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Internet Edition, January 13, 2010, Page 1


Mark Hass, who headed MS&L Worldwide, becomes president of Edelman/China on Feb. 1.

Based in Beijing, Hass will oversee 165 staffers working on accounts such as General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart, PepsiCo, Nike and Shell.

He reports to Alan VanderMolen, Edelman’s Asia/Pacific chief. Edelman and its sister shop, Pegasus, have offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Ghangzhou.

Edelman is acquiring Hass’ firm, MH Group Communications, and folding it into its digital practice. Haas joined MS&L in 2002 with the acquisition of his firm, Hass Assocs.

He was elevated to the CEO post of the Publicis Groupe unit in 2005.

Edelman has recruited two other MS&L alums for China duty. Shirley Wong-Walker, who developed MS&L’s healthcare practice in China, will now become Edelman's national health practice leader there.

Her background includes stints at Canada’s Ministry of Health, Hill & Knowlton and BSMG Worldwide.

In a 14-year agency career, she has counseled Johnson & Johnson, Applied Biosystems, Eli Lilly, Nestlé, Novartis, Ossur, Pfizer, Philips, Roche, United Family Hospitals, Weight Watchers, and Wyeth.

James Cook, who was corporate & technology VP at MS&L Canada, will become Edelman’s technology czar in China.

He also worked at Weber Shandwick/Beijing, handling Microsoft and Nortel.


Nick Ashooh, who served as chief spokesperson for bailed-out American International Group, moves to Alcoa on Jan. 18 as VP-corporate affairs. He takes over for Jack Bergen, who slides into the VP-human resources slot.

Besides AIG, Ashooh handled PR at American Electric Power, Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. and Public Service of New Hampshire.

That experience is expected to pay benefits at Alcoa, which faces a broad array of energy and environmental challenges.

At Alcoa, Ashooh will handle PR, government affairs, community relations and charitable programs.

Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfield called Ashooh a “seasoned communications professional with a proven track record in good times and bad.”

Bergen joined Alcoa September 2008. He followed Kleinfeld to the metals company. Kleinfeld had been Bergen’s boss at Siemens USA.


PR firms throughout the U.S. are receiving the form required for joining the annual O’Dwyer ranking of PR firms. This is the 40th year of such rankings.

“There’s no better way to build your brand and win the attention of prospects than providing the documentation of your fee income and staff counts,” said publisher Jack O’Dwyer.

He noted that the deadline of Feb. 12 is ample time for reporting. W-3s showing payroll totals are due to the federal government by Jan. 31 and top pages of 2008 tax forms are acceptable until the 2009 form can be provided.

“The year past was one of the toughest ever for PR firms but whether fee totals are up or down, they should be reported,” he added.

Consistent Reporting Hailed

O’Dwyer noted that Ted Pincus, partner of StevensGouldPincus, has urged firms to report as usual this year no matter what their results, saying consistent reporting is the bedrock of good financial PR.

Two-thirds of firms responding to SGP’s recent survey said fees were lower in 2009 and almost half were down 20% and more.

“It’s no shame in this economy to have had an off year,” said O’Dwyer.

A verified ranking (O'Dwyer is the only company collecting W-3s, top pages of corporate income forms, account lists and other documents) brings unprecedented visibility to a firm, said O’Dwyer.

Almost all of the firms provide fee totals in 12 specialties from agriculture and beauty PR to sports and travel. This, together with city rankings, helps clients to find the right firm, he said.

O’Dwyer’s magazine each month focuses on a specialty, profiling firms in the category and displaying the rankings.

All of the 50 largest PR firms ranked last year also display their listings in the PR firm database. Doing the same are 73 of the top 75 and 93 of the top 100.

Download form online

Firms wishing to participate in the rankings should download and fill out the rankings form available at, have it signed by the CEO and outside CPA, and mail it to Jack O’Dwyer, O’Dwyer Co., 271 Madison Ave., #600, NY NY 10016. Firms can also scan the documents and e-mail them to [email protected] or fax them to 212/689-6432.

Deadline is Friday, Feb. 12 but early returns are encouraged.


Internet Edition, January 13, 2010, Page 2


Widmeyer Communications has picked up a $3.5M pact with D.C. design firm OmniStudio to produce a federally backed campaign aimed to reduce child drowning and entrapments in pools and spas.

The campaign will be run through the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission targeting residential pool and spa owners, the industry, state and local officials, and the media with methods and guidelines for safe operation under a new federal law.

