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Internet Edition, December 2, 2009, Page 1


California is seeking bids for a six-figure consumer education campaign in support of its climate change website,

The site, which is being revamped through the end of 2009 with input from various entities, is aimed to be a resource for local governments, business, schools and citizens to set goals for reducing greenhouse gases as the state works to comply with its Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, requiring emissions cuts from every sector of the Golden State's population.

A carbon calculator, case studies and other resources are included.

California’s Air Resources Board issued the RFP on Nov. 19 and is accepting proposals through Dec. 15.

The work includes PSAs, PR and online/social media strategies to target the state's diverse business and residential population to reduce their carbon footprint via actions described at

The automobile-crazed state last week implemented new rules to create a trading system to limit air pollutants associated with climate change.


Political operative Chuck Greener, who handled chief communications and marketing officer duties at Fannie Mae, will assume the VP-corporate affairs and communications post at drug store chain giant Walgreens on Jan. 4.

The 55-year-old Greener will be in charge of government affairs, community relations and corporate communications at the Deerfield, Ill.-based giant with revenues of more than $63B.

Greener joined Fannie Mae in 2001 as VP-communications. He took on chief of staff duties and was promoted last year to assume government relations, community giving, marketing, strategic PR, investor relations and events.

He took center stage in marketing outreach as part of Fannie Mae's role in President Obama's housing relief program.

Before Fannie Mae, Greener was regional director and GM at Porter Novelli in Washington, D.C. from ’95 to ’01.

Earlier, he was director of communications for the Republican National Committee, special assistant to President Ronald Reagan for legislative affairs and chief of staff for Congressman Bob McEwen (R-Ohio).

Walgreens operates more than 7,100 drug stores. Its health and wellness unit runs “Take Care Health Systems,” in-store clinics and worksite wellness centers.


College football’s Bowl Championship Series has hired former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer's sports PR firm as the playoff system endures criticism and debate over its role in the sport.

The 11-year-old BCS system aims to designate college football's top two teams for a national championship, in addition to other top “bowl” games. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which governs college sports including football, does not operate a playoff system.

The BCS last month tapped a former NCAA official and current BCS administrator, Bill Hancock, as director of the organization. Hancock, who is the series' top spokesman, also oversees government relations and PR.

He announced the hiring of Ari Fleischer Communications on Nov. 21, noting the PR pro will tout the positive aspects of the system.

The debate over the fairness of the BCS' computerized system of ranking teams has reached as high as the White House as President Barack Obama questioned the playoff both as a candidate and as president.

Fleischer, W.H. press secretary to George W. Bush, counts pro baseball, football and the U.S. Olympic Committee among his clients.


Singer & Associates has been hired to assist the San Francisco Hotel Council in contentious labor negotiations that have led to two strikes.

Sam Singer, president of the firm, said he was hired to act as spokesman for the hotel trade group, a role he played earlier this year for a city transit agency locked in protracted negotiations with two large unions.

Local 2 Unite Here, a union of San Francisco hotel workers that counts 12,000 members, has been picketing hotels in the city over the past month as negotiations broke down over health benefits. Workers at the Grand Hyatt and Palace Hotel in the city have walked off the job for three days.

The hotel trade group, which notes the average hotel housekeeper makes $60K in salary and benefits, has called the rolling strikes “destructive” and wants the union back at the negotiating table. The group is also playing up San Francisco hotel workers as the second-highest paid in the industry in the U.S. and says they earn wages 40 percent higher than counterparts in Chicago.

The union says the $60K-a-year figure is actually closer to $50K and blasted the hotel council’s “growing irrelevance.”


Internet Edition, December 2, 2009, Page 2


A grassroots group of men and women who say they were abused by religious figures is taking aim at the bankrupt Diocese of Wilmington, Del., for its hiring of Sitrick and Company.

“It’s morally wrong for a church official to cry poverty and then pay six figures to a PR firm,” said Barbara Dorris, national outreach director for the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests, or SNAP.

The group got a hold of the archdiocese's six-figure contract with Sitrick following its October bankruptcy filing amid more than 140 claims of sexual abuse from priests in the district.

Sitrick has worked with the Los Angeles archdiocese on similar PR issues. Michael Sitrick did not return a request for comment.

Dorris of SNAP said the Wilmington diocese, like most others, has an internal PR department. “Should Catholics’ hard-earned donations be spent on ‘spinning’ a bishop’s unilateral, expensive, and selfish decision to hide behind Chapter 11 laws so that clergy sex crimes and cover ups could remained covered up?” she asked in a statement.

The group says Catholic authorities have sought bankruptcy protection ahead of civil trials to save their reputations, rather than church assets.

