Q2 Earnings Show PR Agencies Taking Revenue Hit in the 4-15 Percent Range

It’s earnings season again, the first that involves a quarter that was fully impacted by COVID-19. So what effect did the pandemic have on the Q2 earnings of large public relations firms?

O’Dwyer’s: “Omnicom’s PR group suffered a 15.3 percent drop in Q2 revenues to $295.8M as the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on its travel, lodging, entertainment, energy, retail and automotive clients. Organic growth slipped 13.9 percent.”

Wall Street Journal: “IPG reported second-quarter net revenue of $1.85 billion, a decrease of 12.8% from the same time period last year. Organic net revenue—a measure that strips out currency effects, acquisitions and disposals—fell 9.9%, IPG said, citing the impact of the global economic contraction during the quarter.”

O’Dwyer’s: “FTI Consulting posted a 3.8 percent dip in Q2 strategic communications revenues to $56.8M, while operating income slipped 3.7 percent to $8.8M. First-half revenues fell 1.2 percent to $115.3M and operating income declined 15.5 percent to $16.3M.”

AdWeek: “In the U.S., Publicis Groupe’s organic growth declined 6.8% for Q2 and 3.3% for the first half of the year, aided by positive growth in Q1. Sadoun pointed out that organic growth was still positive on the year going into May, which he said showed the strong headwind the holding company had enjoyed heading into 2020 in the region.”

9News, Meteorologist Marty Coniglio Separate After Controversial Social Media Post

It appears that 9News has let meteorologist Marty Coniglio go following his political social media post on Thursday:

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9News has removed Coniglio from its website, and, late Friday evening, Coniglio updated his Twitter bio to remove 9News references and posted a pinned Tweet:

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Coniglio originally planned to leave 9News on Dec. 30, but some organizational changes at 9News convinced him to remain. Now, seven months later, he is out. Marty Coniglio 9News KUSA fired nazi post

SSPR Named a ‘Top Place to Work’

PR News named SSPR one of its 50 “Top Places to Work” for the second year in a row.

According to SSPR CEO Heather Kelly, the agency “has made a strong effort to stay connected during the global pandemic as the entire company works remotely. The organization schedules time for weekly all-company video happy hours, morning mediations, a version of MTV’s ‘Cribs’ to show off work-from-home spaces and regular lunch chats.”

RMGO’s Dudley Brown Should Quit While He’s Behind

Love him or hate him, 9News’ Kyle Clark calls them like he sees them, and former Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Executive Director Dudley Brown was on the receiving end of that recently when RMGO-backed candidates went 1-5 in the Republican primaries.

After that debacle, Brown stepped down as executive director and Clark posited that Brown had been demoted based on his general lack of effectiveness accomplishing the one thing RMGO promised its contributors – getting gun-friendly representatives elected. Brown didn’t care for that:

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Fast forward a week, and Brown was still smarting. After Clark announced he would take a few weeks off during the summer slow news period, Brown popped back up:

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Former 9News Anchor/Reporter Bazi Kanani Joins SE2

It has been almost a decade since Bazi Kanani left 9News to join ABC News to cover Africa, and in the intervening years she has been stationed all over the world. While abroad, she clearly has not been following Denver real-estate prices because she and her husband have made the decision to return to Colorado from Mexico where she currently lives. As part of her return, Bazi has joined SE2 as the firm’s new Director of Content.


In Wyoming, Sunday May Replace Friday as the Day to Release Bad News

Joshua Benton from Nieman Lab:

I hope Wyoming residents who like to start their work weeks with a cup of coffee and the local newspaper aren’t too attached to the ritual. Because it’ll soon be impossible.

The Casper Star-Tribune announced yesterday that it would no longer be a true “daily” paper, eliminating its Monday and Tuesday print editions next month. …

On its own, that’s not unusual, or particularly worthy of note to people outside Wyoming. Lots of daily newspapers, seeking to cut staffing and production costs, have eliminated print days, with Mondays and Saturdays being the most common victims.

But the Star-Tribune’s decision will mean that across the entire state of Wyoming, all 97,914 square miles, there will no longer be a single local newspaper printed on Monday mornings. Zero.

Casper Star Tribune(Photo: Alan Rogers, Star-Tribune)

NBC, Desperate for Content for its New Peacock Streaming Service, Launches ‘Today All Day’

If your reaction after watching the currently available four straight hours of NBC’s Today morning show is, “Well, that’s a good start,” then you are in luck.