There was no incumbent for the work. CPSC public affairs specialist Kathleen Reilly told O’Dwyer’s that the Widmeyer-OmniStudio team are the first agencies hired to handle the pool safety campaign.

Ogilvy, Fleishman-Hillard and Edelman were among firms that pitched.

The public education push is a requirement of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act signed into law by President George W. Bush in late 2007 and named after the late granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker III who accidentally drowned when she became entrapped by a spa drain in 2002.

Widmeyer and OmniStudio are handling branding and logo development, traditional and digital media outreach, partnerships and rapid response.


Michael Oxley, who fathered the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 with former Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes, has signed on as senior advisor to the board of directors at NASDAQ.

The former Republican Congressman from Ohio focuses on the “Lynch Amendment” that requires derivative clearinghouses to have a majority of independent directors and caps control of voting stock by restricted owners at 20 percent.

Oxley, who served in Congress for more than a quarter century, chaired the House Financial Services Committee. Besides SOX, he played a big role in passing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act in the wake of Sept. 11, crafted money laundering provisions of the USA Patriot Act and shepherded the FACT Act, which provides consumers free annual credit checks.

Oxley is part of Baker Hostetler’s government policy group and a member of APCO Worldwide’s international advisory council, where he advises clients on a varity of governmental and financial issues.

Oxley was a FBI special agent in New York, Boston and Washington before being elected to Congress.


Alaska has extended its deadline for PR proposals by more than a week - to Jan. 13 - as the state seeks a firm to scuttle changes to the Endangered Species Act that would reflect climate change.

The Frontier State issued the RFP in mid-December as officials see global warming-spurred regulation like the federal designation of the polar bear as endangered as a threat to Alaska's economy.

The state wants a PR firm to assemble a climate change conference and gather experts that will push Congress to limit endangered species listings based on climate change.


CRC Public Relations, the Alexandria, Va., firm aligned with conservative causes and clients, has been tapped by Regnery Publishing to guide PR for Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele and his new book on countering the Obama administration.

Staffers at two D.C. area PR firms confirmed the hire. CRC, formerly known as Creative Response Concepts, has not yet been reached.

“Right Now: A 12 Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda” was published Jan. 4, 2010 by Regnery just before Steele drew widespread coverage for candid comments about the upcoming 2010 mid-term congressional elections.

Asked by Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity on Jan. 5 if the GOP would topple the Democrats’ 79-seat majority in the House of Representatives, Steele replied “Not this year,” a sound bite that has echoed widely in the press.

The Washington Post, noting conservative discontent with the GOP chair, reported Jan. 8 that Steele dialed backed his comments about 2010 on MSNBC later Tuesday saying he is “playing to win.”

Regnery says Steele’s book calls for a “return to ... principles of small government, economic freedom, lower taxes and renewed commitment to personal responsibility for oneself and one’s family.”


The Recreation Boating & Fishing Foundation, a federally administered group closely aligned with fishing tackle and boating manufacturers, is calling for PR proposals to handle various projects for 2010.

The non-profit, which is funded by taxes on fishing and marine gear, moved its six-figure PR account from a retainer model to a project basis early last year as its in-house staff grew.

Rawle Murdy of South Carolina previously handled the account.


Iceland, which suffered a financial meltdown, is using FD to work the foreign media, according to a report in Ice News, which covers Iceland, Scandinavia and northern Europe.

Iceland’s financial comeback blueprint fell apart Jan. 5 when its president Olafur Grimsson vetoed a plan to reimburse British and Dutch investors $5B that was held in “Icesave” accounts.

Iceland’s parliament had approved the plan in October as a way to get fresh aid from international lenders. Grimsson’s veto means the bailout plan must now be approved by Iceland's voters.

Reuters reported that Grimsson’s action puts Iceland's bid to join the European Union in serious jeopardy.

FD is working with Iceland’s Finance Ministry and Ministry of Economic Affairs. FD’s Andrew Walton told Ice News that his firm is working on the specific bailout plan and promoting the “Icelandic economy as a whole.”

He said Iceland's finance and minister of economic affairs are eager to talk with foreign media.


Internet Edition, January 13, 2010, Page 3


Reed Elsevier, which tried to sell its collection of 50 business magazines to a single buyer, has decided to “sell a number of titles to separate purchasers,” according to a memo from Reed Business U.S. CEO John Poulin.

RB is in “advanced negotiations” and expects announcements of deals within a few months.

Poulin warned of “title closures and job losses across the business during the first-half of the new year.” The moves are due to “structural changes in our markets, accelerated by the recession.”

