PR Practitioners Bring Out The Long Knives

Ed Bark’s story in the new D CEO magazine about TV reporters exiting the biz to start PR firms has sparked a real dog fight in the comments section of our web site. Even ex-Belo8/CNN reporter Renay San Miguel weighs in.


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10 responses to “PR Practitioners Bring Out The Long Knives”

  1. PR says:

    Am in the PR business and I welcome Jeff into our world. Have worked with him on several issues while he was a reporter and found him to be informed and professional.

    Any time we pitch a story to the press, we give the usual — the who, what, when, where and why — and most importantly, we provide the “who gives a shXt” angle as well.

    A lot of good reporters are leaving the business right now which is a shame. Riggs, Dodd and Crilley will be missed. Sadly, that leaves us with the Brett Shipps and Ken Kalthoffs of the world.

    My dealings with Kalthoff have never been positive. You expect a journalist to do his/her research and then develop the headline or lead in for the story. In my opinion, Ken always seemed to have his headline written and would never accept facts that point in another direction. That is not journalism — that is having an agenda.

    We need more reporters like Riggs, Crilley, Dodd, Bill Brown, Byron Harris and Bennett Cunningham — and fewer Aguilars, Shipps and Kalthoffs.

  2. Joseph Friday says:

    The idea that any of those folks bring something new to the public relations profession is laughable. There are plenty of former journalists who are already working in the public relations field. Which sales pitch is worse – I’m going into PR because I was fired and can’t get another job or I’m going into PR because my former profession has gone to the dogs? Or, how about I’m going into PR but I really want to get a part in Law and Order and produce documentaries. Veteran PR folks are laughing their heads off.

  3. Bobby Ewing says:

    Joseph puts his finger on it…and why no A-list PR practitioner wants to comment on this story (or lack thereof): the positioning is so bad all the way around that there is no way to generate a positive message out of this so we are left with the tacit “we wish them well but have no comment.”

  4. publicnewssense says:

    I would like to write for an A-list PR firm because I enjoy a positive work environment and believe I can contribute to it by keeping clients happy. I know and use 23 to 25 letters of the alphabet regularly and I am aware that Mr. Subject and Mr. Verb always agree unless, of course, the client feels otherwise. Yes, I am for sale. Or lease.

  5. producepeddler says:

    I was pleased to see someone take David Margulies to task for the way he behaves.

    He may think he’s helping his clients.. and maybe they’re happy with what he’s doing.. but I can tell you that the entities he works with suffer for it in the newsrooms of this market.

  6. Tara says:

    While I appreciate the first comment and find it somewhat interesting that so many journalists are jumping ship for jobs in PR I must stick up for Ken Kalthoff. I worked with Ken for a number of years at NBC 5 and found him to be one of the most sincere, driven and professional people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I know so often in the TV business that perception of someone’s character is developed in the minute or so that they are on screen but I can tell you from my experiences he never went into a story with an agenda and always sought out the facts. If there wasn’t a story he said so and moved on to the next one.
    Just stating the facts.

  7. TruthTeller says:

    Produce peddler must have a unique perspective if he or she can speak for all the newsrooms in the city. I looked at the Margulies Communications Group web site ( It shows the firm has been in business for 23-years. Obviously they must be doing something right. Ask around the established PR community, corporate and agencies and you will find that David’s firm has an excellent reputation locally and nationally. Wasn’t his firm the one that was selected to represent Oprah Winfrey when she was sued by Texas cattlemen?

  8. LakeWWWooder says:

    Kudos to Mr. Bark for an extensively-researched and well-written story. It also has the spice of contretemps.

    It’s nice to read such a work as they are becoming rare. And it’s interesting to learn what has become of journalists I have admired through the years.

  9. PR says:


    Sorry, but my perception of Ken is not based on what I see on TV. It is based on working with him on stories.

    Have been in this business for 18 years and I can tell you, without a doubt, that he is the reporter I respect the least. Pompous, arrogant — and so completely selective in reporting his facts — these are not the traits of a good reporter.

    Sadly, NBC 5 has missed out on big stories in the past. When it was determined that Ken would be the reporter on the story, many potential interviewees that I have worked with have declined to deal with NBC 5. And, these are not situations where there is a scandal and they are afraid to talk to Ken — the perception is that Ken is incapable of seeing the big picture in any story because of his predetermined agenda.

  10. PR says:

    And Kahltoff used to have a porn star moustache.