What’s bizarre is that Matt Labov’s decision to start his own flackery follows B|W|R last month promoting him to co-president with Leslie Sloane Zelnik. This is a major, major loss. Labov joined B|W|R in 1994 and built a comedy roster of Jack Black, Steve Carell, Sacha Baron Cohen, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow, Jay Roach, and Jason Schwartzman. He also consulted on the release campaigns of Superbad, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Borat, and Bruno. “That’s a HUGE problem for them. He holds ALL of the male comedic talent,” a source emailed me. UPDATE: Finally, here’s the news release. It’s amazing to me that this huge PR operation couldn’t get its statement out to me. Then again, no one at that shop ever bothers to answer the phone either. How pathetic is that?:

Los Angeles, CA (February 23, 2010) – After 16 years of shaping the agency’s comedy roster, Matt Labov is departing B|W|R Public Relations to establish his own, yet-unnamed independent company focused on comedy and broader consulting beyond traditional public relations services.

Labov, recently named co-president of B|W|R, will be launching his new venture and will bring with him such longtime clients as Jack Black, Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Jay Roach, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel.  As a P.R. and marketing strategist, Labov has also consulted on the release campaigns for such films as Borat, Bruno, Superbad, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, I Love You, Man and the HBO comedy series “Eastbound & Down.”

“The desire to embark on this new chapter of my life is absolutely thrilling and challenging, and I look forward to it immensely,” stated Labov.  “I spent the last 16 years in a wonderful environment with even better people, and I cannot thank B|W|R, its partners and colleagues enough for their support and friendship.”

“After seeing Matt grow into a fine practitioner these past sixteen years, the three partners have embraced his entrepreneurial spirit and his decision to pursue a new venture at this time,” stated B|W|R Founding Partner Nanci Ryder.  “We support him wholeheartedly and wish him well.”