RB titles include Broadcasting & Cable, Chain Leader, Housing Giants, Kids Today, Multichannel News, Publishers Weekly, Restaurants and Institutions, Supply Chain Management Review, Tradeshow Week and Video Business.


Yahoo has inked a deal with Ben Silverman, who had headed NBC Entertainment, to produced premium video content.

The former network executive last year cut a deal with Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp to establish a studio called Electus to create multi-platform content.

Silverman’s NBC credits include “The Office” and “Ugly Betty.”


The Washington Times, which has slashed staff and killed its Sunday edition, is moving out of the nation’s capital.

Publisher Jonathan Slevin told staffers that the paper will relocate to a spot near a Metrorail station in either Maryland or Virginia. The paper occupies a ritzy building on New York Ave. The move is expected this spring.

The paper has been rattled by a power struggle among members of the founding Moon family. The Unification Church provides a subsidy to the WT.


Lauren McCullough has been promoted to manager of social networks and news engagement at the Associated Press.

She will promote the AP on social networks and provide feedback to editors about what is happening in the online world.

The wire service says McCullough handled two of its big experiments in cyberspace: blogs on Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings and the Copenhagen climate conference.

McCullough joined the AP in 2006. She had worked at Newsday and The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y.


Forbes has sold its Fifth Ave & 12th St. headquarters to New York University.

The financial media combine put the historic eight-story building built in 1923 on the auction bloc more than two years ago.

Steve Forbes, CEO of Forbes, called selling the building to NYU “gratifying and appropriate” since both Forbes and the school are “Greenwich Village institutions.”

Forbes will continue to occupy the building for five years under a lease ironed out with the school. NYU will then use it for academic space.

Forbes has been in the building since 1962.


Chris Krewson, executive online editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, is moving to He will be in charge of editorial and content strategy. He reports to editor Tim Gray.

Crewson worked at Allentown's The Morning Call prior to shifting to Philadelphia. At Variety, he will take over for Dana Harris in February.


Michael Klingensmith, a Time Inc. veteran, has been named publisher and CEO of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

He was president of Sports Illustrated, founding publisher of Entertainment Weekly, general manager at Time and executive VP at Time Inc.

Most recently, he was managing director at AdMedia Partners, the mergers and acquisitions firm.

In a memo to staffers, Strib chairman Mike Sweeney noted that Klingensmith is a native of the Twin Cities.

“After 32 years at Time Inc., we think he is now ready for the Big Job in Minneapolis, and we are bringing him home,” he wrote.


Sewell Chan, who helped launch the “City Room” blog at the New York Times in 2007, is shifting to Washington. He is being replaced by Andy Newman, who pens the paper’s The Local blog about Brooklyn’s Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods.

Chan joined the Times in 2004 covering City Hall and the transit scene. Previously, he was at the Washington Post.

Newman has been with the Times since 1997. He has covered transportation, religion and the night desk.

Joe Sexton is metro editor at the Times.

The Local blog, meanwhile, will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.

CUNY students and faculty have collaborated with the Times on the site since its launch in March 2009. Under the new deal, CUNY faculty will serve as editors of the site and work with students to enlist residents to cover the news of everyday life in the two Brooklyn communities.

Times journalists serve as advisers to the project as the paper said it expands its interest in “collaborative” journalism.

A team from CUNY takes over The Local on Jan. 18. The blog will remain on

(Media news continued on next page)


Internet Edition, January 13, 2010, Page 4


Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation returned to Democratic powerhouse PR firm Glover Park Group as its Fox TV unit’s battle with Time Warner Cable became front-page news in the New York metro area.

The two parties ironed out a settlement over the New Year's weekend that has TWC paying Fox for the right to run over-the-air programming such as “American Idol,” “24” “The Simpsons” and National Football League games.

Fox had demanded $1 a month for each of TWC's three million subs. Terms of the settlement have not been announced.

The deal could open the floodgates for broadcasters to collect up to $5 billion a year from cable companies and their subscribers, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Glover Park is doing “legislative monitoring and outreach related to [the] carriage dispute,” according to its federal filing. Teri Everett, chief spokesperson for News Corp. could not be reached for comment about Glover Park's work.

Glover Park's team includes Susan Brophy, who was senior VP at Time Warner’s global policy office in D.C. and adviser to former CEO Dick Parsons. She also served in the White House as deputy director of legislative affairs.

