New arm will rep clients including Sony, Miramax, Weinstein Co.
NEW YORK — Matthew Hiltzik has been tapped prexy-CEO of Freud Communications Inc., the newly launched U.S. sister entity of U.K. praisery Freud Communications Ltd.Under Hiltzik — the former Miramax Films senior veep of corporate communications and government relations — the U.S. arm will rep clients including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Miramax, the Weinstein Co., Discovery Networks and AOL. Gotham unit — which offers services including crisis and issues management, media relations, corporate branding and entertainment marketing — will work closely with U.K. topper Matthew Freud as well as the firm’s vice chair, Kris Thykier, and the staff in England. Freud’s Gotham staff will include Julianne Whitney, who previously served as veep of special projects and publicity at Fox Searchlight. Further staffing announcements are expected in coming weeks. “We are taking a portion of what Freud’s office has done in the U.K., and we are building off of existing relationships as well as developing new ones,” Hiltzik said Wednesday. “This is a company that’s strong on strategy and also helping in execution when appropriate.” Hiltzik added: “I had always enjoyed working with Matthew and Kris at Freud during my time at Miramax. And I am also eternally grateful for the opportunities Bob and Harvey (Weinstein) provided me, and I look forward to continuing my relationship with them.” Hiltzik worked at Miramax for more than five years, serving as a spokesman for the Weinsteins. He also managed all aspects of corporate communications, coordinated print and media PR efforts and participated in Oscar campaigns and communications with fellow divisions Miramax Books, Miramax TV and Talk magazine. Prior to that, Hiltzik spent two years as press secretary and deputy exec director for the New York State Democratic Committee, working on the 1998 campaigns for Sen. Chuck Schumer and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. He helped to coordinate Hillary Clinton’s 1999 “Listening Tour” and served as director of Jewish relations for her U.S. Senate run in 2000. Hiltzik exec produced the docu “Paper Clips.” Whitney has held posts at Universal Pictures and Miramax and previously worked for strategic communications firm Robinson Lerer & Montgomery. Freud’s additional consumer PR client roster includes Nike, KitKat, Tropicana, Walkers, Nescafe and Jack Daniel’s.