, Seattle, as finance mgr.


Internet Edition, February 18, 2009, Page 7


At least 300 PRS members have been directors of PRS since its founding in 1947.

Paul noted that the ad/PR industry has been accused of “pervasive racial discrimination” by critics including lawyer Cyrus Mehri who helped win $193M and $176M settlements on such charges from Coca-Cola and Texaco, respectively.

Only 3.2% of ad/PR executives are African Americans while the average is 7.2% in similar industries, said a study by Mehri and others that was released in January. New York itself, where most big ad/PR firms are based, is only 45% white.

Minorities mostly have lower level jobs in ad/PR agencies. Interpublic reports that 20% of its junior staff are minorities but only two of the nearly 100 agencies it owns in part or outright are headed by African-Americans–the Ansible mobile marketing agency and Translation Consultation + Brand Imaging. Heidi Gardner is SVP and chief diversity officer at IPG.

Veteran PRS members recalled that Miller, who became the first black on the board in 1992, ran into stiff opposition.

An educational administrator with Florida International University, Miller moved up to secretary in 1993.

But when she ran for treasurer in 1994, the nominating committee, headed by 1992 president Rosalee Roberts, instead gave the nod to Janice Newman, of Newman, Newman & Jones, Los Angeles.

Supporters of Miller, led by Frank Stansberry of Coca-Cola, urged Miller to run from the floor of the Assembly and gathered the necessary signatures. Unless nominated for treasurer, Miller would have been dropped from the board.

After presentations by Miller, Newman and their supporters, the Assembly picked Miller. It was revealed that the second “Newman” and the “Jones” in the title of Newman’s agency were not people.

Newman said they represented her talents.

Miller Fought Key Battle

The battle was a key one because the treasurer’s post almost always led to president-elect and then president.

Whoever got the treasurer’s nomination for 1995 would almost certainly be president for the 50th anniversary of PRS in 1997.

The PRS Bluebook of members for many years said PRS “was founded in 1947.” It elected officers, opened an office in New York and began adding members in the summer of 1947.

Consultant James Arnold was named to head a 100-member committee to work on the celebration in 1997. It conducted a contest to see who could best present the best case for a stamp honoring the Society with the numbers 1947-1997 on it.

Despite the above, the board in 1996 announced that 1998 would be celebrated as the 50th anniversary year because the corporate charter was received in the mail in February, 1948.

The honor of being 50th anniversary president was taken from Miller and given to 1998 president Mary Lynn Cusick of Bob Evans Farms, Columbus, Ohio.

Political Battle Boosted Procter-Rogers

A deep political split in PRS leadership led to the nomination of Procter-Rogers as president-elect in 2005.

She jumped from being a member of the board to chair-elect, bypassing the usual steps of serving first as secretary and then as treasurer.

Marie Russell, PR professor at Syracuse University, was treasurer of the Society in 2005 and in line to be president-elect. However, she had political enemies among the leadership and the nominating committee, headed by 2002 president Joann Killeen, picked Procter-Rogers.

Cherenson Explains on PRSAY

While Cherenson was declining to discuss the black issue with this NL, either in person, on the telephone, or via e-mail, he made a long statement about it on PRSAY, the new blog of the Society.

Like Paul, he noted that the election of Barack Obama has “put the issue of diversity under increased public scrutiny.”He said the board had a “good record” with regard to diversity.

In recent years, he said, the board has included “individuals of African American and Hispanic descent, and individuals of different sexual orientations.”

He did not identify them but the African-Americans are Miller, Procter-Rogers and Owens. Those of Hispanic descent are Rosanna Fiske of Florida International University, who was treasurer in 2008, and Luis Morales, 1996 president. Cherenson also did not identify the “individual of different sexual orientations.”

He noted that PRS has had a diversity outreach program for 20 years and that it set up a Multicultural Communications professional interest section in 1997.

PRS in 2000 asked “industry legend” Ofield Dukes to lead its first “official National Diversity Initiative,” said Cherenson.

Dukes went on a cross-country “Diversity Tour” to educate chapters about diversity and multiculturalism.

“While it has evolved somewhat over the years, it continues today in the spirit Mr. Dukes originally put forth,” said Cherenson.

PRS, he noted, also has a Diversity Committee, a Diversity Toolkit, and a podcast series, “PRS Diversity Today.” A chapter Diversity Award has been started.

PR Student Society chapters are at 13 historically black colleges and at 27 schools accredited by the Hispanic Assn. of Colleges and Universities.

In conclusion, Cherenson asked readers, “If you know of minority candidates who are interested in serving PRS in a leadership capacity–please reach out on our behalf, offer your encouragement and support, and work with them, and us, to help make a difference.”


Former Colorado Senator Wayne Allard has joined the Livingston Group, which is headed by one-time Speaker-designate Bob Livingston.

Allard did not run for re-election in '08 to keep his pledge of serving only two terms. Democrat Mark Udall won Allard’s seat.

During his dozen years in the Senate, Allard founded the Renewable Energy and Conservation Caucus and the Space Caucus.