NBC, as part of its new Peacock streaming service, is launching Today All Day, a new 24-hour/day channel with content created specifically for viewers who are spending more time at home “focusing on domestic activities from crafting to finances to summer cook-outs.”

NBC News President Noah Oppenheim, grasping for adjectives, said Today All Day represents “a big and fun new chapter” for the Today show, and will feature Today personalities such as Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Carson Daly, Craig Melvin, Willie Geist, Jenna Bush Hager, Sheinelle Jones, Kristen Welker, Dylan Dreyer and Peter Alexander.

An Ode to the Local Reporter

Dan Barry at The New York Times:

Forget dashing foreign correspondents and “All the President’s Men”: Daily journalism often comes down to local reporters like Mr. Brandt. Overworked, underpaid and unlikely to appear as cable-news pundits, they report the day’s events, hold officials accountable and capture those moments — a school honor, a retirement celebration — suitable for framing.

But they are an endangered species being nudged toward extinction by the most important news story in decades. The coronavirus.

The economic paralysis caused by the pandemic has clobbered a newspaper industry already on the mat. With revenues plummeting, substantial layoffs, furloughs and pay reductions have followed in newsrooms across the country.

Meanwhile, the hedge funds and private equity firms that own many newspapers often siphon away profits rather than reinvest in local journalism. Frequently associated with this business model is the Alden Global Capital hedge fund, which controls The Mercury, Mr. Brandt’s employer for 23 years.

Colorado Marketing Firms Well-Represented on PPP Loans List

More than 13,000 Colorado companies received Paycheck Protection Program loans from the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the list of marketing agencies is a Who’s Who of those in our state. In order of money received and jobs retained, the list includes:

  • Sterling-Rice Group – $2M-$5M, 107 jobs retained
  • Heinrich – $350K–$1M, 54 jobs retained
  • Vladimir Jones (Praco) – $350K–$1M, 48 jobs retained
  • SSPR – $350K–$1M, 45 jobs retained
  • CIG PR – $350K–$1M, 38 jobs retained
  • GroundFloor Media – $350K–$1M, 24 jobs retained
  • Amelie – $350K–$1M, 24 jobs retained
  • CSG PR – $350K–$1M, 24 jobs retained
  • Cohn – $350K–$1M, 21 jobs retained
  • Room 214 – $350K–$1M, 18 jobs retained
  • Cactus Communications – $350K–$1M, unknown jobs retained
  • B Public Relations – $150k–$350K, 13 jobs retained
  • Verde – $150k–$350K, 18 jobs retained
  • GBSM – $150k–$350K, 12 jobs retained
  • Sukle – $150k–$350K, 12 jobs retained
  • Linhart PR – $150k–$350K, 11 jobs retained
  • 104 West – $150k–$350K, 11 jobs retained
  • Catalyst – $150k–$350K, 10 jobs retained

Colorado State Names Yolanda Bevill VP of Communications

Colorado State University has appointed Yolanda Bevill as vice president of Communications, replacing Tom Milligan who resigned 18 months ago, Kelly Lyell at the Coloradoan reports. Bevill joins CSU from Prairie View A&M, a historically Black college located about 50 miles outside of Houston

interestingly, Bevill accepted the position at CSU without ever visiting Colorado due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everybody tells me how beautiful it is,” she told Lyell. “I’m really looking forward to seeing it for myself.”

Time Your Pitches Carefully – More Furloughs Ahead for Denver Post Staff

The union representing The Denver Post employees reached an agreement to extend the contract with management that expired a year ago. The terms include having employees take an additional three weeks of unpaid time off – on top of the three weeks that were already required – before the end of the year. That means the staff will have spent 12% of this year on unpaid furloughs.

It is a travesty what is happening to the journalists and staff at The Denver Post. I know the Denver PR Blog is a popular read with billionaires, so could one of you please buy it and return it to what it once was.

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9News’ Jeremy Jojola Recognized for Journalistic Bravery

It is nice when the good guys are recognized, and that happened today when Jeremy Jojola from 9News was honored with the Don Bolles Medal that is awarded to reporters whose work subjects them to threats of violence and intimidation.

Jojola’s series “Homegrown Hate” investigated white supremacists and extremist groups in Colorado and resulted in members of a local neo-Nazi group showing up at his home while his wife and newborn were inside.

It is sad that such an award is necessary, but it is heartening that recognition is given to reporters for the sometimes extreme challenges they face.