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PR’s Revolving Door

Roll Call: Ketchum, MMG, Allison+Partners and More

Ketchum named Bill McIntyre director of its Washington, D.C., office. An award-winning communications professional, McIntyre brings more than 25 years of experience in communications to the role, including work in journalism, association communications and agency public relations, where he built his reputation as an innovator in advocacy strategies, crisis communications and integrated digital engagement.

McIntyre most recently served as executive vice president and group head for the Washington, D.C., office of Edelman. He led digital and traditional public affairs, grassroots and consumer marketing programs on behalf of leading companies and associations in the U.S., Canada and European Union, growing revenue and staff along the way. In addition, he is an adjunct professor in Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, where he teaches graduate-level courses that focus on digital and traditional communications. Prior to joining Edelman, McIntyre served in leadership positions and, ultimately, as CEO of Grassroots Enterprise, Inc., a high-tech communications firm that specialized in bipartisan grassroots communications support for causes, products and companies. (Release)

MMG, part of Ketchum,  announced the appointment of Helen West as president, effective Jan. 1. She succeeds John Benbrook, who is departing MMG to become CEO of a Pennsylvania-based publishing company. West, whose most recent role was vice president of strategic development, is a pharmaceutical industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in clinical research. West joined MMG in 2005 as general medicine therapeutic lead, developing and executing global patient recruitment and retention programs across indications and patient populations. In her most recent role leading strategic development, she continued to contribute to the development of recruitment strategies, but also has been driving strategic development for the company, including innovations, partnerships, and initiatives that move MMG forward. West also has held leadership roles at MMG in operational management, business development, marketing, and site support and field recruitment. (Release)

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Roll Call: FleishmanHillard, Fenton, Steinreich Communications Group, and More

FleishmanHillard has announced new leadership for its global strategic integration team. Stefan Gerard, based in New York, will serve as the firm’s global strategic integration lead. In addition to this role, he will lead the New York office’s brand marketing group. Gerard, a senior vice president and senior partner, has helped lead the agency’s strategic integration practice in the Americas since joining the firm in 2010. He brings to the position a unique mix of multidisciplinary experience across advertising, public relations, digital content, brand strategy, consumer research and experiential activation. In his expanded role as the global lead, he is responsible for developing and managing the structure and strategy for the firm’s large-scale client engagements that span geographies and disciplines, as well as overseeing the integration of creative and planning disciplines into the firm’s overall offering. (Release)

After nearly 33 years as CEO of his own firm, David Fenton has sold the agency and appointed a new chief executive. His own role will shift to one of chairman, effective immediately. Former Billboard editorial director Bill Werde has taken on the role of Fenton‘s new CEO. Werde most recently worked on new business opportunities at Guggenheim Digital, which oversees Billboard, Adweek, and The Hollywood Reporter. Fenton sold the agency to two new owners, Craig Leach, CEO of Graham-Pelton, and James Marcus, director at Graham-Pelton Consulting and former head of Fenton Studios. With the buyout, Fenton has joined Collegium, a network of cause-related agencies, which Leach and Marcus launched about nine months ago. (PRWeek)

Steinreich Communications Group, Inc. has announced that Ariella Steinreich joined the firm as media relations director. Steinreich will be responsible for providing media strategy and counseling, as well overseeing the integration of traditional and social media campaigns. Steinreich most recently was a senior associate at Burson-Marsteller where she handled global media relations for several of the agency’s clients. Prior to this position, she was at Kwittken, where she also handled media relations.

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Roll Call: ABC News, French/West/Vaughan, DeVries, and FleishmanHillard

Heather Riley has been promoted to vice president, Communications for ABC News. In this new role, Heather will help manage the overall communications strategy for ABC News. She’ll oversee the publicists at GMA and This Week and work closely with the company’s Washington bureau. Heather has been a member of ABC’s PR team since she joined the news division in 2011. Heather is a 10-year PR veteran with experience at the White House, MSNBC and National Geographic magazine.

French/West/Vaughan (F/W/V) announced 10 new hires and six promotions. Associate Creative Director Dawn Marie Strzepek joins the firm from Petco Animal Supplies; Media Director Mibbie Majors joins from Carat, an ad agency based in Detroit; Senior Designer Jarrett Arant served as a designer at Delta Apparel; Senior Account Executive Ryan Roccaforte worked at ASGK Public Strategies and FleishmanHillard; Social Media Analyst Jessica Berinson joins the firm from Ignite Social Media of North Carolina; Digital Media Planner Ben Gartman started his own marketing company called Brokrr; Sally Van Denover will be account coordinator; Molly Ashbaugh will be a production artist; Kathryn DeLong will be an account executive; and Charli McKee will be studio coordinator.