The Delaware diocese filed for Chapter 11 on Oct. 18. Reuters reported at that time that it became the seventh diocese in the U.S. to seek bankruptcy protection and its filing put on hold the scheduled start of eight consecutive civil trials relating to a defrocked priest.

“Some see a tension between the claims of those victims who have suffered so greatly at the hands of people in whom they had placed their trust and the need of the Diocese to continue its other necessary works,” said Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of Wilmington, in announcing the bankruptcy filing. “We believe not only that both goals are compatible but that, with God's help and yours, they will be achieved.”


Harvey Greisman, senior VP of worldwide communications of MasterCard, left the company in early November.

Greisman joined MC in January 2006 from IBM, where he had been head of PR for its software and global services groups since 1997.

Neither Greisman nor anyone at MasterCard could be reached for comment.

The company announced sweeping changes in January to “better align its global customer-focused strategy with customer expectations.” A release said that worldwide marketing and communications and MasterCard Advisors would continue to report to Gary Flood, president, Global Products & Solutions.

Greisman, before joining IBM, was at GTE Corp. in Stamford, Conn., for 15 years, rising to senior VP-PA and communications.

Earlier, he worked for Allied Corp., now part of Honeywell.

Sharon Gamsin was VP-global communications when Greisman joined MasterCard in 2006.


The Glover Park Group is working the agricultural beat for DuPont on issues concerning competition in the marketplace.

DuPont and archrival Monsanto have been waging a high-profile legal battle in the biotech seed business. Monsanto filed suit against DuPont for patent infringement, while DuPont countersued Monsanto for anti-competitive business practices.

The Justice and Agriculture Departments plan public hearings on competition in farmland next year.

GPG's Jack Krumholtz, who joined the firm in July from Microsoft's federal government affairs office in D.C., is handling the DuPont account. He played a key role in guiding Microsoft via the antitrust suit filed by the Justice Dept.

Kimberly James, a communications aide to former Democratic Senators Alan Cranston (Cal.) and Bob Graham (Fla.) joins Krumholtz on the business.

GPG has brought in some Republican firepower for DuPont. The firm has also hired Michael Torrey Associates for back-up.

Torrey is a former staffer on ex-Kansas Senators Nancy Kassebaum and Bob Dole. He also served as deputy chief of staff for George W. Bush's Agriculture Secretaries Ann Veneman and Mike Johanns.

DuPont's Pioneer Hi-Bred seed unit announced Nov. 23 that it projects strong growth in `10, and expects to gain market share in the U.S. and overseas against rivals.

“Our approach of bringing traits to the market in a wide variety of genetics and then working with customers to get the right product on the right acre continues to pay off for growers,” said Pioneer president Paul Schickler, in a statement predicting a bullish future.

Monsanto terminated ties with Ogilvy Government Relations on Aug. 31 after shelling out $160K in `09 fees.


Burson-Marsteller veteran Trevor Francis has resigned as communications director of the Republican National Committee after just nine months.

Republican adman Alex Castellanos, who worked for Bush/Cheney and Mitt Romney, as well as RNC chair Michael Steele’s Senate campaign, is taking over the slot under Steele.

Francis was press secretary to Commerce Secretary Don Evans during the recent Bush administration. He was a managing director in B-M’s media practice before joining the RNC in March.

Castellanos' bio from his firm, National Media Inc. in Alexandria, Va., notes a quote dubbing him a “father of the attack ad.”

He joined the McCain campaign after Romney dropped out of the 2008 presidential contest.

Castellanos' ad credits include some infamous productions like the 2000 “Rats” ad from the RNC targeting Al Gore and the 1990 “White Hands” ad for Sen. Jesse Helms.

The RNC said Castellanos will serve as senior communications advisor through the 2010 mid-term elections.


Internet Edition, December 2, 2009, Page 3


The Washington Post is closing U.S. bureaus in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago on Dec. 31 to concentrate on its D.C. base. Six staffers are offered jobs in Washington.

Three news assistants are being let go.

Editor Marcus Brauchli says the move is to “concentrate our journalistic firepower on our central mission of covering Washington” and the ideas and trends that shape the country's direction.

The Post says it remains committed to sending journalists to any part of the U.S. where there is breaking news.


The Interactive Advertising Bureau reports that third-quarter online advertising hit $5.5B, down 5.4 percent from last year's period. It does note that spending inched ahead 1.7 percent from the second quarter period.

CEO Randy Rothenberg remains upbeat about the 'Net providing “marketers with unprecedented opportunities to engage with their customers.” 

Though advertising overall is in the dumps, “digital media has been a bright spot within the larger economic downturn and it is capturing an ever-increasing piece of marketers' advertising spend,” said a statement from Rothenberg.

