Edition, January 12, 2011, Page 1
LEADS MWW BUYOUT FROM IPG
Group president and CEO Michael Kempner has led a management
buyout of the agency from Interpublic, 10 years after the
advertising and PR conglomerate acquired the New Jersey-based
the support of my management team, weve decided to
regain our independence by purchasing back MWW and unleashing
the talent, creativity and spirit of this great organization,
Kempner said in a statement, adding that the agency will
return to its roots as strategic management
consultants and become more nimble in the process.
deal also includes the Financial Relations Board, which
has been under Kempners purview since 2005. The firm
said the majority of executives involved in the buyout were
staffers of the firm during its original sale and during
its early growth years.
said changes in the media and the PR industry made the timing
right. The media and business landscape is continuing
to rapidly change and PR is at the forefront of the revolution,
helping brands and companies maintain relevance and build
a level of trust that can no longer be earned just through
traditional marketing and advertising, he said.
founded the firm in 1986 after serving as legislative director
for New Jersey Democratic congressman Robert Torricelli,
building up a respected public affairs and lobbying shop
and branching out to consumer and tech PR.
In addition to its East Rutherford, N.J., base, the firm
has nine other offices, including a London outpost.
GIBBS EXITS WHITE HOUSE
Robert Gibbs is leaving
the White House press secretary job after President Obama
makes his State of the Union speech on Jan. 25.
Gibbs is setting up a
consulting business and will serve as a pundit to support
the administrations strategy and re-election.
Gibbs has been working
for Obama since his successful 2004 run for an Illinois
Senate seat. He previously was press secretary for Sen.
John Kerrys 04 presidential bid and served as
comms. director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
A replacement has not
yet been named, although candidates suggested in media reports
include Vice President Joe Bidens spokesman Jay Carney,
as well as White House communications staffers Bill Burton
and Josh Earnest.
FDNY READIES FOR 9/11
The FDNY Foundation plans
to host PR firm and ad agency executives at two lunches
(Jan. 27 and Feb. 9) to provide a briefing on plans to mark
the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks at the World
In his invitation letter,
Bob Zito, former New York Stock Exchange PR man and member
of the Foundations board, writes that the goal is
to talk about plans we are making for 2011 as we commemorate
the heroism and sacrifice of 343 of our firefighters.
Zito believes there may
be opportunities for communicators or clients to participate
in the FDNY commemoration.
Fire Dept. commissioner
Salvatore Cassano will be on hand at the lunches prepared
by firefighters at Engine 10/Ladder 10 and Engine 8/Ladder
While at the Big Board, Zito launched the NYSE Fallen Heroes
Fund. He joined the Foundations board in 2004 and
serves on its executive committee.
Info: Jean OShea,
CALIFORNIA TOURISM SEEKS PA
and Tourism Commission is on the hunt for a public affairs
firm to build the groups corporate brand
and promote public awareness of the Golden States
travel and tourism sector.
The commission kicked
off an RFP process on December 22 for a $100K pact asking
agencies to respond with an intent to bid by Dec. 29. Proposals
are due Feb. 2.
The work will target key
decision makers as well as the public, in addition to burnishing
the image of the commission and tourism sector among destination
marketers, media and elected officials.
International is the commissions consumer PR firm
on a $300K a year contract through 2012.
RFP info is at odwyerpr.com/rfps.
JPMORGAN CHASE BOOSTS PR TEAM
Howard Opinsky, a 10-year
Powel Tate exec and former press secretary for Sen. John
McCains 2000 presidential bid, has left the Interpublic
unit for a new post at JPMorgan Chase in New York.
Joseph Evangelisti, managing
director and head of worldwide corporate communications
and media relations for the investment bank, told ODwyers
that Opinsky joined the company on Jan. 3 as managing director
in its corporate media relations group.
The D.C. veteran will
split time between the capital and New York.
Edition, January 12, 2011, Page 2
REPS IVORY COASTS REAL PREXY
Waterman International is doing PR for Ivory Coast politico
Alassane Ouattara, who defeated strongman Laurent Gbagbo
in the Presidential election that was held Nov. 28.
Voice of America reported last week that Gbagbo, who failed
to turn over the reins of power, has agreed to lift the
blockade around the hotel where Ouattara has been holed
up for weeks. The Economic Community of Western African
States has issued a statement, saying that Gbagbo is open
to negotiate a peaceful solution to the political stalemate.
