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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Levine’

Sony Corp Comms Leader Canned After Email From Studio Head’s Hubby

via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

The Sony leak is seriously the hack that keeps on giving. Now we have word that the head of corporate communications for the entertainment company, Charles Sipkins, lost his job shortly after emails calling for his dismissal passed between Bernie Weinraub, a former New York Times reporter, Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Weinraub’s wife, and Sony’s HR head George Rose.

According to Bloomberg, Pascal was left off of a roundtable hosted by The Hollywood Reporter that featured all of the heads of the major movie companies. Weinraub sent an email to Pascal on November 15 saying, “I would fire your PR guy immediately. Or at least tell him you’re not going to deal with him anymore.” Pascal forwarded that email to Rose who agreed. Six days later, Sipkins was out of a $600,000-per-year job.

Sony, of course, hasn’t commented on this citing the need for discretion in “personnel matters.” Pascal denied that the emails had anything to do with Sipkins’ dismissal. Sipkins didn’t comment.

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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Donna Summer Remembered By Her Former Publicist

Donna Summer’s family has confirmed the death of the disco great at the age of 63 after a battle with cancer. In a statement, her family said, “Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith. While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy.”

Much of her legacy is rooted in the sexy sound of her music, which first hit the airwaves more than 30 years ago. A publicist who worked with her more recently says she wanted to move away from that.

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New Morgan Spurlock Film Takes You Through The Product Placement Process

We had the chance to sit in a comfy chair in a Sony screening room yesterday evening to watch Morgan Spurlock‘s new documentary Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The definition of “meta” (literally), the movie is a step-by-step account of Spurlock’s attempts to get sponsorship and product placement deals for this movie. Spurlock navigates the contracts, branding, and negotiating that have become common in modern movie-making. And while the film’s poster makes the declarative statement “He’s not selling out, he’s buying in,” it’s actually posed in the movie as a question.

You would expect that the guy behind Super Size Me would use the movie to assail marketers and the marketing industry. And while the idea for the movie may have come from a negative experience, the movie just presents the information and leaves the opinion-making largely to the viewer.

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Despite Scandal, ‘Crazy Bitch Gazette’ Gets Good Ratings

Charlie Sheen is no mere mortal. He’s actually “Teflon Man,” repelling any scandal that comes his way with a smirk.

Sheen was in the news last week for doing $7,000 worth of damage to a Plaza Hotel room that he was sharing with a porn star. (When taken to the hospital, his publicist said he had an allergic reaction. Good grief.) Later, TMZ reported that she accused him of keeping her there against her wishes.

His probation, the result of a plea deal arranged three months ago after charges he assaulted his wife, ended yesterday. Also yesterday, he filed for a divorce.

And today there are reports that he went on a drinking binge in Belize last month, a violation of the aforementioned probation.

Still, Sheen’s show Two and a Half Men is killing it in the ratings. Monday’s episode, titled “The Crazy Bitch Gazette,” was up seven percent, according to The Hollywood Reporter, reaching 13.6 million viewers.

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Michael Levine on PR and Social Media: ‘It’s Hard to Talk to People When They’re Drunk’

In our final Media Beat installment with Michael Levine, founder of LCO – Levine Communications Office, we turn our attention to social media. Levine believes social media must be integrated with other PR efforts, but that many are “intoxicated” by it as well.

“It’s very hard to talk to people when they’re drunk,” he says. “When people are drunk, they’re not doing a lot of listening.”

While there’s excitement around social media, many people much less enthusiastic about the glut of awards shows that now take place.  “A lot of young people don’t give a rat’s ass about awards shows because they’re on Facebook,” Levine says.

Part 1: LCO’s Michael Levine On the ‘Wild West’ of Entertainment PR
Part 2: Career Advice from PR Vet Michael Levine: ‘Become a Media Slut’

Career Advice from PR Vet Michael Levine: ‘Become a Media Slut’

Michael Levine, founder of LCO – Levine Communications Office, has watched the entertainment PR world speed up over the past 25 years, owing to new technologies and a spike in the number of media outlets. “The metabolism rate has quickened radically,” he says in part two of our Media Beat interview.

These days, the entertainment PR industry is one that many hope to break into. Levine offers advice for those looking to build a career in this area. “My number one tip I offer is to intern. You put your career on steroids when you do an internship,” he says.