PricewaterhouseCoopers compiles the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report.


News Corp has kicked off talks with Microsoft that could lead to Rupert Murdoch’s papers from the Wall Street Journal, London Times and New York Post being featured on online properties of the software giant, including its recently launched Bing search engine.

The Financial Times broke the news of the talks that are said to be in the very preliminary stage.

Murdoch has vowed to pull his content from Google unless he receives a pile of cash for their information.

A deal with Microsoft would generate revenues for News Corp. and compensate for the loss of online exposure following a cut in ties with Google.

ComScore reports that Google has about two-thirds of the U.S. search market in October, while Bing hit the 10 percent level.


The Detroit Daily Press, a start-up paper covering the Motor City, was suspended after its first week because of advertising and operations woes.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, lack of advertising, lateness of our press runs and lack of distribution and sales, we find it necessary to temporarily suspend publication of the Detroit Daily Press until after the 1st of the year,” the paper said in a statement.

“Once we can fix these things, we plan to be back stronger and more organized when we return. This is just a bump in the road and not the end of the Detroit Daily Press,” the statement continued.

The Daily Press had been aiming to fill a niche left by cutbacks at the Detroit News and Free Press, which only deliver to homes from Thursday through Sunday.


Anthony Moor is exiting the Dallas Morning News web operation to join Yahoo's local news organization. He moved to Yahoo on Nov. 30.

The 49-year-old was deputy managing editor/digital. Moor is credited with boosting's traffic nearly 200 percent in his two-year tenure.

He will be stationed at Yahoo's Sunnyvale headquarters, which is south of San Francisco.

Moor spent a dozen years in S.F. as a TV reporter. He also did stints at the Orlando Sentinel and Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y.


Dan Harrison becomes senior VP/strategic development at CBS Corp. on Jan. 4 to oversee emerging technologies and distribution systems. It's a new position at the Tiffany Network.

Harrison was senior VP-emerging networks at NBC Universal Cable, handling mystery/crime and suspense/horror channels. He also managed studio-based acquisitions by Bravo and Oxygen Media.

Earlier, Harrison was senior VP/programming & strategic planning at Fox Sports, responsible for development, production, scheduling and program research for non-event and non-news programming.

At CBS, Harrison will report to Martin Franks, executive VP/planning, policy and government affairs.


Carl Kasell, news anchor at National Public Radio, is retiring Dec. 30, calling it quits on a 30-year career. He anchors the top of the hour newscast on “Morning Edition.”

An NPR memo credits Kasell for raising “more than a generation of listeners with his calm and authoritative newscast.” He “has been the first voice many people hear each day.”

Kasell will retain his job as official judge and scorekeeper for “Wait, Wait…Don't Tell Me,” the program that offers Kasell's voice on home answering machines as a prize.


Bloomberg is closing its books unit in the aftermath of the BusinessWeek acquisition as the media combine seeks more of a consumer focus.

The unit published books on finance, trading, wealth management and other subjects of interest to Wall Street.

The books operation employs less than a dozen people. Bloomberg cut about 130 of BW staffers from the payroll with last month's purchase of the magazine from McGraw-Hill.

John Barron, publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, has been promoted to group publisher and senior VP at Sun-Times Media.

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, December 2, 2009, Page 4


Twitter, Facebook and social networks have become mainstream for entertainment writers and editors, Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS) members learned at a November media workshop sponsored by the International Cinematographers Guild in Hollywood.

West Coast editor Michael Fleeman, said: “Whether we like it or not, reporters are being dragged into new media, some kicking and screaming about it. You have to know how to do it, and you have to file under deadline.”

New York Times reporter Edward Wyatt said reporters are being asked to post more content online and then tweet about it.

“Sometimes I record audio interviews or TV interviews and post them on the site,” he said. Wyatt cautions PR pros to not miss the forest for the trees. “If you have a webisode that is attracting 50,000 eyes, and you want to tell me about it, great. But if the television show associated with it attracts 16 million people a week, that’s the meat of the story.”

Wyatt covers the television business in LA. He joined the Times in New York in 1995 as a finance and investigative reporter and has covered education, the redesign of the World Trade Center site, the 2004 Democratic primaries, publishing business, as well as professional cycling and the Tour de France. He moved to LA in 2006 to cover television.

Wyatt said he’s looking for national stories, because the Times just doesn’t report on Manhattan stories. “When I came to L.A., I found we had not done a story on ‘Two-and-a-Half Men,’ which is the biggest comedy on television and watched all over the country,” he said. “A lot of people in Manhattan don’t watch it, but people in Iowa, Kansas and elsewhere do. So if you bring stories with a national pace, we’re interested.”