Brophy is assisted by Gregg Rothschild, who was legislative director for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and minority telecommunications counsel for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

News Corp. retained Glover Park in ’05 in its battle with Nielsen over the counting of minority households in its ratings systems.


Dow Jones has revamped its consumer and enterprise business units into a single structure.

The move results in the departure of 25-year veteran Clare Hart, Enterprise Media Group president and DJ executive VP.

Todd Larsen, who was president of the Consumer Media Group, assumes the president post of the revamped operation. He was responsible for the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch.

Larsen is paired at the top with Stephen Daintith, who is upped from CFO to COO.

Named CFO in 2008, Daintith formerly was with News International, which oversees News Corp. properties such as the Times, Sunday Times, Sun, and News of the World.

Les Hinton, CEO of Dow Jones, says the overhaul has nothing to do with "personalities" or costs.

“It’s about the best way to operate an information business at a time when technology provides new tools for delivering news and new opportunities for keeping businesses and individuals informed,” he said in a statement.

Hart was in charge of Dow Jones Newswires, Factiva, Indexes, Client Solutions and Financial Information Services.


Cablevision has pulled the plug on Scripps Networks programming, depriving three million subscribers in the New York metro area of viewing fare such as HGTV’s “House Hunters” and Food Network’s “Iron Chef.”

The dispute over fees is a battle that will play out throughout the U.S. this year. It follows the tussle between Time Warner Cable and News Corp’s Fox TV that was settled over the New Year’s weekend after a high-profile PR battle in which Fox warned four million people in the New York area about the possibility of being denied “American Idol.”

Scripps reportedly is seeking from Cablevision a 300 percent increase in distribution fees to 25 cents a month. The programmer currently gets about eight cents per-viewer a month.

ESPN is the most lucrative property on cable, earning an average $4.10 a-month, according to researcher SNL Kagan. Fox Sports Network is next at $2.37 followed by TNT at 96 cents.

Cablevision has lashed out at Scripps, saying its “financial difficulties are making it impossible for them to continue our relationship on terms that are reasonable for Cablevision and our customers.”

The Long Island-based cable TV company has “no expectation of carrying Scripps’ programming again, given the dramatic changes in its approach to working with distributors to reach TV viewers.”

Scripps, in response, says “Cablevision is simply not telling the truth.” It “has been trying to have productive negotiations with Cablevision for more than six months, but to no avail.”

Scripps says “every other cable and satellite provider in the country has willingly and professionally renegotiated a fair market rate for the rights to carry these popular networks.”

PRSA chair Gary McCormick is director, partnership development, at HGTV, Scripps Networks.


TIAA-CREF, the $400 billion pension and financial services giant, has divested millions of dollars in holdings in four of five Asian companies that do business with the government of Sudan after a three-year effort to push the firms to cut those ties.

The fund, the first major financial entity in the U.S. to pull money out over human rights concerns in the African nation, said in March that it would increase pressure on the companies – PetroChina, CNPC Hong Kong, Oil and Natural Gas Corp., Sinopec and PETRONAS – to sever any business ties to the repressive government, which has been linked to genocide in the Darfur region of that country.

TIAA-CREF said Jan. 4 that the effort has failed and that meetings with four of the companies yielded “insufficient progress” so it pulled out about $60M in investments.

“We have not divested from PETRONAS, which has acknowledged our concerns and engaged in dialogue about how it might address them,” CEO Roger Ferguson said in a statement.

Internet Edition, January 13, 2010, Page 5


Two former top executives of shuttered Raleigh PR firm The Catevo Group have set up shop in the North Carolina capital.

Ray Hornak, who was president of Catevo, and Roger Friedensen, senior VP of client service, are principals of Forge Communications.

Both executives stretch back to Catevo’s predecessor, Epley Associates, which merged with TCG in 2006.

Friedensen said the firm will focus on building long-term relationships with a limited number of clients to handle PR and marketing communications.

“Our goal isn’t to be the biggest consulting firm, rack up the most awards or have the most Twitter followers,” he said. “We’ll leave that to the folks who think that’s what makes a difference to clients today.”

The duo, who have set up social media sites on Twitter, Facebook and a blog for the firm, have signed a handful of clients to Forge, including BB&T, N.C. Institute of Medicine and S.T. Wooten Corp.

The 25-staffer Catevo firm was shut down in November by parent company Laudes Corp.


Clyde Hopkins has sold his 33-year-old Dallas PR firm to three long-time staffers as the veteran exec transitions to retirement.