His other piece of advice: “Become a media slut,” he says, “someone who’s really engaged with the media.”

Part 1: LCO’s Michael Levine On the ‘Wild West’ of Entertainment PR

Part 3: Michael Levine on PR and Social Media: ‘It’s Hard to Talk to People When They’re Drunk’

LCO’s Michael Levine On the ‘Wild West’ of Entertainment PR

In the 20-plus years that Michael Levine, founder of LCO – Levine Communications Office, has been part of the entertainment PR world, he has watched the paparazzi become increasingly aggressive, turning Hollywood into the “Wild West.”

“It’s only a matter of time before someone gets injured,” he says in part one of our Media Beat interview.

The paparazzi is one way that celebrities stay in the spotlight, but another more desirable avenue is charitable work. “One of the ways that celebrities have chosen to remain relevant is involvement in timely charities,” like recent anti-bullying efforts, Levine says. “The idea is that celebrities are trying to find ways to connect themselves.”

Watch this first installment to learn more about reputation management in Hollywood and efforts to curb the paparazzi.

Part 2: Career Advice from PR Vet Michael Levine: ‘Become a Media Slut’

Part 3: Michael Levine on PR and Social Media: ‘It’s Hard to Talk to People When They’re Drunk’

New Law to Curb Paparazzi

paparazzi.jpg The California Assembly has approved a bill that will impose big-time penalties on overzealous paparazzi. Under the new law, any photographer that breaks traffic laws or interferes with the operation of celebrity’s vehicle may receive a maximum $5,000 fine and one year in jail.

“Celebrity publicists have been in a very defensive mode from a personal safety perspective,” Michael Levine, founder of Levine Communications Office (LCO), told PRNewser. Levine, who has represented dozens of award-winning actors, said he agrees with the law.

“I think this will provide a mild relief against what has increasingly become a Wild West,” he added.

The aggressive paparazzi we see now can be traced back to the death of Princess Diana, whose fatal car accident is largely attributed to a chase with photographers. And, Levine added (with much respect to Harvey Levin), the “birth of TMZ.”

In addition to some of the basic publicist tactics used to protect celebs, like making reservations under false names, Levine says hiring security and using decoy celebrities are some of the extremes that have become common.

“I think it will give some potential relief to celebrities who are used to being photographed but not accosted,” Levine said.

Publicist: ‘Party Train of Denial is Over for Lohan’

Lohan - court.jpg

L.A. power publicist Michael Levine is, not surprisingly, always happy to provide his opinion on news of the day, especially when it relates to the entertainment world.

Therefore, we weren’t surprised to see this statement hit our inbox after Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90-days in jail and 90-days of rehab on Tuesday for probation violations.

The party train of denial is over for Lohan and her potential employability will be devastated for years to come.

It’s unclear if Lohan has PR support at this time. Last we heard, she was working with Leslie Sloane-Zelnik of BWR, but Lohan “went on hiatus” from Sloane-Zelnik in March. BWR and Sloane-Zelnik did not respond to PRNewser requests for comment.

If anything, she could use some social media/PR counsel. Her Twitter feed is currently citing the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and comparing herself to an Iranian woman who faced stoning for adultery.

[Image: David McNew, AP]

RELATED: Michael Jackson’s Former Publicist Michael Levine Incurs Fan Wrath Over Opportunistic Pitch

Arizona’s Immigration Law PR Problem Could Cost Phoenix $90 Million

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It seems that Arizona’s new immigration law could be coming back to bite the state where it really hurts: its wallet. A new report reveals that the the metro Phoeniz area risks losing as much as $90 million in hotel and convention business over the next five years because of the controversy.

“We have an image and public-relations problem of what might be unprecedented proportions,” David Krietor, a deputy city manager, told the Arizona Republic.

At least one PR executive doesn’t think it will be a problem down the road. Michael Levine, founder of agency Levine Communications Office and author of “Guerrilla PR” told PRNewser today, “I don’t believe in the long term that the economic impact will be anything significant. There may be some short term effect,” he said.

We want to hear from you. Does Arizona’s immigration law have any effect on whether you’d conduct business in the state? Let us know in the comments.

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