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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Oct. 15, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 41 (download PDF version)

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Allison Gollust, who left the executive VP/corporate communications slot at NBC Universal after its merger with Comcast in 2010, was named director of communications for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.


Richard Bamberger, who previously worked for Cuomo since 2008 when the governor was attorney general of New York, is stepping down from the governor’s office after nearly two years in the post.

Gollust, a 14-year NBC vet, was chief spokeswoman for NBCU and CEO Jeff Zucker, who also left after the Comcast merger, after stints heading NBC News communications, a tenure which included the death of Tim Russert and changes from Katie Couric to Meredith Vieira at “Today” and from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams on the “NBC Nightly News.”

“Allison is a consummate professional who has a wealth of experience in communications and management,” Cuomo said in a statement.

She previously directed communications for Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids and started out in journalism.

Cuomo, a prominent Democrat expected by many to run for president in 2016, was elected in 2010.


Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific CEO Bob Pickard has resigned from the firm, effective the end of the year, after nearly three years at the WPP unit.


Pickard, who said he will be on “garden leave” starting next week, said in an email he is pursuing another opportunity which will be announced in the coming months. He helped build Edelman’s North Asia presence from scratch in 2005 and joined B-M in 2010.

B-M said chief client officer and former U.S. CEO Pat Ford will take over the Asia-Pacific operation on an interim basis amid a search for a permanent replacement for Pickard. He has been based in Hong Kong for the last several months, the firm said.

B-M’s Asia-Pacific unit includes 19 offices across Japan, China and Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. It also has 11 affiliates adding New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Philippines.


APCO Worldwide and Fleishman-Hillard work the lobbying beat for Huawei Technologies, subject of a scathing Congressional report that charges the Chinese telecom company poses a risk to U.S. national security.

APCO, which began work for Huawei in 2010, collected $180K of the company’s $820K in first-half lobbying outlays. It handles foreign investment and security-related issues, as well as contact with the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

APCO’s team includes Barry Schumacher, senior director of international policy who joined the D.C. PR firm in `87 after working trade policy issues for Florida Governor Bob Graham. He’s assisted by former Rep. Don Bonker (D-WA) and Brian McLaughlin, ex-research assistant for Sen. Richard Durbin and for the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

F-H picked up Huawai earlier this year for the “Congressional review of cybersecurity procedures of telecommunications manufacturers and any legislative proposals of federal agency policies regarding cybersecurity and foreign telecommunications manufacturers” according to its filing statement.

Bill Black, co-chair of F-H’s global PA practice, leads the Huawei push.

China’s Commerce Dept. has slapped the House Intelligence Committee report as “based on subjective conjecture and untrue foundations.” It believes the Committee has “made groundless accusations against China.”

Huawei blistered the House findings as “China bashing.”


An investment group targeting the professional soccer sector in the U.S. and U.K. is on the hunt for a firm to develop a PR plan and guide media relations.

The group, Football Ventures Corp., based in Mount Pleasant, S.C., has released an RFP open through Oct. 31. FVC said it plans to release a second RFP for investor relations services in the near future.

The group wants a firm with understanding of public companies within the finance, sport and tech industries. The RFP says it wants to acquire a 20-plus-yearold soccer club in the U.S. for a major re-branding, as well as soccer ventures in the digital space and purchase of a U.K. club, as well.

Jon Pritchett, a former vice chairman of Raleigh-based French West Vaughan and CEO of AstroTurf maker AstroTurf USA, is director of football operations for FVC. RFP:

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