F/W/V also promoted Scott Palmer to digital and social media director, Rachel Wing to group account director, Rich Griffisto art director, Claire Simmons to senior account supervisor, Laura Wallenta to senior account executive and Lauren Towns to account executive.

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BuzzFeed Signs Facebook Vet as PR Chief

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This week, Capital New York broke the news that BuzzFeed had named Facebook vet Liz Wasden as its new head of PR. She replaces Ashley McCollum, who was promoted in October to the position of chief of staff/personal advisor to founder and publisher Jonah Peretti.

Wasden brings more than 15 years of comms experience to the new role. She formerly worked within the CBS organization and served as communications director for Katie Couric, promoting both CBS News and Couric’s syndicated talk show Katie (which she helped launch along with executive producer/current CNN president Jeff Zucker). Prior to joining CBS, she held PR roles at such prominent media outlets as Forbes, Good Housekeeping and Money; the Savannah, Georgia native also spent time at Porter Novelli.

As our sister site AllFacebook reported, Wasden joined Zuckerberg’s team in early 2013, working on consumer communications for both Facebook and the still-new Instagram.

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Burson-Marsteller Poaches Fleishman Vet to Run Media Relations

Steve NaruFormer Burson-Marsteller staffer Steve Naru has rejoined the agency after an extended stint at FleishmanHillard.

Naru, whose official title will be Head of U.S. Media Relations and Managing Director, U.S. Corporate and Financial Practice, spent more than eight years with Fleishman as an SVP/partner and global head of media relations after serving in a similiar position at Reuters from 2003 to 2006.

While at Fleishman, he handled media outreach as well as intellectual property and product development issues for clients ranging from AT&T to Monsanto, Barnes & Noble, The New York Times Company, and Columbia Business School. In his new role, he will work with various clients to help refine their media strategies/executions worldwide while also handling the firm’s own practices in the United States.

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Roll Call: Ketchum, FTI Consulting, Cohn & Wolfe and More

Ketchum announced it has increased its investment to a significant majority position in its operations in Brazil. Previously, Ketchum owned a minority stake in the operation, which has been its valued partner in Brazil since 1997. The firm will be rebranded as Ketchum, from Ketchum Estrategia, effective immediately. Ketchum’s Brazil operation will continue to be led by its co-founders, partner and CEO Valeria Perito and partner and COO Rosana Monteiro. Long-time associate Regina Gobbo, senior vice president, will also play a vital role in the office’s future. Perito will report to Jon Higgins, Ketchum senior partner and CEO, International. Under her leadership, the Brazil team will continue to collaborate closely with other offices and affiliates across Ketchum’s global network, and in particular within the rapidly growing Latin-America region. (Release)

FTI Consulting, Inc. announced that it has bolstered its Media & Entertainment group with the addition of three professionals in Los Angeles, including Philip Schuman, who joins the firm as a senior managing director and co-leader of FTI Consulting’s Media & Entertainment group, as well as Cindy Wang and Daniel Punt who both join the firm as managing directors from HighView Media (“HVM”). In addition, FTI Consulting announced that Alexander Trauttmansdorff and Fabrice de Sez of HVM’s European unit will become affiliated with FTI Consulting to provide media and entertainment expertise in Europe. (Release)

Cohn & Wolfe has appointed Kristie Kuhl and Maura Bergen to EVP roles in its US healthcare practice. Kuhl and Bergen will focus on client relationships and respiratory product launches. Both will manage multi-layer teams at the firm. Kuhl previously worked at Makovsky as EVP and deputy practice leader during a career of more than 13 years at the firm, while Bergen previously served as MD at Twist Marketing, a W2O company, and served as director of public relations at Novartis. (PRWeek) Read more

Roll Call: Steinreich Communications Group, HealthStar PR and KBS

Steinreich Communications Group, Inc. has tapped a 16-year Conde Nast communications executive, Lauren Theodore, as vice president of its consumer practice. While at Conde Nast, Theodore created communications strategies and handled media relations for titles that included SELF, Glamour, Brides and Modern Bride. She also had handled assignments for the company’s corporate communications department. Since 2004 she was senior director of public relations at SELF Magazine, where she implemented numerous high-profile publicity campaigns on behalf of the brand’s executives, events and initiatives, and developed regular partnerships with top national broadcast and digital media outlets. She was recognized as the corporate Marketer of the Quarter in 2012 by Conde Nast. Prior to her career there, Theodore worked at Bayard Advertising Agency in New York. (Release)