Waterman, a former CIA operative and vice chairman of the
National Intelligence Council, heads JWI. Ouattara, in an
engagement letter to Waterman, writes that JWI is to handle
Ivorian national interests in categories such as economic/financial,
military/security, trade/investment and PR.
goal is to "marshal maximum support" from the
U.S. executive/legislative branches, media, think tanks
may also operate as Ouattara's consultant and advocate
beyond the borders of the U.S. Its compensation is to await
the full and effective establishment of my powers and those
of my government.
Davis, President Clintons former legal counselor,
signed a three-month $300K contract with Gbagbo last month,
but has ended that relationship.
BP TO GET NEW PR CHIEF
Peter Henshaw, a top PR
and government relations executive for U.K.-based oil and
gas giant BG Group, is in line to take over communications
for BP as the company rebuilds its image.
Henshaw worked in communications
for BP for nearly 30 years, recently handling BPs
rocky Russian venture before joining BG in 2009.
His Russian experience
was alongside of BPs new CEO, Robert Dudley.
The appointment follows
the exit after a year of media relations chief (and former
Financial Times editor) Andrew Gowers late last year.
The move is part of a
continuing realignment of BPs overall and communications
operations that included the ouster of CEO Tony Hayward
following the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
KOSRAE SEEKS TRAVEL PR
Kosrae Island, which bills
itself as the "jewel of Micronesia," is looking
for a PR firm to generate a buzz in the U.S.
The 42-square-mile island
is one of the four Micronesian states. It is known for its
virgin reefs, white coral beaches, mountains, mangrove forest,
diving, abundant wildlife and archeological ruins.
Kosrae is about 3,000
miles southwest of Hawaii.
The Kosrae Visitors Bureau
is interested in a full-scale PR campaign, including social
media and direct marketing.
The Visitors Bureau has
set Jan. 23 as the deadline for pitches.
Grant Ismael (691/370-2228
and [email protected])
is handling the search.
CT SEEKS TOBACCO COUNTER-MARKETING
The Constitution State
has opened an RFP process for an agency to develop a two-year
counter-marketing and media campaign to cut
youth smoking in Connecticut, where one in four middle and
high school students use tobacco.
The push will be aimed
statewide and at the local level focused on youth 12-17
and young adults, 18-24 years old. That latter demographic
has the highest smoking rate in the state, although Connecticut
overall is below the national average.
Cronin and Company is
Anticipated budget for
the public service and social marketing campaign is $950,000
with a contract anticipated to run through April 30, 2013.
Proposals are due Feb.
24 but a letter of intent must be submitted by Feb. 1.
Download the RFP at odwyerpr.com/rfps.
PATERSON PICKS DARCY
Sean Darcy, spokesperson
for former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine who was defeated
in 2009 by Republican Chris Christie, is now spokesperson
for ex-New York Governor David Paterson.
Andrew Cuomo has just
replaced Paterson as Empire State chief.
The New York Daily
News reported that Paterson was searching for someone
to handle his PR and not finding any takers
reached out across the Hudson to take on the New Jersey
Darcy, who has not been
reached, did a nine-month stint as Corzines communications
Earlier, he was communications
director for the Garden States Dept. of Community
Affairs, press secretary for Gov. Richard Codey and traveling
press secretary for Gov. Jim McGreevey.
CATALYST TAPS REDSKINS' SHAH
Shripal Shah, who led
digital efforts for the NFL's Washington Redskins, has moved
to New York sports and entertainment PR firm Catalyst as
senior VP of digital.
Shah held a handful of
posts over five years with the Redskins, including senior
VP of digital strategies, VP of web strategy and VP of marketing
strategy and consumer experience.
His work included developing
the teams Facebook fan page, the first NFL team badge
on foursquare, and the first pro sports team iPad app, among
At Catalyst, hell
oversee the agency's digital strategy for clients.
Managing partner Bret
Werner, one of the former executives from sports PR agency
Taylor who set up Catalyst five years ago, said Shah will
play a key role as the firm prepares to further its role
in areas like social, community, mobile and live video.
Shah was previously manager
of content engineering at BarnesandNoble.com.
He has also spoken and been a panelist at events like the
Social Media Examiner Facebook Success Summit, Digital Content
Monetization, SXSW, Sports Marketing 2.0, and Princeton
Sports Symposium, among others.