Andrew Hampp, Los Angeles reporter for Advertising Age, echoed other complaints of panelists on publicists’ follow-up calls on a pitch.

“Please don’t pitch me after you received a big ‘no’ from another editor above me,” he said. “We are still a work in progress, and started our website three years ago. We have separate website and magazine editors and then we share editing staff. It’s about 99 percent original content on the website. There’s not much overlap between the magazine and website. The site is shorter, faster and more newsie, breezier and for a younger user,” he said.

Hampp said the print version deadline for Ad Age is Thursday or early Friday.

“I think my biggest pet peeve is just the coordination on events,” said Natalie Abrams, West Coast staff editor at “I’ll get three separate emails from a network publicist, a studio publicist, a show publicist or a personal publicist for the actor, and it is all on the same thing,”

Abrams also said they don't have a full time staffer who tweets, but each writer or editor uses new media to drive more traffic to's websites.

— By George S. McQuade III


Ladies Home Journal has kicked off its “Do Good” stamp of approval to honor companies that are making positive changes in people's lives via charitable works.

The “Do Good” stamp can be used on corporate packages and promotional materials. The first batch of winners will be featured in the December/January LHF.

They are Burt’s Bees (employees spend 30 hours a year on volunteer work), Hard Rock International (signature t-shirts raise millions, and “Ambassador Program” for local fundraising), Lee Jeans (“Demin Day” raises money for breast cancer awareness), L'Oreal Paris (“Color of Hope” collection benefits ovarian cancer research), May Kay (“Break the Cycle” domestic abuse program), Sonic America's Drive-In (“Limeades for Learning” program for classroom projects), Tide (“Loads of Hope” laundry service for communities hit with disaster) and Trident (“Smiles Across America” dental hygiene). LHJ is part of Meredith Corp.


Nann Miller, who headed Miller/Geer & Assocs., from 1975-96 and Nann Miller Enterprises since then, is helping out KSAR-TV/15, Saratoga, Calif. (outside of San Jose), by handling stories and teaching students the basics of journalism.

KSAR-TV, a public access station located on the campus of West Valley College, found itself almost without funds and unable to pay any staffers.

Miller and three others on the board who had broadcast and reporting experience stepped in to do the work themselves.

“We either had to pay to tape our shows or we could do it ourselves,” she said.

After nearly a lifetime in PR, Miller switched to journalism, covering such subjects as a Halloween parade, City Council meetings, Christmas Tree lighting, press conference on hit and run accident, Saratoga High School’s 50th anniversary, and the opening of a park memorializing Kevin Moran, a young man who was accidentally shot by a policeman while taking part in a protest against the Vietnam War.

The shows are also aired on YouTube.

Miller, a native of Cincinnati and graduate of the University of Cincinnati, was president of the Los Angeles Counselors Academy, an instructor at Calif. State Dominquez Hills.


Los Angeles Times sports writer Mike Penner, who made national headlines when he wrote about being a transssexual, died Nov. 27. He was 52 and suicide was a suspected cause, according to the newspaper.

Penner announced in 2007 via his sports column that he was a “transsexual sportswriter” and began writing for the paper under the byline Christine Daniels. He changed back to his original name in October 2008.

“Mike was a first-rate journalist, a valued member of our staff for 25 years, and we will miss him,” Times Editor Russ Stanton said. “He respected our readers a great deal, enough to share with them his very personal journey. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Internet Edition, December 2, 2009, Page 5


While social media can’t handle the entire communications load, tools like Twitter and Facebook are now a vital consideration for any strategy, according to a study by Euro RSCG Worldwide.

Euro polled more than 1,200 Americans from various online demographics in October for the study on the implications and use of social media, extracting trends and highlighting opinions about the emerging communications force.

Notable responses included nearly half (48%) saying electronic interaction is more “convenient” than face-to-face, less than one-third (28%) who said social media enhances social lives offline, and a majority (58%) who said online socializing “is for sad, antisocial types.”

The study points to online phenomena like Barack Obama's presidential campaign, the Iranian elections and the unlikely singing phenom Susan Boyle as examples of social media's power.

The Euro study says that as more traditional media like newspapers and TV stations go online and adopt more social technology, the lines between news and social chat are blurring. "Those outlets now provide space for registered users to respond to news items and editorials, which often turns into lively debate," the firm noted, adding that content is easily shared via email or services like Twitter with the click of a mouse.

Euro noted that about 20 million messages are "tweeted" each day, while Facebook has 300M active users.