Hopkins & Associates continues under that banner with the ownership team of Marilyn Pippin (president), Barbara Hyman (COO) and Lisa Alves (CAO).

Hopkins, 72, who’ll serve as of counsel to the firm, founded H&A in 1976. The former oil industry journalist and native Texan got his PR start at the Society of Petroleum Engineers before moving to the agency side at Burson-Marsteller in New York and later returning to Dallas as a VP for Harshe-Rotman & Druck.

“They have been managing the firm for the last several years, so the transition has been smooth and faultless,” Hopkins of the three new partners.

Clients include American Express, PepsiCo, Toyota Motor Sales, a 20-year client, and TXU Energy.

The firm, which marks 34 years in 2010, also has an outpost in Houston.


Former White House press secretary Dana Perino is hanging a shingle on her own strategic communications and will continue as a counselor at Burson-Marsteller in D.C.

Perino, 37, appears regularly on Fox News Channel, frequents the speaking circuit, and has handled the media for Karl Rove in recent weeks amid news of the former Bush advisor’s divorce.

In a statement, B-M said Perino will continue her association with the firm while starting up her own boutique firm and continuing her media and speaking commitments.

“She will continue to work on current clients and be available for future assignments,” said the statement. “Burson-Marsteller is the only large PR firm with which she will be working. She has served our clients extremely well and will continue to do so in this new role.”


New York Area

Nicholas & Lence Communications, New York/The Russian Tea Room, landmark eatery, for marketing and strategic communications counsel.

5W PR, New York/, online community for collective product and service vouchers for local deals on shopping, dining, sporting events and others, for strategic planning, media relations and a marketing comms. campaign.

Rubenstein PR, New York/Brean Murray, Carret & Co., boutique investment bank, to build its online reputation via social media marketing, SEO and other tactics.

Allen & Caron, New York/Masterbeat Corp., operator of digital music download portal, for investor relations and corporate comms. targeting the investment community.

The Investor Relations Group, New York/Geospatial Holdings, technology for locating and mapping infrastructure assets, for IR and PR.

Morris + King Company, New York/Stew Leonard’s, fresh food stores with annual sales of $300M, as AOR for PR; The Biomarkers Consortium, for PR, and the Helen Diller Family Foundation, for media relations for its annual dinner with the Jewish Community Foundation of San Francisco.

Rogers & Cowan, New York/Miami International Film Festival, as AOR for the March 5-14 event. R&C will work to boost the festival’s presence in Hollywood and elsewhere in the film community.

S3, Boonton, N.J./Panda, Finnish confectionery products producer, as AOR for PR in the U.S. for its licorice brand Panda All Natural Licorice. Consumer media and development of a social media presence are on the radar.


Equals Three Communications, Bethesda, Md./Nutrition Inc., D.C.-based food service and catering company, for marketing and comms.

Devaney & Associates, Baltimore/Lucernex Technologies, Dallas-based business intelligence software developer, for re-branding and media outreach.

CRT/tanaka, Richmond, Va./PetNovations, marketer of CatGenie, non-disposable litter box concept, for PR, media relations and word-of-mouth marketing.


Boardroom Communications, Plantation, Fla./Third Annual American Fine Wine Competition, for online and traditional media relations for the event, slated for Jan. 17-18 in Palm Beach.


Barkley, Kansas City, Mo./, online portal for Lee Jeans, for marketing, creative and technical updates. The firm has been Lee’s AOR for PR for nine years.


Hunter Outdoor Communications, San Antonio, Tex./Native Hunt Enterprises, Northern California hunting destination, as AOR for PR.


BWR, Los Angeles/Bergio International, jewelry, for PR and celebrity/red carpet support.

Internet Edition, January 13, 2010, Page 6


Jive Software, which markets “social business software,” has acquired social media monitoring company Filtrbox.

Jive said it will incorporate Filtrbox’s monitoring capability into its flagship platform, which uses a social networking model to connect companies’ internal and external operations and foster collaboration.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jive said it picked Filtrbox after a “thorough evaluation” of other social media monitoring companies.


Venture-backed is previewing PressLift, a news distribution platform that is currently in open beta testing.

Porter Novelli’s staff and clients are using the service under deal announced Jan. 7.

The service allows users to share content like videos, documents or images with tracking, SEO and social media capabilities. The company says that only 10 percent of press releases contain such content because of the technical requirements involved in producing it.

The service is slated to officially launch on Feb. 2.