Edition, January 12, 2011, Page 3
FALLS; SCHILLER SLAPPED AT NPR
Weiss, NPRs senior VP for news who handed the firing
of analyst Juan Williams, Jan. 6 announced her resignation
as law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges completes its probe
of the affair.
who is now with Fox News, was axed after he expressed unease
at seeing Muslims in traditional garb at airports.
review found that Williams ouster was based on solid
legal footing, and not a result of outside pressure from
special interests or donors. NPRs board has adopted
new internal procedures to deal with how analysts and correspondents
are treated in the aftermath of on-air comments.
board also slapped NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, expressing concern
over her role in the termination process and deciding not
to award her a 2010 bonus. It did express confidence
in Vivian Schillers leadership going forward,
according to a statement.
a note to staff, Schiller praised Weiss as a strong
journalist who has made meaningful and lasting
contributions to the evolution of NPR and our newsroom.
Smith, VP-programming, has been tapped as acting senior
VP- news until a replacement is found for Weiss.
HUFFPO ALUM JOINS BECK
Betsy Morgan, who was
CEO of The Huffington Post for two years, is now president
of Fox News Channel personality Glenn Becks website.
The Blaze, which was launched
in August, features news and opinion pieces designed to
appeal to Becks conservative following.
A recent sampling includes
Joy Behar Wonders if Constitution-Loving is Getting
Out of Hand, Bachmann on '12 Run: Im
Committed to Doing Whatever I can to Oust Obama, Union
Boss Trumka Admits Main Goal is Using Unions to Fundamentally
Change America into His Progressive Vision, Not Negotiate
Member Salaries and Discovery Channel Launching
At HuffPo, Morgan grew
the site from 4M to 22M unique visitors, incorporated more
than 3,000 blogging contributors to the site and raised
$25M in new funding.
Before joining Arianna
Huffingtons team, Morgan spent 10 years at CBS News,
where she was VP-digital news, senior VP of CBS Interactive
and GM of CBSNews.com.
She looks forward to establishing
The Blaze, which is named after the Old Testaments
Moses and the burning bush, as a premiere digital
network curating content, community and debate and further
leveraging Becks loyal audience.
The Blaze is owned by
Becks Mercury Radio Arts, which co-produces The
Glenn Beck Program, radios No. 3 rated show,
Glenn Beck on FNC, Becks live stage appearances
Morgan lauded MRA as a
powerful multimedia brand with a great business upside.
She is eager to help develop its businesses around
topical content in all areas to engage audiences and drive
a healthy national debate.
POWELL IN TOP BLOOMBERG COMMS.
Richard Powell Jr., chief
operating officer for Burson-Marsteller, has been named
chief communications officer for Bloomberg L.P., based in
New York, to oversee the expansion of the media company's
communications strategy and infrastructure.
He takes the post vacated
by Judith Czelusniak last year after six years.
Powell, a former managing
director for Quinn Gillespie & Associates, reports to
Kevin Sheekey, head of government relations and public affairs.
Peter Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg, cited among Powell's
assets his experience in international communications and
Powell returned to Burson
in 2007 after a previous seven-year stint during the 1990s.
In a statement, B-M offered
congratulations to Powell, who will be leaving the firm
in mid-January. B-M said he has been a "trusted counselor"
to CEO Mark Penn and has also helped lead and grow its relationships
with several key global clients.
Powell's duties will be
distributed among two vice chairs, Don Baer and Karen Hughes,
executive VP Jay Leveton, regional CEOs, the firm's CFO
and global HR team. He handled public affairs and corporate
communications assignments for QG&A for clients like
Bank of America, HP and Zurich Financial Services. He also
managed its international business and played a role in
its acquisition by WPP in 2004.
Bloomberg counts 12,500
employees across 137 offices globally.
HEARST NEGOTIATES MAG BUY
Hearst Corp. has entered
exclusive negotiations with Frances Lagardere to purchase
its international press and magazine businesses in an all-cash
deal. Deadline to complete a deal is set for Jan. 30.
Day, Road and Track and Car and Driver,
are the top U.S. properties published by Lagarderes
Hachette Filipacchi Media unit.
Hearst publishes more
than 200 magazines including Cosmopolitan, O, The Oprah
Magazine and Good Housekeeping.
McNICHOL DIES AT 54
McNichol, the Star-Ledger reporter who broke the
influence peddling scandal that led to the downfall of former
New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, died Jan. 4. He covered
the Jersey Statehouse for ten years and was part of the
team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its McGreevey coverage.
McNichol was working for
Bloomberg News in Trenton at the time of his death.
ROBERTS TO FOX
John Roberts, who
was anchor of CNNs American Morning, is
moving to Fox News Channel as senior national correspondent
Roberts joined CNN
in 2006 after 14 years at CBS News, working as White House
reporter and weekend anchor.
