I’m playing Yom Kippur catch-up (and sending a hat tip to LAObserved.com): entertainment flackmeister Allan Mayer has left Sitrick and Company to go out on his own, and the Wall Street Journal‘s John Lippman and MGM’s ex-VP for corporate communications David Bloom have been hired by Sitrick and Company to rev up the entertainment practice in his absence. A media report that managing director Mayer’s nose was out of joint because he was left out of that recent LA Mag piece on Sitrick is completely wrong-headed: I have it on good authority that Mayer moved heaven and earth not to be part of it. Here’s the real story: Sitrick’s firm does crisis PR, and that’s just not Mayer’s interest in the long run. There’s no doubt Sitrick, the street fighter, and Mayer, the big thinker, had a long and good relationship, not to mention a profitable one since, unlike the salary slaves at Sitrick’s firm, Mayer got a percentage of his billings. And remember, it wasn’t Steven Spielberg and Brian Grazer themselves who hired him, it was the studios paying him on Da Vinci Code and Munich. And in the case of some clients, their record companies. Yes, he’s done crisis PR on behalf of R Kelly, Halle Berry, Tommy Lee, Paula Poundstone, even the LA Dodgers. But Mayer believes in a more strategic kind of communications these days, as opposed to the oops-we’ve-got-to-clean-up-this-mess-and-quick PR disaster that sends major moolah Sitrick’s way. (Mike is now 24/7 on the HP spying debacle…) The handwriting was on the wall a year ago during a Sitrick and Company staff meeting when everyone was giving a status report on their crisis-of-the-moment but Mayer made it a point to say, “That’s not the kind of work we do. We do strategy,” referring to his corner of the office that also employs Kelly Mullens. That pissed off some of the other PRmavens in the firm who began to joke privately, “This is too big a question for us. We’ve got to go ask Allan.” Lately Mayer was openly telling pals that crisis PR was a “rubrik” he never felt comfortable with. Still, it was an amicable parting: though Sitrick (right) isn’t thrilled at losing Mayer, the boss did let Allan out of his contract though those negotiations aren’t all wrapped up yet. Meanwhile, Lippman’s defection to Sitrick surprised Hollywood journalists: he’d taken over the WSJ Friday Hollywood column after Tom King’s untimely death, but then left the paper recently to write a book. Bloom came to work at Sitrick without any fanfare about two weeks ago: he’d been doing some consulting ever since MGM was sold. Before that, he’d covered some studios and technology at Variety. Both will dive in head first into crisis PR work. Here’s my previous Sitrick Reps Burkle. Sitrick Reps Ovitz. No NYT Mention of P.R. Connection.
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