Info is at

BRIEFS: U-Haul International has added Cision’s CisionPoint PR software platform. The Phoenix-based company, which has a network of 15,800 locations, generates as many as 200 stories or mentions each day in print and online. Its three-person PR staff handles media relations and inquiries, news monitoring, supervises its philanthropy program and promotes its SuperGraphics program. Joanne Fried, director of U-Haul media and public relations, said: “Monitoring is extremely important for us, more so perhaps than for other companies. We monitor coverage in the classic PR sense, to understand what's being said about us, but we also rely on it to respond to incidents involving our equipment.” ...Ibrey Woodall, director of marketing communications at TEKgroup International, has moved to Business Wire as director, client development. Neal Wells, southeast regional VP for BW, said the company worked closely with Woodall when she was at TEKgroup. ...Target Media, a media research, planning and buying firm in Harrisburg, Pa., has set up a Maryland office to service the Baltimore-D.C. market. Addy Frantz has been named regional sales manager to head the Westminster outpost. He was recently an A/E at Clear Channel Radio.

UPCOMING: Social media figures like Michael Mendenhall of Hewlett-Packard, Brian Kenny of the Harvard Business School, and Richard Pesce of Sprint Nextel will discuss their experiences with social media at a New York seminar Jan. 13 by the Business Development Institute. Tab is $195 for the 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. session at 365 Fifth Ave. (@ 34th St.), the Graduate Center at City University of New York. Speakers will present case studies. Title is “Social integration: harmonizing social channels into the marketing, communications & service platform.”



Patti Temple Rocks, senior VP of global public affairs and reputation at The Dow Chemical Company, to Leo Burnett, Chicago, as executive VP and global director of corporate comms, effective Jan. 19. She was previously at GolinHarris in the Windy City. Amy Cheronis, senior VP, U.S. communications director for DDB, has also joined LB as senior VP and director of worldwide corporate comms. reporting to Rocks.

Bob Bicknell, senior producer and managing editor for CBS’ “The Early Show,” has moved into the PR realm with a senior VP slot at Zeno Group. Bicknell serves as national media director for the Edelman-owned firm, which said he’ll help clients “navigate the new realities of print and broadcast journalism. In addition to other producing stints at CBS, NY1 and Fox-TV news in a 20-year career, Bicknell serves as the technology reporter for CBS’ Philadelphia radio affiliate KYW-AM. His dispatches are syndicated nationally.

John Stoll, a Wall Street Journal auto reporter, has joined Ford Motor Company as manager, global corporate news. Stoll reports to former Detroit News editor Mark Truby, who is director of global corporate communications for the Detroit automaker. Stoll will oversee financial news as well as global corporate news for Ford with four managers reporting to him, the company told O’Dwyer’s. Stoll has been covering GM and previously reported for Dow Jones Newswires.

Jake Sargent has joined APCO Worldwide to bolster its financial communications, PA and media relations capabilities. The Brunswick Group alum takes on a VP title. Sargent has experience on Capitol Hill gained from a stint as deputy communications director for the House's Committee on Rules. He also wrote speeches for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and worked as special assistant for communications for the Golden State's business, transportation agency.

Christopher Licata, new media coordinator for William Thompson's New York City mayoral campaign, to Butler Associates, New York, as social media director. Licata was a press secretary in the Connecticut House of Reps. in charge of the media relations for 16 members. He was also on the staff of Rep. Steven R. Rothman (D-N.J.). Butler & Associates worked on Thompson’s 2009 challenge to Mayor Mike Bloomberg.


Internet Edition, January 13, 2010, Page 7


Only 23% of the 157 PR firms responding to a StevensGouldPincus survey reported higher revenues for 2009.

Reporting lower revenues were 101 or 64% of the firms. Almost half of these firms were down 20% or more. A record number of firms took part.

On the bright side, partner Rick Gould said that 64% of the firms are projecting higher revenues in 2010. Only 14% see a continued slump.

Reporting a flat year were 22% of the respondents.

The survey by the New York merger and management consulting firm is done on a confidential basis so that no individual results are provided.

Gould said ten firms that normally reported declined to give their figures because their results were poor.

Partner Ted Pincus said the hallmark of good financial reporting is consistency and that firms should report their numbers as usual whether up or down. Non-reporters will suffer loss of credibility, he said.

Pincus noted most firms are upbeat about 2010.

Some Sellers, Few Buyers

Gould said there are about a dozen PR firms that are looking for buyers but that the usual buyers are mostly inactive at the moment although promising more activity in 2010.