CNN is revamping
news continued on next page)
Edition, January 12, 2011, Page 4
TUNES IN COXS COHN
Broadcasting has added 16-year Cox Communications vet Amy
Cohn as VP of corporate communications.
who was executive director of corporate reputation management
and public affairs at cable giant Cox, is based in Atlanta
and reports to Misty Skedgell, the senior VP who joined
the semi-autonomous Time Warner unit last June
after the exit of Shirley Powell for The Weather Channel
handles day-to-day management of the companys internal
communications and corporate messaging group and serves
as a strategic communications partner to executives and
groups across TBS, Inc.
units include CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT and Cartoon Network, among
PROPUBLICA ACCEPTS ADS
ProPublica, the non-profit
investigative reporting outfit, is now accepting advertising
on its website, according to an announcement from its general
manager Richard Tofel.
Ads are coming for its
daily email, which goes to 40,000 people, and iPad application.
Tofel says advertising
will generate revenues to promote sustainability.
The Sandler Foundation is the biggest of ProPublicas
more than 1,300 donors. It kicked in 3.8M last year or 38
percent of total cash raised. Tofel eyes a $5M budget in
Other financial backers
include Carnegie Corp., Ford Foundation, Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation,
George Soros Open Society Foundations and Pew Charitable
Cleary Gottlieb provides
pro bono legal commercial work, while Davis Wright Tremaine
is press counsel.
ProPublica is now part
of the Public Media Interactive Network and is repped for
web sales by National Public Media, which Tofel calls an
offshoot of NPR and PBS.
Tofels group will
reject advertising that it knows or believes is misleading,
inaccurate, fraudulent or illegal, or that fails to comply,
in ProPublicas sole discretion, with its standards
of decency, taste or dignity.
Advertising that blurs
the separation between news and ad content in an effort
to confuse readers also will be rejected.
NEWS CORP. SHOWERS $18.5M
News Corp. is paying former New York City schools chancellor
Joel Klein $2M a year under a five-year contract inked Jan.
3, according to a Securities and Exchange filing. The pact
calls for a $1M signing bonus.
As executive VP and chief
of News Corps newly minted and yet unnamed educational
unit, Klein is eligible to a minimum $1.5M annual cash bonus
and a car allowance of $1,200 per-month. Klein is signed
up for profit-sharing, pension, insurance and an array of
If terminated for
cause, Klein is entitled to base salary and bonus
earned but not yet paid for. He does not receive any additional
compensation for serving on News Corp.s board of directors.
Klein earned $250K as
NYC education chief.
PLAYBOY AGREES TO HEF BUYOUT
Playboy Enterprises announced
Jan. 10 that it has agreed to be taken private by founder
Hugh Hefner in a deal worth $207M.
The board nixed a competing
offer by FriendFinder, parent company of Playboys
Hefner, 84, launched Playboy
in 1953. Circulation, which peaked at 7.2M in 1972, has
been on a downward spiral. The company cut its guaranteed
rate base from 2.6M to 1.5M last year.
The deal, according to
Hefner, enables Playboy to come full circle, returning
to its roots as a private company.
Despite the sales decline,
Hefner believes the Playboy brand resonates today
as clearly as at any time in its 57-year history.
Playboy CEO Scott Flanders
will remain in the top spot and take an equity investment
in the deal. He sees an opportunity to strengthen Playboys
balance sheet, streamline operations and invest in new ventures.
Hefners $6.15 per-share
offer represents an 18.3 percent premium over the stock's
Jan. 7 close. Hefner proposed the offer July 10, and a special
committee of the board has now determined the buyout is
fair to and in the best interests of Playboys
THOMAS BACK TO JOURNALISM
Longtime White House correspondent
Helen Thomas has come out of a seven-month retirement to
resume a weekly political affairs column for the Falls
Church News-Press, a Virginia paper in the D.C. area.
Thomas resigned in June
2010 as the longest serving member of the White House press
corps in the aftermath of saying that Israelis should get
the hell out of Palestine and go to Germany and Poland.
The UPI fixture was working
as columnist for Hearst Newspapers.
I am proud that
a journalist of the stature and professionalism of Helen
Thomas is re-launching her career, in her ninetieth year
no less, in my newspaper, said Nicholas Benton, owner
and editor of the paper. She more than deserves
and I am honored to help provide her the proverbial
Thomas, 90, started out
in 1942 and had covered every U.S. president as a White
House correspondent since 1960.
In a statement published
in the News-Press, Benton wrote that, having known Ms. Thomas
since 1991, She is progressive, and following my more
than eight hours of direct, one-on-one talks with her since
the events of last June, I remain firmly convinced that
she is neither bigoted, nor racist, nor anti-Semitic.
In the aftermath of last
years incident, Thomas expressed a heart-felt
belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when
all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance.
