UPDATES Simon Halls Resigns As PMK/HBH CEO; Who’s Next To Go?
UPDATES Andy Gelb Leaves Before Merger; Simon Halls Is A Short-Timer

EXCLUSIVE: There’s still more fallout from the announced merger between BNC and PMK/HBH which I’ll now refer to as just PMK since HBH founders Stephen Huvane, Robin Baum and Simon Halls have all resigned. Rival BWR (Baker Winokur Ryder) is finding itself under attack. “There’s been a lot of solicitation of our people. I know there is a current of wheeling and dealing going on to take advantage of situation,” a BWR insider tells me. “But we’re feeling a sense of vulnerability. We’re making every effort and there’s not been a single renegotiation yet. But I do believe that’s forthcoming.” As a result, the BWR brass sent out an email to its staff yesterday to try to head off any defections. It said:

The recent merger of PMK with BNC has created a lot of upheaval among entertainment public relations firms and significant defections industry wide. We encourage our staff to take a big breath while this unfolds. Like the other firms, we expect changes at BWR in the coming year, and we are currently assessing the situation. We are committed to retaining our staff and fostering a cohesive and positive working environment in 2010. We encourage each and every one of you to speak with us so we may allay concern and articulate a vision of the future. We love this company and the people who have contributed to its 31 year history. We are grateful for your loyalty and your selfless efforts on behalf of our clients. We are approaching change with poise and resolve and actually look forward to creating a more positive and secure environment for everyone.”

Meanwhile, for your amusement, I found an email from October 10th with PMK/HBH’s reply to my question whether the rumors were true of a coming merger with BNC:

Never in a million years…for all kinds of reasons. Though we have the same parent company, they do a completely different thing than us. We are an entertainment pr firm that also does corporate stuff. They are mostly a corporate pr firm that has  has smaller entertainment practice…they are great at what they do but we are two totally kinds of companies. And before you ask, we arent merging with Rogers and Cowan either! There are no mergers in sight. Honestly.

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