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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Nov. 7, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 43 (download PDF version)

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Burson-Marsteller has named Dave DenHerder, chief of its Direct Impact grassroots operation and WPP’s ex-global client lead for the key Ford Motor account, U.S. CEO, succeeding Pat Ford, who moves to the global vice chairman for client service slot. The moves are effective Jan. 1.

Ford, DenHerder
Ford, Denherder

DenHerder joined DI in ’05 as COO. He had been a regional political director for the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign, organizing and managing activities in seven states. Earlier, he served in the White House as liaison and special assistant to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

Ford has helmed the U.S. since ’06. Since joining B-M in ’89, he has served as senior managing director in the PA practice and chairman of the corporate-financial practice.

Before B-M, he was VP-PA at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C.

Mark Penn, B-M’s CEO, said in a statement that “no one has exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit of Burson-Marsteller more than Dave DenHerder.”

DI’s president Nicole Cornish takes over for DenHerder Last month, Laura Hall, consumer and brand marketing managing director, was named Ford Motor lead.


Singer Justin Bieber is using New York crisis pro Matthew Hiltzik to handle charges that he fathered a child in the aftermath of a quickie following a concert last October in Los Angeles.


The woman, Mariah Yeater, filed a paternity suit against Bieber last week, seeking child support and reimbursement for expenses connected with her child. Bieber denied Yeater’s allegations during an appearance on “The Today Show.” He said his celebrity makes him a “target, but I’m never going to be a victim.”

Hiltzik said in a statement “it’s sad that someone would fabricate malicious, defamatory and demonstrably false claims,” adding Bieber will “vigorously” pursue all legal remedies.

Hiltzik made his mark in Democratic politics and entered the PR world as corporate comms. chief at Miramax.


FTI Consulting is counseling brokerage firm MF Global through its high-profile Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

FTI revealed the strategic communications assignment during its Q3 earnings call Nov. 2. The business consulting firm, which also offers services in M&A, bankruptcy/restructuring and tech consulting, also said it is advising Kodak.

The brokerage, led by former politician and Goldman Sachs partner Jon Corzine, was brought down by heavy bets on European debt.

Corzine voluntarily stepped down from the helm on Nov. 4 after a two and a half-year stint.

Q3 Net Jumps 46%

FTI Consulting on Nov. 2 reported a 20 percent increase in third quarter revenue to $413.8M, although the business advisory firm said its strategic communications operation saw only a three percent climb to $57M mostly due to currency fluctuations.

Net income for Q3 climbed 46% to $29.4M compared with Q3 of 2010.

FTI said several key financial communications and restructuring projects benefited its PR unit, but it continued to be impacted by “ongoing sluggish capital markets activity.”

During Q3 its communications unit, FD, was renamed under the FTI banner.

That unit accounted for 12% of total earnings with 579 staffers via financial and brand comms., public affairs, and crisis comms.

For the first nine months, the communications division posted revenues of $143.3M.

President and CEO Jack Dunn said Latin America, particularly Brazil, continued to exceed expectations.


Linden Alschuler & Kaplan is handling the Chapter 11 filing of “off-price” retailer Syms Corp. and its Filene’s Basement unit.

CEO Marcy Syms, daughter of founder Sy Syms, said in a statement that the 46-member chain was hurt by large department stores mimicking its discount strategy and the growth of private label chains during the “worst economic downturn in our lifetimes.”

She thanked Syms’ “educated consumers and bargain hunters for their dedicated support over many years.” The liquidation of the Syms and Filene’s stores is expected to run through January.

Syms was founded in 1959. Filene’s, which opened in 1909, was acquired by Syms during a bankruptcy auction in 2009. Filene’s recently emerged from bankruptcy, but was struggling to rebuild its customer base.


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