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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Mar. 12, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 11 (download PDF version)

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Edelman CEO Richard Edelman has named Alan VanderMolen vice chairman of the Daniel J. Edelman Inc. holding company to build global scale for non-Edelman branded businesses such as Zeno (PR), StrategyOne (research), Ruth (integrated marketing) and Matter (sports, sponsorship, entertainment) of the No. 1 independent PR firm.


International generated $220M of Edelman's overall $604M in 2011 fee income, while overseas revenues were less than $5M for the DJE group.

Richard Edelman says since the DJE group is enjoying robust growth in the U.S. the time is ripe for an international foray.

VanderMolen told O'Dwyer's the plan is to "build a PR-centric holding company where PR is at the center of the plate of marketing services."

The 10-year Edelman veteran has deep roots overseas, joining the firm as Asia president. He spearheaded the move into Japan, India and Indonesia and managed the acquisition of Pegasus Communications in China. Currently, he reps Shell and SAP and has counseled Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Starbucks and Samsung.

VanderMolen, who served a 13-year stint at Burson-Marsteller, remains president/CEO of Edelman's global practices and diversified insights business.

Daniel Edelman is chairman of DJE. Son Richard is executive chairman.

Turett Turns Over Edelman Health to White

Nancy Turett, who built Edelman's health group into a practice of more than 500 pros during a 23-year stint, has been upped to the new post of chief strategist, health and society. She will counsel clients in diverse businesses about the opportunities and challenges presented by the fast-changing healthcare sector.

Kym White, who joined Edelman a year ago as vice chair, succeeds Turett as global health chair. Prior to Edelman, White did a 16-year stint at Ogilvy PR Worldwide (global health chief and New York leader) and led corporate communications at Baxter Int’l.

Susan Isenberg, an 18-year Edelman vet, assumes White's duties. She led the New York health group from 2002-10.


Andrew Gowers, the Financial Times editor who went on to manage PR for Lehman Brothers and BP, has joined the Assn. for Financial Markets in Europe, a trade group of global bankers operating on the Continent, according to a report in Reuters.

The crisis veteran worked in London as Lehman's corporate communications chief for two years until its 2008 financial collapse. He then moved to the head of group media at BP position in 2009, working through the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. Gowers also coauthored a biography of late Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.

He began his career at Reuters before moving to FT. Gowers has been working as a consultant to AFME before officially assuming the director of external affairs slot.


A Pentagon cost-cutting move that will relocate the staff of Stars & Stripes to the military's public affairs headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., has raised concerns of journalists and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Levin penned a letter the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week asking him to review the decision and questioning what the Defense Dept. will do to "ensure the actual and perceived independence of the important service provided by Stars and Stripes is preserved."

The paper is independent but backed by $20M a year from the U.S. Congress, where it has strong support.

Mel Russell, who heads the Defense Media Activity at Fort Meade, has issued a directive ordering the move by Sept. 28 to save $1M in office space Stars & Stripes spends on its National Press Club base of operations. Russell says he can't justify to the General Services Administration in a time of budget cuts that there is no government-owned alternative available to its current commercial space.

Terry Leonard, editor of Stars and Stripes, is lobbying Congress to fight the move.

"Proving to your readers that you're independent is difficult enough in the private, commercial press," wrote S&S ombudsman Ernie Gates March 2 in urging a more thorough review of such a move. "Stripes starts from an even tougher spot."

Pentagon officials have said the relocation will not affect the paper's operations. Outgoing Defense public affairs chief Doug Wilson told the New York Times it's a matter of costs "in an era when the entire department is having to find efficiencies."

The Pentagon, responding to a 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission report, in 2008 consolidated its communications apparatus at the DMA at Fort Meade, a 2,000-staffer operation with a budget of about $225M a year.


Bobby Block, VP of corporate communications for commercial spaceflight company SpaceX, has moved to the top PR role at the non-profit tapped by NASA to run the U.S. lab in the International Space Station.

Block, a former reporter who covered the space program, is charged with promoting the CASIS and ISS National Laboratory “brands” internationally, while cultivating industry and stakeholder media as the organization works to position the lab and rebuild interest in the space station.

“I am confident we will significantly raise the profile of CASIS and the ISS National Lab in the international marketplace,” said CASIS newly minted interim executive director Jim Royston, who took the reins last week following the resignation of Jeanne Becker after a short stint.

CASIS, based near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, won the $15M-a-year assignment in July to grow the lab’s use for non-NASA applications and foster interest in its projects, especially among schools and students.

NASA ended its space shuttle program last year.

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