Internet Edition, February 18, 2009, Page 8




The PR Society board, a dysfunctional group because of 35 years of inbreeding by APRs (who think they’re the salt of the earth because they passed a one-day test), desperately needs new blood and new thinking.

The all-white, all-APR board lacks even diversity in relation to its own membership which is more than 80% non-APR, a percentage that is rising daily.

This rigid, doctrinaire group, if it can bestir itself to actually think a new thought, should beg five leading black journalists and five leading black non-member PR pros to join the board immediately as “senior counsels.”

Two birds with one stone would be killed. The board would not only be integrated, but would at long last have some outsiders, people with fresh viewpoints.

Sarbanes-Oxley, followed voluntarily by many non-profits, demands that non-employees of a public company be on the board. NYSE says a majority of a board must be outsiders.

PRS’ problem is that its “leaders” are picked from a small cadre of obscure although active members rather than seasoned PR execs of national repute. The board belongs in ethical/moral receivership because of failure to perform its duties.

If the board can add Southerners as senior counsels (Ray Crockett, Dave Rickey and Mary Beth West), it can also add blacks.

The record of blacks on the board is so bad as to be almost non-existent: three in 61 years.

Debra Miller, the first black on the board after about 45 years, was shabbily treated.

She joined in 1992 and made it to secretary in 1993. But when leaders suddenly realized she was in line to be the 50th anniversary president in 1997, they tried to block her from becoming treasurer in 1995.

The nominating committee instead picked Janice Newman, a white counselor from Los Angeles, dropping Miller from the board.

An infuriated Frank Stansberry of Florida denounced the move and organized a committee to push her as a write-in candidate.

A giant flaw had developed in Newman’s candidacy. It was revealed (by this Newsletter) that the name of her agency was “fake.”

It was called Newman, Newman & Jones but the latter two names, she lamely explained, represented her skills instead of real people. Why didn’t the nomcom, headed by 1992 president Rosalee Roberts, pick this up?! It was so anxious to ditch Miller.

So Miller forced herself on an unwilling PRS. But the leaders were by no means vanquished. They then suddenly switched the anniversary year from 1997 to 1998 in spite of copious evidence against this. All member Bluebooks had given 1947 as the founding year of PRS and the anniversary committee even sought a stamp with the years 1947-1997 on it. PRS was founded in the summer of 1947 when officers were elected, offices were opened in New York, and collection of dues began.

Paperwork, in the form of a charter from New York State, arrived in February 1948. Mary Lynn Cusick of Bob Evans Farms, Columbus, became president in 1998.

Miller did some member-friendly things such as allowing unaudited finances to be reported early (instead of making members wait as late as August for the audit); conducted a survey of member attitudes that was provided to members and press (the last such survey), and urged h.q. to hire a number of PR professionals (there was only one on staff at the time). The last demand was ignored. In the 1970s, there had been nearly ten veteran PR pros on staff headed by Rea Smith.

Blacks appear to be doing a better job of press/PR integration than the PR organizations that are mostly white.

The National Assn. of Black Journalists has 4,000 members and 700 of them are PR people.

Aprill Turner, former senior A/E at CooperKatz & Co., New York, and now with Children's Dental Health Project in Washington, D.C., is the PR representative on the 15-member board of the NABJ, which was founded in 1975.

The NABJ will host a conference for PR pros March 21 in New York at which both PR pros and journalists will speak.

Some members of NABJ are also members of the National Black PR Society or its chapters in seven cities—New York, Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

NBPRS, with about 1,000 members in total, will hold its national conference in Atlanta April 23-26.

PRS chair Mike Cherenson and PRS COO Bill Murray met with counselor Mike Paul last week but the only report on it is one sentence from PRS VP-PR Arthur Yann confirming that a meeting took place.

Cherenson, following policy set by 2006 president Cheryl Procter-Rogers, 2007 chair Rhoda Weiss and 2008 chair Jeff Julin, is refusing to talk to us in person or on the phone and is refusing to answer our e-mails. This is the fourth year of the boycott against us which was formalized by a full-page in the September 2008 PRS Tactics.

A similar O’Dwyer boycott voted by the 1999 board was rescinded at the first meeting of the 2000 board. But the 2009 board took no such action. It’s in violation of the PRS code that calls for “fair” dealing with media.

Cherenson advised PR people in an interview Jan. 21 on that “Knowledge is power—make yourself the most knowledgeable practitioner you can.”

We agree that knowledge is power and wonder why PRS won’t let us advertise the five O’Dwyer products in Tactics, Strategist and on the PRS website. We have facts and information that are not duplicated by PRS’s own informational products.

PRS deprives members of power in many other ways including refusing to audiocast the Assembly and then refusing to supply the transcript of the Assembly to members who request it.

Cherenson, inconsistently, told the “For Immediate Release” program Dec. 19, 2008, that all members were invited to the Assembly.

Not only is knowledge power but so is lack of knowledge. The person with lack of knowledge can say this absolves him or her of responsibility. This is the “Ignorance Is Bliss” or Ostrich School of PR.

Only one of the current 17 directors of PRS subscribes to any O’Dwyer product and that includes Cherenson. They can credibly plead ignorance of anything we write.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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