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Archives: May 2012

Kentucky Wants You to Visit the ‘Hatfields & McCoys’

The second of the Hatfields & McCoys three-part miniseries aired last night on the History Channel, and, once again, ratings were a winner. After getting about 14 million viewers for Monday’s installment (making it the highest-rated non-sports program in the history of basic cable), it snagged another 13.1 million viewers last night.

Telling the story of the legendary feud between the two families, the blockbuster viewership came as a surprise, even to History Channel president Nancy Dubuc, who told the New York Times that she “would have been happy with three million viewers.”

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Tech Roundup: Bitly Rage, Hitch up Your ‘Sidecar’

Twitter page loading is getting snappier, thanks to an engineering change that reworks hashbangs, or those tags that look like this: !#. The pages are said to load five times faster, which enables more Tweets to come through in real time. This is especially good news for those who like to Tweet live events.

Things may be speeding up at Twitter, but they are slowing down at Bitly, where users are having to go an extra step to shorten links now. Reaction was, to say the least, not good. Movie critic Roger Ebert (why does he have to always get his two cents in on totally unrelated events?) tweeted “bitly flooded with howls of complaint after incomprehensible and catastrophic redesign.” Incomprehensible and catastrophic? It is more annoying and irritating, an improvement only for the programmers there at Bitly and not the users.

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‘Skepticism’ Is One of RIM’s Many Problems

Research in Motion has got 99 problems and satisfying demand ain’t one. (Ha… groan.) Bloomberg reports that weak sales are leaving BlackBerrys and PlayBook tablets in warehouses to collect dust, the value of that inventory reaching $1 billion last quarter. Layoffs are in the offing. Losses are coming. They’ve hired JPMorgan and Royal Bank of Canada to reassess its strategy. Maybe they can do something about this.

Yesterday, trading on RIM stock was halted while CEO Thorsten Heins delivered some bad news. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that RIM is having a very hard time keeping up with Apple and the other competition.  The company is promising a new strategy, but an underlying issue the company has to overcome may be more insidious than the already huge business obstacles: “skepticism.”

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Roll Call: MWW Group, NatGeo, Weber Shandwick, and more

David Herrick (left) has been promoted to COO at MWW Group, working with the firm’s senior leadership team to manage the firm’s culture, client service offerings, and overall growth. He’ll also continue as the GM of the New York office, a position he’s held since joining the firm in 2010.

Jennifer DeGuzman, previously the senior director of consumer PR at AOL, has joined National Geographic as VP of comms. While at AOL, she also worked on strategy for, among other things, the AOL/HuffPo lifestyle sites. DeGuzman has also previously worked for Bravo, also as comms VP, and MTV, where she spent 13 years. NatGeo has also promoted Dara Klatt to senior corp comms director. And Erin Griffin has been promoted to associate director of comms and talent relations. [via]

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The Ticker: Tim Cook at D10; Salesforce to buy Buddy Media; MundoFox; Facebook stock; Syria

PR Jobs: La Quinta, Wolff Olins, Joe’s Pub

This week, La Quinta is hiring a brand marketing manager, while Wolff Olins is seeking a public relations manager. Joe’s Pub is looking for a press and communications manager, and Nicholas & Lence Communications needs a PR account manager. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great PR jobs on the PRNewser job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented PRNewser pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Spin the Agencies of Record

Tokyo 2020, the bid committee for that year’s Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, has chosen Weber Shandwick as its global PR firm. The firm previously worked with the committee on the first stages of its 2020 application and its bid for the 2016 Games. The firm previously worked with the Russian city of Sochi and its successful bid for the  2014 Winter Olympics.

HHS and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has hired two more PR agencies to promote the Affordable Care Act: Sensis to reach Hispanic audiences and Campbell & Company to reach Black audiences. It was announced last week that Porter Novelli was hired to execute an educational campaign, a $20 million contract. Last week’s announcement got quite a bit of media coverage.

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Turett Leaving Edelman Health To Start Her Own Business

Edelman vet Nancy Turett is stepping down from her position as chief strategist of the Health and Society group to launch her own consultancy and serve as a part-time senior advisor for Zeno Group. She’s been with the firm for 23 years and was the founder of Edelman’s global health practice in 2000.

During the course of her career with the firm, she’s worked in London, Paris, and New York; led the health group in New York; helped with the company rebrand in 2002; and was a chairperson for Canada and Latin America. More recently, Turett hosted a health event at the Edelman New York HQ in March tied to the firm’s most recent Health Barometer. (We tweeted about it. Be sure to follow us!)

Kym White took on the role of global chair of the health division back in March. She had previously been with Ogilvy PR for 16 years.

Revolving Door: Anthony Bourdain to CNN, Staff changes at the ‘Times-Picayune,’ and More

Anthony Bourdain is heading to CNN and CNN International for a new weekend show. The network says the new programming will “creat[e] a signature showcase for the network’s coverage of food and travel.” He’ll also be a commentator on other CNN programming. He’ll finish out his final episodes of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations and The Layover, another Travel Channel show, with those episodes to air through 2013. Bourdain will be working with the same people who helped him produce his Travel Channel shows. [via]

New Orleans Times-Picayune employees will start learning who stays and who goes on June 4 or 5. Those who stay will be offered new positions and there is talk of bringing on new hires. In addition, there have been changes in how news is being reported on the website. Last week we learned that the Times-Picayune will be published in print just three times per week, making New Orleans the largest U.S. city without a daily paper.

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Mayor Booker’s Comms Director Says ‘MTP’ Had Nothing to Do With Resignation

Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s communications director Anne Torres announced her resignation today, just a week after the big Meet the Press dust-up (over nothing really). The timing suggested to some that her decision to leave had something to do with the brouhaha, but Torres says that isn’t true.

“The rumors are ridiculous..it’s not about MTP..come on folks,” Torres tweeted this afternoon. She also described her time with the administration as “amazing” on Twitter. And, in the The Star-Ledger, she described her six years with the administration as happy ones.

However, she did say that there were differences in opinion about “how communications should be run.”

Press secretary Esmeralda Diaz Cameron will serve as interim comms director, according to Booker’s chief of staff Modia Butler.

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