The firm sells PR firms on an initial retainer and then collects a commission of seven percent when a deal is completed.

In better times, Gould said, more than 20 firms might be looking for purchasers.

Worst Results in S.W. and N.E.

Eleven or 80% of the firms responding from the Southwest reported declines while 13 or 77% of the firms responding from the Northeast reported declines.

Other areas performing poorly were Southern California, with 75% of the 12 firms reporting declines; New York and New Jersey, with 67% of the 50 firms reporting declines; Southeast, 65% of the 20 firms reporting declines; Midwest, 64% of 23 firms reporting declines, and Washington, D.C., and suburbs, 60% of the seven firms reporting declines.

Northern California, including Silicon Valley, reported the best results—only 38% of 13 firms reporting declines.

StevensGouldPincus surveys billing rates, staff turnover, client turnover and other industry topics.

The surveys are administered by Gould, who is a CPA; Pincus, Art Stevens and Mike Muraszko.

The full survey is available from [email protected].


Edelman has added Kathy Fieweger as senior VP in its crisis and issues management practice in Chicago. She joins from FD, where she tackled legal, reputation management, enterprise value and financial PR work.

Before joining FD, Fieweger was VP/relationship manager at U.S. Bank responsible for managing the $7B investment of municipal entities of the Illinois Treasurer and Illinois Funds.


Michael Claes, who exited Burson-Marsteller as executive VP in September, has joined The Dilenschneider Group.

The 35-year veteran of B-M and Hill & Knowlton worked with TDG founder Bob Dilenschneider when he headed H&K. Claes began his communications career working for New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

Claes has represented a roster of high-profile clients such as CBS vs. General Westmoreland and the broadcaster’s sale to Westinghouse. He was on Salomon Brothers’ side during its bond trading scandal and Team Pennzoil in its landmark suit against Texaco.

Most recently, Claes worked with staff counseling American International Group, Countrywide Financial and Intel.

Dilenschneider says Claes “brings a perspective that often helps management see problems or issues in a new light.”

Claes credits Dilenschneider for giving him a start in PR and a “graduate level education in the PR profession.”


Allison & Partners has toppled incumbent The Rogers Group for California’s lucrative tobacco control PR account following a competitive review.

The state released an RFP in September for the $1 million-a-year account, which includes a three-year contract commencing in March with two options that could stretch the work to 2015.

The PR work is for the Golden State’s Tobacco Control Program to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke.

Allison’s San Francisco office won the pitch. Firms were required to have a California office and annual billings topping $2.5M to pitch.

The Rogers Group last defended the account in 2005.


Tucson is drawing interest in an RFP through mid-January to handle on-call environmental PR for the city even though a budget crisis has put a crimp in its available funds.

The city faces a $32M budget hole through the end of the fiscal year June 30, 2010, and is considering new taxes, pay cuts and layoffs on top of 400 positions already cut.

Seven firms attended a pre-proposal conference in late December for the PR business, including Zimmerman and Associates, LP&G, Bolchalk Frey and Kaneen Advertising/PR, among others.

The city is conducting a review as its Environmental Services division has gone without a PR firm for the past three years.

A contracting officer for the city told O’Dwyer’s that “tremendous financial shortfalls” may limit the work for the next year or two.

The RFP calls for PR assistance in informing, educating and interacting with its 137K households and 3,500 businesses about the utility's work and projects.


Internet Edition, January 13, 2010, Page 8




The start of 2010 has been a “birth by fire” for new PRSA chair Gary McCormick.

He is up to his ears in the all-out war between Cablevision of New York and Scripps Networks Interactive and in coping with issues at PRS including the year-end dissolution of the Multicultural Section allegedly without any knowledge or input from the section.

Members are also asking for an early 2009 financial report from PRS, noting it only took one month to come up with the Q3 figures that showed a 45% decline in revenues, a 9% decline in dues and a 60% decline in registration fees. Cited were dips in seminars/webinars and the sections.

Members noted that 1997 president Debra Miller released the 1996 financials in February. PRS usually waits until May or June to release an “audited report.”

McCormick’s job description at Scripps HGTV includes “increasing affiliate fees.”

Cablevision, in full-page ads in the New York Times and New York Post and in announcements on HGTV and the Food Network, claims that Scripps wants an “astronomical” $20 million more” for the two shows which have been yanked by Scripps.

Where are the press conferences to explain what is a complicated situation and help the public decide what is just in this situation?

The Scripps ads say nothing about money, only that the company is doing “all in its power to right this situation.”