News online is trended toward the "hyperlocal," according to the study, which notes "it's about the sort of new ways of creating the local awareness and connectedness that virtually disappeared when consumers stopped walking down Main Street and started relying on TV for their news."

That sheltered behavior, or "cocooning," along with increased commuting to work made it so many people weren't aware of local events, Euro said. But social media tools are reestablishing peoples' connections with their surrounding vicinities and communities. Euro pointed to the Omaha World-Herald's October purchase of WikiCity, a community-based social site on 22,000 U.S. towns, and said that the hyyperlocal space is being pursued by both start-ups and individuals, as well as established media companies like Yahoo!.

Euro said the rising generation born since the 1970s is most at home with social technology and is the most comfortable with putting themselves at the center of their media universes.

The full study is at

BRIEFS: Ogilvy PR Worldwide is working with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to launch two reports in China ahead of World AIDS day Dec. 1. ...Eisen Marketing Group, Newport, Ky., said it is holding a reality show-like competition for an entry-level job with the Cincinnati-area firm. The firm is calling on May/June 2010 graduates, or recent grads, to apply through Dec. 17 at Webisodes will document the interns’ “trials, tribulations, victories and tasks at hand.” ...


New York Area

Vorticom, New York/Cinnabar Ventures, for PR for its cloud-based operating system, Yippy OS.

MWW Group, New York/, for an expanded PR role with the existing client to include a holiday push for its gourmet food and gift basket brands -- The Popcorn Factory, Fannie May and Cheryl&Co.

Hummingbird Media, New York/Sennheiser, German audio products maker with offices in Old Lyme, Conn., for PR in the U.S. consumer electronics market.

Robin Leedy & Associates, Mount Kisco, N.Y./Cobalis Corp., for launch of PreHistin, and Quantum Health, OTV consumer health products, for an integrated, year-long PR campaign.

Stern + Associates, Cranford, N.J./USA Illumination, lighting fixtures maker, and MD On-Line, health care technology, for PR and marketing.

Beckerman, Hackensack, N.J./Agudath Israel of N.J.; Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, real estate owner and developer; livethesource, direct sales; Multi Distressed Asset Co., real estate; New Energy Technologies, “clean” power; Rivet Software; Vcorp Services, corporate services; Vzillion, 3-D Internet, and XsunX, solar cell technology.

Swordfish Communications, Voorhees, N.J./Street Corner, Kansas-based franchisor of mall convenience stores, as AOR for PR.


Aloysius Butler & Clark, Wilmington, Del./The Health Network of the Chester County Hospital, and CentraState Healthcare System, as AOR.


TransMedia Group, Boca Raton, Fla./Bob Waxman, author, for release of “2012: The Ultimate Meaning” (Paragon House, December 2009), a title intended to debunk the blockbuster film about an Earth-wide apocalypse released in November. Book publicist Kim Morgan is heading the account.

Newlink Communications, Miami, Fla./Avis Rent A Car’s Latin American and Caribbean division, for PR.


Innis Maggiore, Canton, Ohio/Gerber’s Poultry, as AOR for advertising and marketing communications.

Leonard & Finco PR, Green Bay, Wisc./LZ Lambeau, for a strategic PR program supporting a “welcome home” event for Vietnam veterans in the state in May 2010.


Richmond PR, Seattle/The Palmdale Hotel, for PR following a multimillion-dollar renovation to the Antelope Valley (Calif.) property.


Morgan Marketing & PR, Irvine, Calif./Lugano Diamonds, jeweler, for a product PR campaign targeting consumer media.

The Rogers Group, Los Angeles/Private Health Management, medical treatment for high net worth individuals, for media relations, speaking opportunities, branding and strategic counseling.

Internet Edition, December 2, 2009, Page 6


The Advertising Council has produced a new website to encourage agencies, media companies and advertisers to extend the reach of the groups’ public service announcements.

The site,, was unveiled by Johnson & Johnson VP Brian Perkins, who chairs the council, at the group’s confab in New York earlier this month.

The group said users can quickly share PSA videos and images via social media platforms and offers the opportunity to comment through sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The council is also posting behind-the-scenes video of PSAs being produced.
JESS3, a digital agency in Washington D.C., developed the new site. AOL provided strategic guidance on the design and functionality.

“One of the most exciting and valuable uses of social media is for social good," said Perkins.

The site currently features ten campaigns, along with the agencies that created the PSAs pro bono: Autism Awareness (BBDO), Drunk Driving Prevention (Mullen and The Vidal Partnership), Hunger Prevention (Ogilvy and Mather), Adoption (kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners), High School Dropout Prevention (Publicis), Shelter Pet Adoption (Draftfcb), Gay and Lesbian Teen Bullying Prevention (ArnoldNYC), Re-connecting Kids with Nature (Euro RSCG Tonic), Teen Dating Abuse Prevention (R/GA) and Wildfire Prevention (Draftfcb).