Her speakers bureau,
Nine Speakers Inc., had also dropped her following her remarks.
Edition, January 12,
2011, Page 5
OF PR FIRMS
ALIGNS WITH DIGITAL PA SHOP
has forged a partnership with digital public affairs shop
uses technology to manage political awareness and engagement
campaigns. Clients have included Marco Rubio for Senate
and Mitt Romneys Free & Strong America PAC.
co-founder Michael Beach said the alliance will enable the
firm to continue to grow and solidy its place among digital
and TV will collaborate on digital strategies that incorporate
online advertising, mobile communications, social networking,
and integrated data management.
KETCHUM TAKES MAJ STAKE IN
has taken a majority stake in its 22-year-old China PR affiliate
Previously known as Ketchum
Newscan, the agency becomes Ketchum Greater China with a
staff of more than 200, following the deal.
Simon Dalby, head of Omnicoms
Diversified Agency Services, which houses Ketchum, called
the China market a critically important region.
DAS CEO Tom Harrison and Ketchum CFO Robert Lorfink will
join the Ketchum Greater China board of directors.
in the region include the China National Offshore Oil Corp.,
known as CNOOC, King Stone Energy, as well as the firms
global clients like FedEx and Visa.
Jon Higgins, Ketchum senior
partner and CEO of international operations, noted, Every
major client or prospective client places Greater China
at or near the top of its geographic priorities.
Newscan founders Kenneth
Chu and Betty Lo remain as CEO and president to head the
China region for Ketchum, part of Omnicom.
Their Hong Kong-based
agency has offices in Beijing, Shanhai, Guagzhou and Taipei
and was founded in 1980.
Ketchum, like several
large agencies, has increasingly looked overseas for expansion.
Last year, it completed a merger with Europes Pleon
and in October 2010 acquired Maslov PR in Russia, in addition
to other affiliate deals.
Communications, New York/Brandon Green, realtor and
CEO of Brandon Green Companies of D.C., and Cassandra Corum,
wellness expert, trainer and chef, for PR.
New York/Ernie Ball, guitar strings, for PR to support ongoing
initiatives and new product launches.
Brod PR, New York/Via Spiga, shoes and accessories
brand, as AOR for PR.
Morris + King Company, New York/Susan G. Komen For
The Cure, for creative and strategic counsel and execution
of its PR, as well as communications support and strategic
PR, New York/Dauphin Media Groups HOLMES:
The Magazine to Make it Right, for PR for the shelter
publication edited by Kelly Beamon, formerly of This Old
House, Interior Design and Dow Jones.
Marshall Communications, Augusta, Me./Churchs
China, U.K. retailer of royal commemorative items, to market
its line of royal wedding memorabilia for the nuptials of
Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton. The agency will
be promoting the products to the U.S. and Canada by working
closely with the Internet sales division of Churchs.
Group, East Rutherford, N.J./MovieTickets.com,
remote movie ticketing, to develop and implement a media
relations and social media strategy.
Marketing Communications, Silver Spring, Md./Access
Systems, information technology and management solutions,
for branding and RFP positioning.
Communications, Washington, D.C./American Council
for Technology - Industry Advisory Council; Federal Citizen
Information Center; Group W, and the U.S. Dept. of Veterans
Affairs, for PR.
PR, Raleigh/Academy Solar, solar energy system design
and installation, for a strategic PR campaign including
media relations, social media and community relations.
Group, Boca Raton, Fla./NXT Nutritionals Holdings,
for PR to support its SUSTA Natural Sweetener and Healthy
Dairy Yogurt Smoothies brands.
Stashower, Cleveland/Bearing Distributors Incorporated,
industrial goods and services, for comms. strategies; Bosch
Power Tools, for a trade and consumer PR program for a variety
of new product launches in 2011, and Knauf Insulation, for
a trade media and retailer outreach strategy.
Media, Fort Collins, Colo./South Expeditions, Quito,
Ecuador-based adventure travel company, for PR.
Media Communications, Denver/Intelligent Office,
staffed office space provider for mobile execs and small
businesses, for media relations, social media, and B2B/trade
Edition, January 12, 2011, Page 6
PROMOTES EUROPE EXECS
Wire has named two key overseas appointments, reflecting
plans to pursue expansion in areas like Europe, the Middle
East and Africa.
Bromley, a nine-year veteran of BW, was upped to group VP,
EMEA region. He had been VP for Europe.
havent even scratched the surface of the EMEA region,
said Bromley. It represents huge potential for Business
Wire and I couldn't be more thrilled to oversee our aggressive
has named London office vet Kim Deonanan to regional manager,
Northern Europe. She joined the company in 2002 with a focus
on sales within the UK and Ireland.
