BREAKING NEWS! EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: So my sources just told me. He’d been with Paul Bloch and Arnold Robinson at Rogers & Cowan. He’ll now be repped by 42 West’s Amanda Lundberg, who also personally reps MGM CEO Mary Parent. Cruise is still the titular head of United Artists although the studio is now seemingly dormant because of MGM’s financial problems teetering on the bring of bankruptcy. “42West handles MGM’s movies, and Tom was impressed by Amanda’s work on Valkyrie,” an insider explains to me. “They’ve been talking about this for a long time.”
Cruise had been a devoted client of Pat Kingsley at PMK until March 2004 when he fired the veteran publicist after 14 years of faithfully maintaining his image from prying tabloids. He replaced her with his sister, fellow Scientologist Lee Anne DeVette. It was during her flackery that, on May 23rd of that year, Tom’s worst PR nightmare took place: that disastrous couch-jumping incident as he demonstrated to Oprah Winfrey how much he loved Katie Holmes. (Not only did it coin a new phrase, “jumping the couch” but it was voted #1 of 2005’s “Most Surprising Television Moments” on a countdown on E! and was the subject of numerous parodies, including the epilogue of Scary Movie 4 and an episode of Family Guy.)
It wasn’t long before Cruise realized he needed more professional PR. His sister announced in November 2005 that she was resigning as his publicist to work on philanthropic projects. And Cruise quietly migrated to Rogers & Cowan’s veteran Paul Bloch who specializes in repping mostly over-the-hill action stars. (He should have signed with Alan Nierob there instead.) Then again, Rogers & Cowan is a dinosaur in the increasingly complex world of the Internet. For instance, I was told just yesterday by his office, when I called to confirm this story, that Bloch doesn’t have voicemail on his cell phones. The once venerable PR agency has gone downhill rather rapidly under the management of Tom Tardio who seems clueless about the ins and outs of flackery. Frankly, the PR biz is too cutthroat these days for Rogers & Cowan to exist in its present behind-the-times state. Parent company InterPublic should shake up that place now.