Kingsley had begun a slow transition out of the agency when she relinquished the title of chairman-CEO 16 months ago, continuing to work in a consulting capacity (Daily Variety, Sept. 27, 2007). In an amicable arrangement, the praisery has paid off the final two years of her contract, freeing Kingsley to do other things.
She isn’t leaving PR completely, as Kingsley will continue her association with some clients, including Will Smith and Overbrook Entertainment, and Al Pacino. Other clients she long represented include Michael Mann, Cameron Crowe and James L. Brooks. She also will continue representing the Mann-directed film “Public Enemies,” which will be released July 2.
Kingsley, who is 76, wanted to pursue other ambitions that include selective philanthropic efforts.
Her exit closes a chapter of celebrity PR in which Kingsley was once Hollywood’s most powerful publicist, steering the agency that repped a roster of heavy hitters that included her client Tom Cruise. PMK had a stronghold of stars coveted by magazines and TV talkshows, and Kingsley was not apologetic about using that clout to establish ground rules for the media outlets that wanted access to the star stable. Though the media often groused, they went along.
Kingsley founded PMK in 1980 with Michael Maslansky and Neil Koenigsberg, and built the company with Lois Smith and Leslee Dart. Kingsley sold PMK to Interpublic Group, which merged the firm with Huvane Baum Halls, the up-and-coming firm run by Stephen Huvane, Robin Baum and Simon Halls.
PMK/HBH is now steered by Cindi Berger and Halls, who are co-CEOs, and Nate Schreiber, who is president.