JAFFE HAS MOBILE VIDEO SERVICE
Legal PR firm Jaffe PR,
Washington, D.C., has launched PRessPlay, a media relations
audio and video service for flip-style and smart-phone video
and camera technology aimed to deliver multimedia news stories
to the legal and business press.
Michelle King, director
of client services, said journalists must function in a
multimedia world, producing video, audio and
other digital content to complement their print stories.
The PRessPlay service
is intended to provide them with such content.
Terry Isner, creative
director, said YouTube is the second most popular search
engine behind Google, adding: Video and audio files
are quickly becoming the preferred method for content sharing.
FREE PR SERVICES TO NON-PROFITS
Los Angeles-based Neotrope,
which owns the Send2Press service, said it is donating $36,000
in free PR and newswire services to non-profit and charitable
organizations to mark its 28th anniversary.
The firm donated $25K
in services in 2009.
Organizations can apply
for the program at Send2Press.com/non-profit.
Many smaller non-profits
have been suffering from lower revenues the past couple
of years, due to the economy and less visibility than some
of the larger charities with Fortune 500 sponsors; and it's
been harder than ever for these orgs to raise awareness,
said Neotrope CEO and co-founder Christopher Simmons. Weve
always taken corporate social responsibility very seriously,
and we decided many years ago that it was better to use
our expertise to help these causes versus simply writing
them a small donation check.
Past recipients included
Children Awaiting Parents, Girls Write Now, Paws of Life
Foundation and Native Voices Foundation.
Your Own PR, a do-it-yourself PR website
that has media lists for sale, is offering 40% off any list
purchase through the end of January with the code NEWYEAR2011.
senior VP of media relations, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, to Zeno
Group, New York, as executive VP, media. He started Jan.
10. He was VP of PR for Food Network and held positions
with MSNBC, CBS and CNN.
who handled wine and spirits clients at Talbert Communications,
to Colangelo & Partners PR, New York, as an account
director. Hilary Ruesch, former marketing manager for Prestige
Wine Imports Corp., joins as an A/E.
senior policy analyst and communications manager, Empire
Center for New York State Policy, to the New York State
Bar Association, Albany, as director of media services and
public affairs. She co-hosted Inside Albany
for 19 years after serving as a capitol reporter for the
media relations manager, New America Foundation, to Foreign
Policy, as director of PR. She was media relations manager
for the Washington Times and was a freelance producer for
former executive VP, Edward Howard & Company, who retired
in 2009, to crisis specialist Hennes Paynter Communications,
Cleveland, as a VP.
social media coordinator, Easter Seals Crossroads, to BohlsenPR,
Indianapolis, as a media specialist. Kate Franzman, content
producer, Raidious Digital Content Services, joins as an
A/E; Megan Giannini, media relations specialist at BLASTmedia,
joins as media specialist; Mark LaFay, who worked in the
music industry, as an A/E, and Jeremy Riffle, a former senior
A/E at Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, as a senior A/E.
a management consultant and veteran of Financial Relations
Board and Sitrick & Company, to wind turbine system
producer Sauer Energy, Newbury Park, Calif., as director
of corporate communications handling investor, public and
media relations. He was VP of corporate comms. for Loudeye
Technologies and Digital Media Campus.
to VP, corporate comms., corporate branding and culinary
marketing, McCormick and Company, Sparks, Md., following
a revamp of the company to create a "new global communications
function aimed to align its consumer and corporate messages.
She joined McCormick in 2001 and held a series of marketing
positions with McCormick, recently leading its efforts in
social media and online ads. Former VP/corporate comms.
and community relations John McCormick
was named VP, government relations and community rels.
Edition, January 12, 2011, Page 7
BUYS OUT OF PUBLICIS
Freud has bought back a majority 50.1% stake in U.K.-based
Freud Communications from Publicis, which acquired the firm
25-year-old FC employs about 200 staffers and handles blue-chip
clients like Best Buy, PepsiCo and Warner Bros.
and then-sister agency MSLGroup picked up lucrative PR duties
for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games in March.
move is Freuds second buy-back from an advertising
and PR conglomerate. The agency was sold in 1994 to ad agency
Abbott Mead Vickers. Freud bought back the firm in 2001
after AMV was acquired by Omnicom.
London Times had reported that, under initial acquisition
by Publicis, the French ad/PR conglomerate was required
to buy Freuds remaining shares at a premium on Jan.
