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Posts Tagged ‘Glynnis MacNicol’

Cataloging Hacks-Turned-Flack


Journalists leaving their posts to take up careers in public relations is not a new thing, though it seems to be accelerating lately with the doom and gloom hitting the media business.

My co-editor Joe Ciarallo recently asked “Do Former Journalists Make Good PR Pros?” Most of the numerous comments offered a resounding yes, though most were in fact, former journalists. The writing, research, adherence to deadlines, dealing with a variety of people, are all important skills. Though, one agency head who requested anonymity said, “never ends well.” “Journalists would prefer to hang up on difficult clients. You can’t do that on this side of the fence.”

Moving from one side to another is both an interesting topic for PRNewser, and firmly fits mediabistro’s M.O. to help media people retrain, reinvent, and find the jobs they want.

Without further adieu, we’re adding a “hack turned flack” category to keep track of those who make the leap. I won’t go in to depth about the word “flack” though I don’t believe it’s pejorative, and hack-turned-flack is a lot catchier than journalist-turned-strategic comm consultant.

Here’s an alphabetical list of a few of the hacks-turned-flacks who have made the jump recently:

Dan Abrams, MSNBC anchor and general manager to found Abrams Research, then starting his own content play Mediaite with mediabistro’s Glynnis MacNicol & Steve Krakauer joining HuffoPo’s Rachel Sklar and the Daily Show’s Colby Hall on the masthead.

Chris Gaither from the Los Angeles Times, to Google corporate comm

Mike Hegedus, CNBC correspondent to McKinley Reserve

Keith O’Brien, PRWeek editor-in-chief to Attention

David Patton, to Waggener Edstrom’s Studio D division

Blake Robinson, founder of Crunchgear to MWW Group, on to Attention

Richard Wolff
, Newsweek to Public Strategies, Inc.

Photo credit: Me, wearing a fedora.

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Abrams Research’s Mediaite Launches Today


Howard Kurtz published the first MSM look at Mediaite last night in his Media Notes column. Mediaite, the editorial venture that’s part of business image consultancy Abrams Research has drawn fire for lack of church-and-state separation, most recently by Jeff Jarvis, Buzzmachine blogger.

Though the Manhattan media scene knew the launch was impending (by way of Abrams’s Twitter feed and other sources), questions remain unanswered by both Dan Abrams, and his Editor at Large Rachel Sklar. Both have been responding to criticism with somewhat conflicting information, begging the question: is the controversy cultivated to bring in business? Sklar, the former HuffPo blogger, with her considerable connections has been acting as both publicist and editor thus far.

Abrams Research’s proposition is to use working journalists–clarified as freelancers and former journalists in Kurtz’s column–to focus-group and hone clients’ messages. Abrams and Sklar maintain that the Research division and Mediaite venture are completely separate. I spoke to Skar shortly after her scathing “dick move” rebuttal to Jarvis’s slam came out, and didn’t learn anything new about the consultancy, other than she denied the fuss was generated as linkbait, and that presumably the editorial staffers will be paid with ad dollars from Mediaite. Dan Abrams says virtually the opposite in a mediabistro Media Menu podcast interview with Steve Krakauer. If you haven’t followed this particular swim in the fishbowl, Krakauer recently jumped ship from mediabistro’s TVNewser over to Mediaite along with former Fishbowl NY blogger Glynnis MacNicol.

I explained to Sklar during our discussion that these issues don’t matter much in terms of Abrams as a public relations venture. Their clients will be satisfied if they get what they pay for, and their coverage is devoid of mentions of Mediaite, Abrams Research, and the names of people who work at either. However, if Sklar and Abrams bristle at being categorized as a PR firm, then are they offering enough services to attract enough business to pay for both ventures–assuming it takes time for the ad dollars to roll from red to black? Getting at solid messaging through the perspectives through real journalists is a new thing but may be a service fishing for only a fraction of what corporations are paying in monthly retainers. If Abrams continues to keep costs down and continues to generate sizzle with Mediaite, he could do just fine.

PS: Mediaite has been periodically down today, currently serving the message “Error establishing a database connection”.

FishbowlNY Blogger Joins Abrams Research


[McNicol with Matt Cooper, via HuffingtonPost by way of the New York Observer]

Our colleague Glynnis MacNicol, editor of mediabistro’s FishbowlNY blog is jumping ship to join Dan Abrams in his new consulting venture, Abrams research. McNichol joins Rachel Sklar and ‘Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ producer Colby Hall as editors of, the media news and aggregation blog site Abrams is launching as a “calling card“. Abrams and Sklar have been talking to a number of media writers about the venture.

If you haven’t been swimming in the New York media fishbowl lately, you may not know that BusinessWeek’s Jon Fine raised questions about Abrams’ approach to PR consulting, to which he shot back on Mediabistro’s daily podcast. Fine incidentally, is married to mediabistro founder Laurel Touby.

Related: Former MSNBC Exec Launches “Media Strategy” Firm