Illogically, the ads say, “We know the reasons for this impasse with Cablevision are not what matters to you.” Of course they do.

Both sides have turned their backs on a public airing of this dispute with questions flung at them by industry and general reporters. Millions of New York area residents are blocked now from the two programs.

This is a “PR” situation if ever there was one but organizations in general, from the Office of the President of the U.S. on down, are shrinking from being grilled in public which is a bedrock principle of democracy.

“PR” needs to sharpen skills needed in debating, discussion and dialogue which PR Prof. Tim Penning has described as the essence of PR.

McCormick, as the head of the world’s largest PR group, supposedly is an expert in PR.

The last time we called him about HGTV was in February 2009 when Time mag said its shows were guilty of housing hype.

SNI’s Burton Jablin, its “programming czar,” was named as one of “25 People to Blame” for the housing bubble since HGTV “pumped air into the real estate froth by teaching us how to extract value from our homes.”

Time rapped such HGTV programs as “Designed to Sell,” “House Hunters” and “My House Is Worth What?” as well as “Flip That House (TLC) and “Flip This House” (A&E). “No one on these shows ever seemed to lose a dollar, giving the housing game too much glamour and gusto,” said Time.

When we called McCormick on the article he said he wasn’t the spokesperson and referred us to SVP-comms. Cindy McConkey, who didn’t return a call or e-mail.

Besides the war with Cablevision, McCormick has to cope with multiple boo-boos at the PR Society.

Among them are the sudden year-end dissolution of the Multicultural Section because its 73 members did not turn enough of a profit; the appointment by McCormick of African-American Ofield Dukes to a non-voting board post after Dukes sought to be a voting director, and the revelation in McCormick’s opening essay on the PRS website that he is a director of the Knoxville Center of the Deaf.

This astounded us since PRS staffers, after being told we had a hearing problem, twice denied our requests for a seat up front at the Nov. 7 Assembly or access to earphones.

Lawyers for the National Assn. of the Deaf and other groups assure us we had a legal right to reasonable accommodation including an “assistive hearing aid” since we were an invited, credentialed reporter.

This was the most important Assembly in the 63-year history of PRS since it was considering a complete revision of the bylaws. We believe the conduct of the meeting, in which basic Robert’s and parliamentary rules were ignored, including the use of proxy votes and failure to air all articles in the revision, render much of what was done Nov. 7 invalid.

PRS blocked us from hearing about half of what went on but McCormick, if he has any weight on the new board, could rectify this by getting us both the audiotape and transcript of the 5.5 hours of discussion and debate. Both were available for Assemblies until 2005.

It’s inconsistent for him to be on the board of the KCD while also refusing to make up for PRS’s improper and unethical blocking of our coverage. He resigned from the 2006 PRS board, obviously in dissatisfaction with certain board policies. Another board member, Ron Owens, resigned the same year.

Reports were that there was dissatisfaction with the large number of tasks given to directors by 2006 president Cheryl Procter-Rogers, and the fact that the 2005 Assembly had made the executive committee “the flexible extension of the full board,” turning the rest of the board into “eunuchs,” according to critics.

McCormick should do so again if the board does not listen to him. We have put this issue to the board of the Knoxville Center of the Deaf but so far they’re turning a deaf ear to us. An e-mail was sent to board president Barry Swafford and secretary Wayne Kline of the law firm of Hodges, Doughty & Carson and posted on

Another issue for McCormick is that the 2009 Assembly was not conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, which is cited as its official “parliamentary authority.”

Those rules reject the use of proxies in a deliberative body. But 56 or 22% of the votes were proxies and they were used to put proxies into the bylaws, a double abomination.

Additionally, only about half of the 15 articles in the revision were put to the delegates for discussion and vote. Robert’s demands that all articles in a revision be put to discussion and vote.

Other guidance of Robert’s is that a complicated task like a revision not be done at a regular meeting but only at a special meeting and after a series of meetings. Such guidance was ignored. The use of proxies means that any vote of the 2009 Assembly in which proxies were the deciding factor could be challenged indefinitely. No “statute of limitations” applies for such an egregious violation of “fundamental” parliamentary rules.

We wonder if McCormick has the votes to get his way with the board which has its first meeting Jan. 28-30.

A boardroom revolt took place at the first board meeting in January 2008 in which treasurer Tom Eppes and others moved to block any influence of 2007 chair Rhoda Weiss on 2008 nominations. The putsch failed.

--Jack O'Dwyer


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