The longtime publicist was the founder of Bragman Nyman Cafarelli (BNC), which merged with PMK before its parent company formed Rogers & Cowan/PMK in July 2019.
Cafarelli’s clients include Kate Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Jessica Alba, Whoopi Goldberg, Julianne Hough and Kate Upton.
Fallout from COVID-19 has hit Hollywood hard and publicity powerhouse Rogers & Cowan/PMK was not spared.
About 10% of the staff “across all divisions and departments” has been laid off, company chairman Cindi Berger told Variety on Wednesday morning.
“It was a fiscally responsible decision to make that prepares us for the future,” she said. The cuts were made throughout Rogers & Cowan/PMK’s offices in New York, Los Angeles and London.
A source reveals that staff will stay on until the end of June.
Longtime publicist Heidi Schaffer, whose clients include Jamie Lee Curtis and Sally Field, is among those who have been let go, along with Eileen Thompson-Ray, who worked across multiple departments. Also impacted was the company’s music division, with L.A.-based PR veteran Maureen O’Connor and New York-based Latin strategist John Reilly also leaving longtime posts at R&C.
The firm’s talent relations clients also include Keanu Reeves, Rosie O’Donnell, Brie Larson, Jamie Foxx, Katy Perry, Ansel Elgort, Glenn Close, Bruce Willis, Judith Light, Michael B. Jordan and Vin Diesel. Among the company’s music clients are the Rolling Stones, Elton John, the Academy of Country Music and MusiCares.
Rogers & Cowan/PMK’s other departments include strategy and transformation, brand communications, influencer and digital, experiential and sponsorships, marketing partnerships and integration, and content marketing.
News of the layoffs comes just days after it was announced that public relations firm Baker Winokur Ryder would be closing its doors next month. Parent company BCW informed the staff last week. BCW said in a statement to Variety on May 21, “BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) is committed to continually examining our business to ensure we are best structured to serve our clients and marketplace needs. Due to a variety of considerations, and the tremendous impact COVID-19 has had on the entertainment industry, we are combining our BWR brand into BCW Entertainment, effective immediately.”
Sources tell Variety that several senior publicists at BWR are starting a new firm.