The group said all of its 50 national public service campaigns will be featured on the site in the near future.

The council is working with New Media Strategies, a D.C.-based social media agency, to promote My Ad Council on blogs, message boards, discussion forums and social networks.

BREIFS: Christopher Podomani, senior account director for the recently defunct On the Scene Productions, has landed at PR Newswire’s MultiVu broadcast and digital division as a national account manager based in Chicago. ...Mark Haefeli Productions was hired by Universal Music to produce a satellite media tour for the release of recording artist 50 Cent’s new album, “Before I Self Destruct,” and book, “The 50th Law.” ...Roswell, Ga.-based marketing firm Leader Enterprises has acquired web developer Bottlecap Development, Atlanta. The two-year-old Bottlecap will operate under its name as a subsidiary of LE. Founder and president Jeremy Morris becomes president of LE’s digital media group. ...Ketchum’s Zocalo Group division was awarded the 2009 Excellence in New Communications Award for measurement innovation by the Society for New Communications Research. Zocalo’s Digital Footprint Index, released earlier this year and developed with the Dept. of Marketing at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, was cited as an “impressive expample” of new technology used to enhace communications and relationships.



John Griffin, VP of PR for stock car racing’s Indy Racing League, has submitted his resignation, effective Dec. 18.

The IRL runs two racing prominent series, including the Izod IndyCar Series anchored by the Indianapolis 500.

Griffin joined the Indy League in 2002 in the VP slot from Nascar, where he was director of communications.

At the IRL, he handled media relations and strategic communications and highlights of his tenure included Danica Patrick’s first win and the recent series sponsorship by Izod.

Griffin told O’Dwyer’s that he doesn’t have any immediate plans.

“I really think the time is right for me to entertain a new challenge, particularly among something that would allow me more quality time with my kids,” he said in a statement via IRL.

Griffin started out with World Cup USA 1994 and the Major Indoor Soccer League before moving to motor sports.


Ciaran Clayton, spokeswoman to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), to Burson-Marsteller, Washington, D.C., as a manager in the Issues and Crisis Group. “Her years of experience working on key issues on Capitol Hill will make her great asset to Burson-Marsteller and it clients,” said Josh Gottheimer, global executive VP. Clayton has worked on the Hill for five years, including two for Cantwell.

Cristina Lawrence is moving to Razorfish as director of word of mouth/social media, according to David Deal, spokesperson at the interactive shop. Deal said the Fleishman-Hillard senior VP-digital communications joined the Publicis Groupe unit Nov. 30 after taking a week off. Last month, Publicis officially closed the $530M deal to acquire Razorfish from Microsoft, which remains a client of the digital shop.

Linda Watters, managing director, financial risk management, KPMG, to John Hancock, Boston, as VP of government relations. She was previously commissioner of the Office of Financial and Insurance Services for the State of Michigan, one of three states that JH considers its primary state regulators.

Renee Rosenfeld, who recently led the strategy to build a safety center connected to the “America’s Most Wanted” TV franchise, to Widmeyer Communications, as VP and executive producer of its creative studio. She is a veteran producer for political campaigns. Sara Kabakoff, marketing and comms. associate at the National Building Museum, joins as marketing manager to promote the firm and its clients.


Melissa Monahan to senior VP, education, healthcare, non-profit practice, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, Boston. P.J. Foster, Emily Gombar and Jessica DiMartino were also upped.


Internet Edition, December 2, 2009, Page 7


A black-tie crowd of 1,040 attended the "Financial Follies" of the New York Financial Writers' Association Nov. 20 at the Marriott Marquis.

The crowd was slightly smaller than 2008 but the barbs aimed at the "heavies" of the financial world were as sharp.

New York IR firm Rooney & Assocs., hosting 38 journalists, had the most tables-five (at $3,000 each).

Scammer Bernie Madoff and bonus-paying Goldman Sachs took the brunt of the attack.

Sung to the tune of “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson were these lyrics:

When he sold through innuendo,
The old ladies would crescendo,
Uncle Bernie was an ogre,
But he made a dashing broker,
It was underneath the table,
But the payout was so stable,
Oh, we begged him-"Is there some room?"
We were sucked in, it was our doom.
Blankfein and Goldman Castigated

Goldman Sachs, one of the original nine recipients of government aid which is now on track to pay $21 billion in bonuses by year end, was castigated to the tune of “Rawhide” by Ned Washington:

Some of the stanzas:
Blankfein's calculatin'
The money we'll be makin'
Makin' while the other firms cry.
Slice 'em up, tranche 'em in,
Trade 'em first, move 'em on,
Beat 'em up, lock 'em out,
Get the loot, please the wife,
Buy the house, live the life,
Be the best, beat the rest,

Rooney Had Five Tables

Rooney & Associates, New York financial communications firm headed by Terry Rooney who had been a principal with the former Morgan-Walke Associates, hosted 38 journalists.