HealthStar PR (HSPR) announced the appointment of industry veteran David Bashaw as executive vice president. Mr. Bashaw will be responsible for helping manage the agency, as well as ensuring that clients continue receiving unrivaled client service, strategic thinking and executional excellence. With nearly 20 years of health communications experience, Bashaw has spearheaded strategic and high-profile U.S. and global programs for leading healthcare companies including: Novartis, Eli Lilly and Myriad Genetics. His diverse therapeutic areas of focus include oncology, endocrinology, immunology, diabetes, respiratory disease, ophthalmology, cardiovascular, surgical orthopedics, infectious disease, addiction treatment and genetic testing. Bashaw has worked extensively on health literacy and compliance issues developing programs for special/diversity populations. He has created numerous public health campaigns, developing third party advocacy programs in partnership with health organizations such as the Society for Women’s Health Research, American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Prior to joining HSPR, he was principal at Bashaw Consulting. (Release) Read more

Roll Call: Ruder Finn, Rubenstein PR, APCO Worldwide, and More

Ruder Finn announced the hiring of two new executives in its Corporate practice. Christine Dusek returns to RF after seven years away; she brings more than 15 years of most recently held the position of corporate reputation/crisis management experience to her new role as EVP. Dusek most recently managed global communications for healthcare information/consulting company IMS Health. As EVP, she will drive global comms operations as well as developing existing talent and targeting new business opportunities.

Jon Vidar assumed the SVP position at Ruder Finn this summer. His work will span both the firm’s Corporate practice and its in-house digital agency RFI Studios, and he will also support the cause-based unit Ruder Finn Effect. Vidar founded his own agency, Uncharted Digital, in 2012 and remains its CEO; he also started the non-profit Tiziano Project, which serves “underrepresented communities across the Middle East, the U.S., Europe and Asia.”

New York’s Rubenstein Public Relations hired Donna Fontana as new managing director. In her most recent position, Fontana served as MD/VP of fellow New York firm K2 Public Relations; prior to assuming that role, she held the VP of PR position at Weight Watchers.

Fontana also spent more than five years with the Ketchum organization, rising to the rank of SVP and Group Manager of the firm’s brand practice. In her new role, she will work directly with President Richard Rubenstein to identify new business opportunities and oversee client service practices.

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Tesla Rehires Former PR Chief from Square

teslaYesterday we learned of yet another change in the PR department at Elon Musk’s Tesla: the company has rehired Ricardo Reyes, who served as its PR chief before leaving for a similar position at credit card processing company Square in 2012.

Bloomberg Businessweek broke the news, which comes less than two months after the departure of former Nissan comms/marketing VP Simon Sproule. In case you missed it, Sproule served less than six months at his new gig after joining the Tesla team in March; while Businessweek attributes Sproule’s departure to “struggles he faced trying to hire more staff,” others seem to think he was “poached” by 007 fave Aston Martin after a former colleague became CEO at that company.

For the record, Reyes was not with Tesla during the uproar about a negative New York Times review that Musk himself called “fake.”

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Roll Call: William and Kate, APCO Worldwide, Grace Blue, and More

The Royal Children and the Duchess of Cambridge have hired an American to handle their PR. More specifically, Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Harry tapped Jason Knaus, previously head of PR at the Royal Bank of Scotland, to manage their communications as their first stateside trip approaches. Knaus doesn’t begin until the new year, but we’d suggest that his first action should be moving to quash all those stories about the ridiculous dress code for journalists who want to interview the Brits. Our sister site Media Jobs Daily has some suggestions

APCO Worldwide chose the right time to make a big announcement: international president Brad Staples will assume the CEO role in January and founder/current CEO Margery Kraus will be executive chairman.

Two other changes will take place effective January 5th: Evan Kraus (that’s Margery’s son) will be the company’s president and managing director of operations while Neal Cohen will be vice chairman of the board and head of global client strategy. The elder Kraus writes, “Brad, Evan and Neal represent the very best of APCO – deep global perspectives, understanding of the changing communications landscape and commitment to providing the very best thinking to our clients.”

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