1, 2011. The New Years Eve deal nixes that obligation.
of the buy-back were not released, although Freud posted
a pre-tax profit up 28% to £6.7M in 2010. It was valued
between £70M and £80M when Publicis bought the
50.1% stake in 2005.
reports out of London over the past few months had speculated
that the separation from Publicis was pending as Freud was
frustrated with the parent companys support of expansion
is the son-in-law of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch. Sigmund
Freud is his great-grandfather.
SLEEP FOUNDATION SEEKS PITCHES
The National Sleep Foundation,
a D.C.-based non-profit focused on improving health and
safety by studying sleep and sleep disorders, is on the
hunt for a PR agency via an open RFP.
The foundation wants pitches
from agencies for a national awareness program, said Tom
Clifford, director of development. The group has not had
a retainer agency is several years, he said.
Proposals will be accepted
through Feb. 1. Copies of the RFP can be obtained from Clifford
at [email protected].
MSLGROUP GETS DEBT COLLECTOR
MSLGroup has picked up
Encore Capital Group, the debt collection agency with stock
that recently hit a 52-week high of $24.31.
The San Diego-based company
is a top purchaser of distressed consumer debt buying and
recovery. It buys defaulted consumer loans from banks, credit
unions and utilities and works with consumers to get them
to repay their loans and bills.
MSLGroup is charged with
media relations, government affairs, IR and reputation management.
Peter Harris, senior VP and North American corporate practice
director, leads the effort. He is bolstered by MSLGroups
sister Publicis companies Kekst & Co. and Hanmer MSL
in India. Encore owns a large operation in New Delhi.
Hard economic times have
bolstered Encores financial standing as nine-month
`10 net income soared 41 percent to $35M on a 20 percent
revenue boost to $282M.
FORMER F-H EXEC ORDERED TO
Los Angeles GM Doug Dowie has been ordered to begin a three
and a half-year prison sentence after his 2006 conviction
in an overbilling case with the city of Los Angeles.
Dowie had been free pending
appeal, which he lost last month. F-H colleague John Stodder
was also convicted in the case and given a 15-month sentence,
although his appeal is still pending.
A third exec, Steve Sugarman,
pleaded guilty and received three years probation. The execs
were accused of bilking $300K from the city's Dept. of Water
and Power, a client.
Dowie, 61, who fought
the charges for years and racked up more than $3M in legal
bills, part of which was paid by F-H, was ordered last week
to surrender to police on Feb. 4.
F-H paid nearly $6M in
fees and services to the city to settle a lawsuit over the
CMO STEPS DOWN AT H&K
Tony Burgess-Webb, a 25-year
veteran of Hill & Knowlton, is stepping down in February
from the chief marketing officer spot.
MaryLee Sachs, marketing
comms. director, is also exiting the firm.
CEO Paul Taaffe credits
Burgess-Webb for pushing the WPP unit into the digital arena
during the 1990s and coordinating cross-border business
to the level where 60 percent of H&Ks business
At H&K, Burgess-Webb
managed its European marketing, tech and healthcare practices.
He founded the Netcoms digital practice in `94 and assumed
the CMO position in `05.
U.S. SPOKESMAN DURING VIETNAM
DIES AT 90
Barry Zorthian, U.S. spokesperson
in Saigon during the Vietnam War, died Dec. 30 in Washington,
D.C. He was 90.
Presiding over the first
U.S. war without official censorship, Zorthian created the
daily briefings that came to be known as the Five
OClock Follies, where military officials gave
battlefield summaries and fielded questions from reporters.
The Associated Press noted
those briefings, which often turned into shouting matches,
were the only regular forum at which American and South
Vietnamese officials spoke entirely on the record. The Follies
ran for a decade.
As head of the Joint U.S.
Public Affairs Office, Zorthian served as media advisor
to three successive U.S. ambassadors to South Vietnam
Henry Cabot Lodge, Maxwell Taylor and Ellsworth Bunker
and to then-U.S. military Commander Gen. William Westmoreland.
Zorthian also was in charge
of coordinating psychological warfare operations. His office
dumped tons of propaganda leaflets and mounted loudspeakers
on airplanes to broadcast funeral dirges in an effort to
scare enemy troops.
Edition, January 12, 2011,
pros and students should follow closely
how a number of institutions are handling a red-hot story-rape
charges against one of the most famous male college athletes,
20-year-old Garrett Wittels of Florida International University.
who has a 56-game hitting streak going (if you dont
count summer league games in Alaska), was one of five nominated
by ESPN for its Best Male College Athlete award.
