PATERNO BRINGS IN CRISIS PR COUNSEL
Penn State University’s ousted football coach Joe Paterno called in McGinn & Company, formerly TMG Strategies, last week as the academic institution reeled from a child sex abuse scandal centered on a former Paterno assistant coach.
Paterno in 1966
The firm, representing the Paterno family, is led by PR veteran Dan McGinn and has counseled clients like General Motors, Texaco and 3M, specializing in crisis, environmental disasters, and litigation issues.
Before the university’s board of trustees fired him, Paterno, 84, said he would retire at the end of this season after 61 years, following revelations of the abuse scandal alleging a former assistant of Paterno’s, Jerry Sandusky, sexually assaulted at least eight young boys.
“At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status,” Paterno said in a Nov. 9 statement issued via McGinn. “They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.”
He was fired the next day.
McGinn co-founded Ryan-McGinn in 1987 after working on Capitol Hill and sold it to Interpublic in 1998. He started The McGinn Group a few years later.
The firm was acquired by Publicis’ MS&L in 2007 but bought itself out and is again independent.
CHIME STRUCK BY LOSS OF U.S. PACT
Chime Communications plans to cut PR staff and take a restructuring charge due to the earlier than anticipated wind-down of Bell Pottinger’s pact with the State Dept. for Iraq and Afghanistan-related communications.
CEO Lord Bell said Chime “continued to trade well in a difficult environment.” He noted that without the
U.S. work, sports marketing now becomes a bigger part of the overall revenue base.
Prior to the restructuring charge, Chime expects 2011 profit to “be in line with both our budgets and market expectations,” said Bell in a statement.
While PR is growing, Bell sees the need to make investments in that sector. Chime will be acquisitive and Bell expects “organic growth from our existing businesses and their expansion into disciplines and geographies in which we do not currently operate.”
Bell, however, said the weak economy will prevent Chime from matching its growth rate of the last few years. Chime’s other PR units include Good Relations, Harvard, Resonate and Search Relations.