Felix Salmon, a Reuters blogger, last year criticized a Bloomberg story about the FDIC’s finances and called Terry Rooney whose firm represents Bloomberg. Salmon said neither Bloomberg reporter David Evans nor anyone from Bloomberg got back to him.

Bloomberg is one of the “very best” in covering the financial crisis but it is “dreadful when it comes to correcting errors or responding to criticism,” wrote Salmon.

Morgan Walke, later purchased by Financial Dynamics, listed more than 200 clients in 1998. It holds the record for number of tables purchased at a “Financial Follies”–13 in 1999.

Among those at the Rooney table was Judith Czelusniak, global PR director of Bloomberg.

Journalists present were:

Xana Antunes, Crain’s New York Business; Ed Baig, USA Today; Claudia Deutsch, contributor, Institutional Investor; Mia Haugen, Matt Schifrin, Megha Bahree, David Randall, Mike Maiello, Stephanie Dahle, Alexandra Zendrian, Forbes; Holman Jenkins, Elizabeth Holmes, Raymond Flandez, Wall Street Journal; Bob McGough, Dow Jones Newswires; Amey Stone, AOL Daily Finance; Johanna Bennett, Barron’s; Tara Kalwarski, Matt Boyle, Suzanne Woolley, Patricia O’Connell, Lauren Young, Business Week; Jason Kephart, Smart Money; Beth Fenner, Money; Hilary Stout, contributor, New York Times; Natasha Gural, global news for Louise Blouin Media; Kerry Hannon, contributor, U.S. News & World Report; Mary Romano, Bloomberg News; Paul Sullivan, contributor, New York Times; Dan Wiener, Vanguard Independent Newsletter; Ray Hoffman, WCBS CEO Radio; Hikhil Hutheesing, AOL Daily Finance; Erika Miller, “Nightly Business Report”; Linda Tischler, Fast Company.

$30,000 in Scholarships Given

NYFWA this year gave $30,000 to 12 journalism students and continued the (Edward) Swietnicki Professional Development Grant program for working business writers.


Robert “Bud” McFarlane, who was President Reagan’s National Security Advisor, has been hired by Qatar to a $2.5M contract to sort out the mess in Sudan's Darfur region.

McFarlane Assocs. is to assist Qatar in its initiative to “sponsor and organize a peace process to resolve the conflict in Darfur,” according to the contract between the two parties.

The Arlington, Va-headquartered firm is to line up “assistance of respected third-parties toward this objective.”

The bulk of MA’s $206K projected average monthly budget goes for airfare to Doha and other Middle Eastern destinations.

Six trips are planned over the course of the one-year contract for four advisors. Average hotel room cost is pegged at $375 a night, while per diem meal fee in the Middle East is pegged at $150 and $100 in the U.S. MA pegs its monthly fee at $63,500.

McFarlane, who commanded an artillery battery in Vietnam, served as military assistant to Henry Kissinger and Brett Scowcroft during the Nixon/Ford Administrations.

In the Reagan White House, he served as special representative to the Middle East and one of the brains behind the Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”) missile defense scheme.

Prior to MA, McFarlane established Global Energy Investors to develop infrastructure projects in the Middle East, Africa and Russia.

On the Darfur business, MA reports to Qatar's Ambassador Abdulla Al-Sulaiti.


Internet Edition, December 2, 2009, Page 8




The “Financial Follies,” a night of fun for financial reporters, the biggies they cover, and PR pros, is an annual tradition stretching back to 1938 and has always seemed harmless enough.

However, in the light of the current financial mess of the U.S. and the degree of responsibility that the financial press bears for it, a second look is needed at this activity.

It’s mainly a night for networking since the show has lost some of its edge over the years. The status of the “writers” on the stage (and PR pros) is not what it was some years ago when leading writers and editors from the New York Times and other media were active in the New York Financial Writers’ Assn., which puts on the show.

At least a couple of hundred writers were guests of financial firms, blue chip companies and PR firms Nov. 20. Tickets were $300 each if purchased ten at a time or $350 for individual tickets.

The financial PR firm of Rooney & Assocs. hosted 38 journalists at its five tables.

Shades of PR Seminar!

Were the economy booming and criticism of Wall Street small or non-existent, we would not be writing this editorial.

