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Captain Kangaroo

Here's a happy story for these unhappy times. Jamie Korsen, a former executive at Interpublic's KSL Media, has been out of a job since early June. He and KSL, then a True North agency, separated under "amicable" circumstances, according to reports. This occurred prior to the acquisition of True North by Interpublic. "I was well-paid in the buyout," says Jamie, "and I could have gone to the beach, but I thought it was time to give something back." Jamie took a position as a volunteer teaching assistant at the John A. Reisenbach Charter School in Harlem. Jamie sent Adages some on-the-job photos of him with kids and hamsters.

"It's shocking," says Ted Faraone, a publicist for the John A. Reisenbach Foundation, which funds the school. "Something happens to your mind after a lifetime in media. Really, Jamie is a very sad case but he is making great progress. We're starting to get him out with children. At least he's interacting at the level of a 6-year-old." Ted, of course, is kibitzing with Adages. "A lot of these guys, they like to look dignified in these kinds of pictures," says Ted. "Jamie is one of the few I know who will make a fool of himself for a good cause."

He's also not afraid to make a fool of himself for a job. The Reisenbach foundation board includes lots of potential employers and business contacts, including Alec Gerster and Jon Mandel of MediaCom; Mike Drexler of Mediasmith; Mark Greenberg, exec VP of Showtime Network; Larry Divney, president of Comedy Central; Arnold Semsky, the big-shot media consultant; Lawrence R. Schatz, VP at Corinthian; Mike Weiden, president-advertising sales at Pearson Television; and Sandford Reisenbach, exec VP at Warner Bros. The foundation was named after Sandford's late son John, a former VP-national ad sales at All-American Television.

Wait, it gets even better for Jamie. On Dec. 3 at the Rainbow Room the foundation will throw a gala celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Guest of honor will be Gerry Levin of AOL Time Warner. Rosie O'Donnell will be the emcee and Natalie Cole will perform. The event is being co-chaired by Ed Meyer of Grey Global Group, Jessica Reif Cohen of Merrill Lynch and Larry Hoffner, former head of sales at NBC. Also in attendance will be honorary chairpersons Governor George Pataki, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, Congressman Charles Rangel and New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. The question is, will Jamie bring his hamster?

Dr. Strangelove rides again

The Department of Defense sure knows how to drop a bomb. Consider the Dear John letters the DOD sent to agencies axed from its $20 million Joint Recruitment Advertising Program review. After expressing its appreciation for their interest in the request for proposal No. DASW01-01-R-0024, the contracting officer cut right to the chase with the charm of a scud missile. "Based upon the evaluation, your proposal was not among the most highly rated. In light of the extensive competition and as a result of a comparison of your standing to the other advertising agencies, it has been determined that you do not have a reasonable chance for award."

Contributor: Kate MacArthur.

Aim your scud at [email protected]

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