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PMK/HBH scrambles the board

Kingsley serves as chair-CEO, Dart as prexy

Newly merged public relations firm PMK/HBH has restructured its management under topper Pat Kingsley, while longtime partner Lois Smith has taken on a reduced consulting role.

Kingsley, who’s based in Los Angeles, will now serve as chairman and CEO of the PR firm, while New York-based Leslee Dart has been named president. Kingsley, Dart and Smith previously served as PMK’s managing directors.

Under Kingsley and Dart, PMK/HBH’s day-to-day operations will now be handled by a newly formed managing directors board.

The moves come in the wake of PMK parent McCann-Erickson World Group’s acquisition of PR firm Huvane Baum Halls last month. McCann-Erickson subsid Momentum, a part of InterPublic Group, then combined PMK and HBH.

“There are more tiers now, as we’ve grown as a company,” Kingsley said. “This sort of fits with how InterPublic Group works. Most of their companies have this kind of structure.”

PMK/HBH now employs around 65 people. Newly elevated as members of its managing directors board are New York-based PMKers Allen Eichhorn, Cindi Berger and Robert Garlock; Los Angeles PMKers Catherine Olim, Tracy Shaffer and Jennifer Allen; and HBH principals Steven Huvane, Robin Baum and Simon Halls.

The new board is expected to meet regularly to handle company procedures and personnel issues.

“We’re taking on different kinds of accounts now and not strictly just a tight entertainment group of clients,” Kingsley said. “There needs to be a better structure to service those accounts.”

Kingsley said she and Dart “will work together the way we have worked together for all of these 16 or 17 years.” In conjunction with the restructuring, 50-year PR vet Smith has opted to reduce her role but remain as a consultant.

Smith joined PMK in 1985 as a partner; she also co-founded the Allen Weber Agency and in 1969 helped set up Pickwick Public Relations (with Kingsley and Gerry Johnson). Her clients have included Marilyn Monroe, Martin Scorsese, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert Redford.

“I’ve never met anyone better,” Kingsley said. “We’ve shared many crises and triumphs over the years. But I’m not letting her get too far away. She will still be enormously helpful and available to us.”

Los Angeles-based Olim, who joined PMK in 1980, most recently served as senior vice president; Allen, who joined in 1989, has been a vice president, as has Shaffer (who joined in 1994). In New York, Eichhorn, a 20-year vet at PMK, has served as senior vice president; Berger, who’s been with the company 18 years, and Garlock, a 12-year vet, were vice presidents.

PMK services clients such as Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Billy Crystal, Aaron Sorkin, Mariah Carey, Johnny Depp and Barbara Walters, among others. HBH’s roster of clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Ang Lee and Russell Crowe.

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