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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - August 29, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 33 (download PDF version)

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MEDIA NEWS ____________________________________________________________


Mark Truby, former business editor of the Detroit News, has been promoted to VP of communications and public affairs for Ford of Europe, starting Oct. 1.


He takes over for Ian Slater, who is retiring after 30 years with the company.

Truby moved to Ford in Detroit in 2007 after eight years at the News, including four covering Ford. He was dispatched to Germany in February as executive director of communications and public affairs.

Slater, a native of Scotland, joined Ford in 1980 as an economist on its European staff, later moving to government affairs and public affairs in Detroit and Europe.


Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave since January, resigned Aug. 24, leading to worldwide speculation about the company’s future, image and creative force.

The 55-year-old pancreatic cancer survivor has turned over the leadership reins to COO/president and deputy Tim Cook. Jobs will remain chairman, a new post.

In a statement, Jobs reminded Apple shareholders that he had pledged to step down when he was no longer able to helm the company.

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come,” he wrote in a letter to the Apple’s board which was released by the company.

Trading in Apple stock was suspended Wednesday. Shares fell in after-hours trading.

“I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role,” said Jobs.

Board chairman Art Levinson of Genentech hailed Jobs’ “extraordinary vision and leadership” for saving Apple and guiding its rebound to become “the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company.” He said the board has “complete confidence” that Cook is the “right person” to become CEO.

Reacting to Jobs' exit, the Chicago Tribune noted he “cultivated his, and Apple’s, aura close to the turtleneck” in pointing out his famously “tight-lipped” PR department.

United Press International said Jobs has a “slight Bob Dylan complex – as a person who distrusts the press, as it were.”

Writing at, Rachel King said Jobs’ exit won’t diminish Apple’s brand.

“It will be a shift in the company’s history, certainly,” she wrote. “But it has already been proven this year that Apple’s momentum can continue as Jobs steps back from the company.

Apple PR chief Katie Cotton was named one of the 10 most powerful women in Silicon Valley by the San Jose Mercury News in January and one of the top 50 most powerful women in business by Fortune last year.


Bloomberg is acquiring Arlington, Va.-based Bureau of National Affairs, which produces more than 300 news services for the legal, environmental, tax and regulatory sectors, for $990M.

It plans to launch a tender offer for BNA shares on September 8 and close the deal by yearend.

The deal will expand Bloomberg’s position in the nation’s capital, where it has a presence via its news, government and legal arms.

Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Bloomberg, believes “BNA research and analysis will make Bloomberg’s products even more valuable, and BNA will benefit from our data and technology.”

In his statement, he credited BNA employees for building a “superior franchise” and expressed enthusiasm that the “Bloomberg-BNA combination will deliver more premium content to our professional audiences.”

BNA, founded in 1926, will operate as a standalone subsidiary of Bloomberg. Its flagship properties are U.S. Law Week, Daily Report for Executives and Daily Labor Report.

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg controls Bloomberg, which has 13,000 employees.


Slate, the online journal of the Washington Post, has cut Jack Shafer, its well respected media critic, in a cost-saving move.


A founding member of Slate, Shafer penned the “Press Box” column since 2000. He plans to do freelance work and contribute to Slate, which Washington Post Co. bought from Microsoft in 2004.

Slate, which has about 40 staffers, is also dropping columnist Timothy Noah, foreign editor June Thomas, and associate editor Juliet Lapidos.


The Dallas Morning News said it has launched an enhanced approach to its local coverage via its “neighborsgo” coverage and Metro section of the newspaper.

The paper said community coverage has expanded from 44 to 71 neighborhoods and suburban areas in the Dallas area. Neighborsgo content includes a police blotter, school briefs, rotating columns from elected officials, and community news for each area, along with features published in the Metro section on the specific area.

“People want to see local news and ads that are relevant to them,” said Oscar Martinez, publisher of neighborsgo.


Kierna Mayo, editorial director of Tyra Banks’ magazine, has moved to Ebony Magazine as editorial director, digital.

She works with editor-in-chief Amy DuBois on content and direction for and developing other digital platforms.

Mayo has written for Essence, Marie Claire and Seventeen, among others, and is co-founder and founding editor-in-chief of Honey magazine.

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