But the U.S. is in what may be its second worst economic funk ever. Unemployment is 10%, the recovering housing market looks like it hit a snag, the national debt is at least $11 trillion and the value of the dollar is sinking.

The O’Dwyer website, NL and magazine alone have covered PR Seminar, the annual gathering of 160 or so corporate PR executives and executives and editors of major press including the NYT, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Business Week, Bloomberg, etc.

Efforts to interest any of the above media in this story have been fruitless. What is the relationship between the financial press and the financial institutions that have brought the U.S. to its financial knees? That needs to be examined.

Major Media, J-Groups Duck Story

Our articles on PR Seminar have been sent for years to the media present at Seminar as well as to the Columbia Journalism Review and the Society of Professional Journalists.

The package sent this year to the J-School and its Review noted the criticism of AIG in 2008 for hosting meetings at plush resorts after taking billions in aid from the U.S. Government.

It seemed to us that the 2009 Seminar at the Ritz-Carlton/Laguna Niguel, which only attracted 127 PR executives instead of the usual 160, was cut out of the same cloth.

The materials were also sent to the Bloomberg reporters who were exposing the AIG meetings, NYT and other papers. Also told was Judith Czelusniak, global PR director of Bloomberg who was at the 2009 Seminar.

There was one “bite.” Peter Sussman, one of the creators of the Ethics Code of the SPJ, said journalists at Seminar violated at least 10 articles of the SPJ code. However, SPJ did not back up his personal opinion. SPJ’s publication, Quill, has never covered Seminar.

Columbia J-Review Ducks

We have to wonder when we see praise piled on the Columbia J-School, which is what Peter Osnos, a senior fellow for media at The Century Foundation, did in an essay Nov. 24.

Perhaps the essay was in reaction to journalist Richard Sine's remarks that J-schools should be closed as a waste of time and money.

Osnos admitted that J-education has “always been regarded somewhat dubiously by most academics and many journalists,” but he claimed that Columbia has many fine courses. Cost is $72,182 for the course which attracted 1,057 applicants this year of which 412 were accepted.

Economy, Wall St. Need Covering

The economy and Wall Street, which sometimes go in different directions, are the big story these days and probably for some years to come.

Almost no matter what they cover, the Columbia grads are going to run up against politics in their own organizations and PR pros who are going to be tight with information.

At big and small institutions and companies, the PR dept. is often the “Dept. of No.” It’s almost as if you’re trying to borrow money from them if you seek information. They want to know who you are, what you will do with the information, and how that will benefit the company.

PR (or the lack of it) has an enormous influence on news flow and it's time that all J-schools as well as the SPJ and CJF take notice of it instead of playing politics.

CJR Skipped Rotbart/O’Dwyer Lawsuit

We had a previous experience with the Columbia J-School.

The O’Dwyer Co. and this writer were sued in 1994 on charges including that we violated the copyright of Dean Rotbart when we covered his hour and 40-minute presentation to the 1993 PRSA conference. He described instances of news tips and ads being influential on news coverage.

All charges against the company and us personally were dismissed in 1995. A first page story (top middle) in the New York Law Journal said the case broke new ground for journalists writing about other journalists.

The American Journalism Review July/August 1994 devoted a page to the suit, describing both sides and saying disposition of it “may make new rules on the right of journalists to report critically on each other’s work.”

NYT reporter William Glaberson did a lengthy story in late 1993 on our coverage of the speech. He quoted Business Week editor Stephen Shepard as saying about Rotbart, “This guy passes himself off as an independent media critic. He’s not. He is serving the PR community and he is presenting a cynical and highly warped view of the major news organizations.”

PRSA used two cameras to videotape the presentation which was to be offered for sale to members. We never saw any such offer to members.

However, when we were sued in early 1994 for $21.5M ($6.5M in compensatory damages and $15M in punitive damages), this won no further coverage in the NYT.

The decision was ignored by the NYT, Columbia J-School and CJR. Michael Wolff, writing in 2002 in New York, said NYT “has enormous clout” at the J-school and the school’s “highest mission” may be preparing students for NYT jobs.

PR Society Withheld Copyright

PRS’s contract with Rotbart gave it perpetual, unlimited copyright to the speech. But PRS refused to let us use it which we felt would have ended the suit.

At the same time that it was refusing aid to us, PRS was making a hefty profit selling copies of our articles and those of other authors without permission in most cases. We found copies of dozens of O'Dwyer articles in 11 “information packets” that were purchased.

Our articles were by far the most copied, totaling at least 50,000 copies in the latest three years of the activity which was halted shortly after we exposed it.

PRS was reporting net profits on the practice of nearly $200,000 in that period.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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