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Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Walters’

Big-Name Publicist Maurie Perl Leaving Condé Nast

Conde Naste vet Maurie PerlIn Industry Insider News, one of the New York media world’s biggest PR names has announced a major career change. Maurie Perl has a long history performing public relations work for some of the publishing industry’s best-regarded titles including Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.

Women’s Wear Daily goes so far as to call her “Condé Nast’s most powerful gatekeeper”; she spent more than two decades at the company performing PR duties for such names as David Remnick and Tina Brown and mentoring much of the industry’s younger talent. Before joining Condé Nast she worked at ABC News alongside Barbara Walters and others.

Brown says “She’s more than a publicist. She’s a consiglieri. No one can see all the angles like her”. Tough to find greater words of praise for anyone in the business.

Earlier this week an internal email revealed that Perl would be leaving as a result of Condé Nast’s decision to hire the Rubenstein agency for all media relations concerns. This move comes about because the company looks to further establish itself in “the scripted TV and feature films arenas”. Robert Green, executive producer of Huffington Post Live, will be the company’s new senior vice president.

No word on next steps for Perl, who has “no intention of retiring.”

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PRs, Media Help Assad Efforts to Improve Image

Brown Lloyd James was paid $5,000 per month to help the wife of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, Asma, get a profile in Vogue magazine (left) that talked up her fashion sense and international lifestyle. The article has since been almost entirely removed from the Web as though it were never written. EIC Anna Wintour has said in a statement that there were hopes Syria’s regime would be an open one but now they see that’s not so.

“The escalating atrocities in Syria are unconscionable and we deplore the actions of the Assad regime in the strongest possible terms,” the statement says.

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Will the Yahoo!/ABC News Partnership Change Your Media Strategy?

ABC News brought out the big guns this morning — Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, George Stephanopoulos, and more — to announce an enhanced partnership between ABC News and Yahoo! on Good Morning America. According to the press release, ABC News and Yahoo! News editorial teams will be working together to create “premium content” and cover big news events; there will be new original Web series, including “Newsmakers,” which launches today with an interview between President Obama and Stephanopoulos at 2:35 ET; and Good Morning America now has a co-branded website.

It’s been noted already across the media that Yahoo! and ABC News partnered more than a decade ago, but the partnership was dubbed “brand new” during the announcement this morning. Yahoo News has more unique visitors than any other website, The New York Times says.

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‘Marie Claire’ Panel Audience Directs Privacy Questions at Facebook

Left to right: Common Sense Media's Amy Guggenheim Shenkan, Facebook's Randi Zuckerberg, ESPN's Erin Andrews, Chelsea Clinton, and 'Marie Claire' EIC Joanna Coles

Last night, former first daughter Chelsea Clinton took the stage at the Hearst Tower in NYC to introduce a lively panel discussion about online privacy and education. The event was hosted by Marie Claire editor-in-chief Joanna Coles and Common Sense Media, a nonprofit dedicated to sharing information with kids and families about navigating the digital world.

Clinton said her first media memory as a kid was picking up a copy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Nowadays, of course, kids and adults are zipping around the Web, sometimes with long-term repercussions.

Though the panel was called “Social media: The perils and possibilities of living in a digital world,” the perilous side was clearly on everyone’s mind. With an overwhelmingly female audience, including a number of moms (Coles referenced her own son a couple of times), the biggest concern was how to prevent over-sharing and cyberbullying.

With that, the person who everyone turned to for answers was Randi Zuckerberg, Facebook’s marketing head and Mark’s sister. At one point, she said she wanted to go home to her baby.

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PR Joins in the Royal Wedding Festivities

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

I have to admit — I’m pretty caught up in the Royal Wedding. And there are some among the PR industry who are as well. Who says T-Mobile gets to have all the fun.

Euro RSCG Worldwide is hosting an international Royal Wedding Tweetup. Anyone using the #EuroTwedding hashtag can participate. And there will be a microsite with curated coverage.

Waggener Edstrom has also plugged a few numbers into its Influence Toolkit to come up with the reception seating chart based on a social media hierarchy. Click here to find out what that would look like. Go Mr. Bean!

Omnicom firm Hall & Partners also did a little research into the digital buzz that was generated by the wedding.

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Friends of Oprah Winfrey Not Booking Unauthorized Biographer During Promotional Tour


A high profile biographer, Kitty Kelley, is about to release a much anticipated, albeit unauthorized biography of one of the biggest names in media, Oprah Winfrey. One would think all of the big talk shows would be eager to have her on during the promotional tour for the book. Not so.

Galleycat highlights the following excerpt from an interview with the NY Times, in which Kelley says, “In promoting this book, we have already been told by Barbara Walters‘s producer, No, you cannot be on The View, I cannot disrupt my relationship with Oprah. Joy Behar, the same thing. Charlie Rose; Larry King said, I will not do it, it might upset Oprah. Even David Letterman.”

Kelley’s Winfrey biography debuts on April 13. In mid-April, will feature an exclusive Media Beat interview with the biographer about the book.

Rubenstein’s Tom Keaney Repping Letterman

Last night on the “Late Show,” host David Letterman revealed that he had affairs with staffers on the show and that someone had tried to blackmail him for $2 million to keep the story secret. That someone is a CBS News “48 Hours” employee, Robert J. Halderman, who is currently under arrest.

Tom Keaney of Rubenstein handles all PR for Mr. Letterman. He has not returned calls as of the time of this post. A CBS spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, “Mr. Letterman’s comments on the broadcast tonight speak for themselves.” Of course, we’re curious to see what you think on how it was handled. Was it best to do it on the show with laughs?

Howard Bragman, chairman of agency Fifteen Minutes, and a well respected crisis PR counselor who has worked with clients including Monica Lewinsky‘s family, Ed McMahon and Paula Abdul, told PRNewser, “There is not a good way to do this, there are ‘less bad’ ways to do this.”

“You look at your options and you’re on CBS so you’re not going to do it with Barbara Walters, you’re not going to go on “The Early Show,” of course you’re not going to go on Leno,” he said. “Why not do it where you’re most comfortable, where you’re surrounded by people that care about you?”

Despite the many ways this story can play out, Bragman insisted that Letterman only has to speak publicly once. “He’s David Letterman, he doesn’t invest a lot of time in being up front on good news, bad news or otherwise. His ratings are good. Tonight there will probably be a big boost in his ratings. We live in a world where there is a lot of crisis. There are so many, that they tend to go away and they have a half life of a fly. I always tell people, ‘once you say it, shut up.’ Rubenstein is a great firm, I suspect he’s in great hands.”

UPDATE: A press conference with Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau began at 11:30am ET. TVNewser has more.

UPDATE 2: Rubenstein’s Tom Keaney tells PRNewser that Rubenstein President Steven Rubenstein has represented Letterman “even longer than I have.”