Fleishman-Hillard pays $4.5M to city of L.A.
Omnicom Group's Fleishman-Hillard agreed to pay the city of Los Angeles $4.5 million to settle civil charges that the PR firm overbilled the city for work on a number of accounts, including the Department of Water and Power. The agency also said it would waive $1.3 million in unpaid invoices stemming from work conducted for the water department in 2003 and 2004. But because criminal charges are already pending against one midlevel executive and prosecutors have said more indictments could be on the way, it's unlikely that the settlement will mean the end of the scandal for Fleishman, one of the largest and most successful PR firms in the world. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq49t
Sirius snags Martha, Martha gets Stivers
Sirius, continuing its quest for bold-faced names, signed a deal to launch Martha Stewart Living Radio, a 24/7 satellite-radio channel. "We have a tremendous amount of programming from which we can draw," said Ms. Stewart, who announced the deal last week with Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin. Ms. Stewart, who is expected to host a weekly show, rattled off cooking, collecting, entertaining, housekeeping, child care, children, animal keeping and weddings as content categories. Financial details of the deal weren't disclosed, but Mr. Karmazin said the channel would sell advertising and there would be ad sharing opportunities for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. To oversee the relationship, MSLO hired Time Out New York President Cyndi Stivers as exec VP of MSLO. Ms. Stivers, who once worked with recently appointed MSLO CEO Susan Lyne at film title Premiere, will also spearhead new-business development, including the radio project. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq49i
Viewers conflicted over regulation of indecency
While U.S. consumers support expanded government pressure to curb indecency in the media, they are also concerned about federal regulation and doubt that a hardline approach will have any significant effect, according to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center. The public-policy-research center's survey said 75% of the 1,505 adults polled last month would like to see tighter enforcement of government rules on broadcast content, particularly when children are most likely to be watching; 60% want broadcast-TV indecency standards extended to cable TV; and 69% want higher fines for media companies.
At the same time, the survey showed more people are worried about the effects of undue government influence on the entertainment industry than they are about the entertainment industry producing harmful content (48% to 41%). "There is broad support for almost anything on the table, but also a hesitancy about the government role," said Carroll Doherty, associate director of the Pew Center. "There is a nervousness, a general wariness."
Overall, though, Americans don't like their TV. Sixty-six percent said entertainment TV shows are worse than five years ago, and only 24% found them better, a pattern in line with previous surveys in 1983 and 1993. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq49r
DreamWorks Animation SKG, a year after spinning off as a publicly traded company from its studio base, has named a New York executive to handle the studio's public-relations efforts. Bob Feldman, president-CEO of PR firm GCI, said his role at DreamWorks is to "aggressively build the brand." He reports to CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and Chief Operating Officer Ann Daly. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq49s