NPR HIRES LOBBYIST TO FIGHT CUTS GEISSER TUNES IN TO BRAVO
NPR, which is looking for a PR firm to bolster its image, has hired Bracy Tucker Brown & Valanzano to fight future Republican efforts to defund public radio.
Despite all the noise from the GOP and its Tea Party allies, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s $445M budget was kept in place under the budget compromise ironed out earlier this month.
Michael Bracy, partner in the government affairs firm, handles the NPR account. He is a veteran of media tussles on Capitol Hill and at the Federal Communications Commission, repping the Low Power Radio Coalition on the regulation and consolidation fronts.
Bracy, co-owner of the Misra independent record label in Austin, is co-founder of the Future of Music Coalition, which works to achieve fair compensation for musicians in the digital age.
BTB&V represents a mix of corporate, municipal and non-profit clients including Willis North America, Longhorn Partners Pipeline, Puget Sound Energy, City of Tucson, Allied Pilots Assn., American Ballet Theater, Girls Inc. and the Girl Scouts.
NPR shelled out $131,666 for lobbying during the first-quarter 2011. Its targets included H.R. 68 to eliminate federal funding and H.R. 69 to ban local public stations to use federal dollars to acquire programming.
NPR spent $410K for lobbying during 2010.
FWV GOES HOLLYWOOD
Raleigh-based French|West|Vaughan has established a Hollywood venture with showbiz veterans Stella Solper and Brian Sher, CEO Rick French told O’Dwyer’s.
French says ownership of the Los Angeles operation is divided among himself, Solper, Sher and FWV principals David Gwyn and Natalie Best.
Stolper is the former VP-talent and creative development at VH1 and creator of the “celebreality” brand that became a hallmark of VH1 and MTV programming. She was executive producer of Paris Hilton’s “My New BFF,” 50 Cent’s “The Money and the Power,” and DJ AM’s “Gone Too Far.”
BET's 'The Michael Vick Project'
Sher, an ex-ICM talent agent, runs Category 5 Entertainment and is partner with Kelsey Grammer in Grammnet Productions. He was also executive producer of “The Michael Vick Project” for BET and has been working with FWV for the past six months to guide the off-the-field career of football quarterback Vick, who served jail time in connection with a dog-fighting ring and made an NFL comeback last year.
French formed the venture because “the world is fascinated by what celebrities wear, eat, read and otherwise consume.” That fascination is “arguably the biggest drive of consumer buying behavior.”
The West Coast outpost is to create embedded content opportunities and storylines for FWV clients and provide PR and marketing support for Solper and Sher’s independently produced film and TV projects.