It went July 14 to NBA first round draft choice John Wall.
spent a month with the Peninsula Oilers, of the Alaska Baseball
League, Kenai. He went 0 for 3 in the third game. The NCAA
does not count summer league baseball games.
can therefore seek to extend his streak when FIU plays the
UMASS Feb. 18.
FIU will allow him to play is not yet known. The school
has refused any comment on the incident.
the institutions involved are mostly not even acknowledging
receipt of e-mails or phone calls from this NL, there's
plenty to be found on the web.
for the Miami Herald wrote Dec. 29 that no date-rape
drugs had been administered to two 17-year-olds-"only
statement, which became the headline on the story, ignored
the fact that not only is alcohol a drug, but it is the
leading drug involved in cases of sexual misbehavior.
Calls Were Once Returned
couple of decades ago, it was unthinkable that a PR pro
would not return a press call.
all institutions and PR firms had outreach programs that
sent their staffers to the desksides of reporters or concocted
other ways of personal interaction such as company lunches,
dinners, Broadway shows, ballets, symphonies, golf, tennis,
baseball, basketball and other sports outings, holiday parties,
pros routinely brought their spouses to such events.
reporters wondered if they were mere "props" since
the PR pros and their spouses could not claim the events
as a business deduction without a reporter being present.
a press call would be a hostile act that ended any relationship
with the reporter involved.
solution is to avoid building any relationships with reporters
since this is something that could later haunt the PR pro.
Almost all PR entertaining of reporters has vanished in
with Kobe Bryant
Wittels whose games attracted
national TV coverage in the spring, palled around with other
sports superstars this past summer including the NBA's Kobe
Bryant, tennis star Serena Williams, and Drew Brees, quarterback
of the New Orleans Saints, according to the June 28, 2010
Miami Herald. Bryant was hit with rape charges in
There was a press feeding
frenzy that was rivaled by coverage of the Duke lacrosse
team rape charges in 2006.
The married Bryant was
arrested on charges of raping a 19-year-old hotel employee
Kate Faber July 1 at a hotel in Cordillera, Colo. He said
it was consensual sex but Faber said she asked him to stop
and he refused to do so.
Lawyers for Bryant uncovered
a number of negatives about Faber including the fact that
she had entered a hospital as a danger to herself
four months prior to the alleged rape.
Faber elected not to testify
at a trial after the prosecution had spent more than $200,000
preparing its case. Bryant could have been sentenced to
anything from parole to life in prison. Maximum penalty
for rape conviction for the first time in the Bahamas is
Faber filed a civil suit
against Bryant which was settled out of court for an unknown
The 2006 rape charges
against three Duke University lacrosse players were dismissed
but only after extensive testimony and media coverage.
Lawyers for the three
players launched a campaign aimed at discrediting stripper
Crystal Mangum who had been hired for $400 and who claimed
she was held in a bathroom and raped.
Prosecutor Michael Nifongs
motives were impugned-- attributed to a desire by him to
were also found in the way he presented the case.
Nifong said he was hit
with a "stonewall of silence" by the Duke team
and that there was "no doubt in my mind that she had
A nurse who examined Mangum
found "blunt force trauma" that was "consistent
with the sexual assault that was alleged by the victim."
Semen of one of the Duke
students was found beside the toilet at about the same spot
where Mangum said she had spat out semen from someone who
orally raped her.
Semen of another Duke
student was found on a rag in the hallway near his bedroom.
Mangum claimed that someone had wiped her vagina with a
rag. The defense said the semen in each instance came from
something unrelated to Mangum.
No DNA of the 46 white
members of the team was found on Mangum, a huge setback
of Evidence Disclosed
A lengthy article in the
Aug. 25, 2006 New York Times said the defense, by
disclosing pieces of evidence favorable to the defendants,
created an image of a case heading for the rocks. But an
examination of the entire 1,850 pages of evidence gathered
in the four months after the accusation yields a more ambiguous
The article, by Duff Wilson
and Jonathan Glater, said there were big weaknesses
in Nifong's case but also evidence to support his
taking the matter to a jury.
There is a possibility
Mangum was given a date-rape drug. Kim Roberts, a stripper
also hired that night at $400, said that Mangum was clearly
sober at first but became glassy-eyed, talking
crazy and basically out of it within the
Both strippers had been
given mixed drinks when they arrived but Roberts did not
drink hers. No test was given to determine if Mangum had
been drugged in any way.
Nifong, accused of various
irregularities in pursuing the charges, was disbarred and
served one day in jail. No charges were ever brought against
While authorities in Colorado
and North Carolina started immediate investigations of the
rape charges, the first court date for Wittels and two other
FIU students is not until April 18.