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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Nov. 26, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 47 (download PDF version)

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The business and economic development organization for Chicago’s commercial center is looking to enlist a PR firm with a pitch process open through late November.


The Chicago Loop Alliance, formed in 2005 in a consolidation of two large groups, has a $3.2M budget and operates with a threefold mandate that includes running city services, promoting, and advocating for business in the key “Loop” sector of the Windy City.

An RFP released by the Alliance seeks a firm to develop and execute a strategic PR plan touting its programs and services, as well as the attractions of the central business district.

Executive director Ty Tabing stepped down after seven years in June. Laura Jones is interim executive director.

Proposals are due Nov. 30. Philip Barash, director of marketing and development, is heading the search.

View the RFP:


Jon Diat, a veteran financial sector PR pro who led communications and media relations for banking giant Citigroup, has moved to AIG in a top external communications slot.

Diat, who now serves as AIG’s primary media spokesman, took on the role VP, external communications, on Oct. 29, reporting to communications chief Christina Pretto, also a Citigroup alum who joined AIG in 2009.

He is responsible for media relations, financial comms. and social media as AIG rebuilds its image four years after the financial crisis and $180B bailout. AIG’s corporate, business and regional media units all report to Diat.

Prior to seven years at Citigroup, he held senior financial and corporate communications posts at ACE Limited, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley (VP) and Standard & Poor’s (dir. of comms.).

AIG this year began rebuilding its brand and image as it pays back taxpayer funds and emerges from the shadow of the great recession.

New York Times business columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote in September that the AIG bailout should be considered a success, noting the U.S. Treasury might turn a profit on the oft-criticized move.


Edelman is working HP news that it's taking an $8.8B “impairment charge” for software unit Autonomy, which previous management under Leo Apotheker acquired in a $10B deal.

That write-down put HP $6.8B into the red ink column for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Oct. 31 on $36.4B revenues, which were down 6.7 percent from a year ago. The Palo Alto giant claims an internal investigation and forensic review have uncovered “accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures in Autonomy’s financial statements prior to its 2011 acquisition.”

HP claims former members of Autonomy’s management team were behind the financial shenanigans in an apparent “willful effort to mislead investors and potential buyers and severely impacted HP’s management ability to fairly value Autonomy at the time of the deal.”

Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch denies any wrongdoing, claiming the first time he heard of the accusations was with HP’s press release.

HP has referred the Autonomy matter to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division and the UK’s Serious Fraud Office. It will seek to pursue the matter in civil courts to “recoup what it can for its shareholders.”

Edelman’s Jo Sheldon and HP’s Michael Thacker handle the press concerning Autonomy.

Apotheker said in a statement via Healy Corporate Communications that he is “both stunned and disappointed to learn of the “alleged accounting improprieties.”


Paula Broadwell, mistress of former Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus, has reached out to Glover Park Group for PR counsel.

Photo: Daily Show

Dee Dee Myers, who was President Clinton’s spokesperson and author of “Why Women Should Rule the World,” and Joel Johnson, chief legislative and communications advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, represent Broadwell.

Petraeus, who has hired D.C. legal heavyweight Robert Bennett, faces investigations by the CIA, Justice Department and Congress.

Washington counselor Judy Smith is advising Tampa woman Jill Kelley, who allegedly received harassing emails from Broadwell, author of the “All In” biography of Petraeus.

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