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Spokeswoman Cathy Carl exits DDB

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Just when DDB/Chicago would appear to need it the most, the agency's public relations department is in shambles. Amy Cheronis, the long-time public relations maven at the shop, defected to Leo Burnett last month -- sparking rumbles that she, as a well-connected, high-level insider, knew enough about where things were headed at DDB, to get out before the ship had completely sunk.

In the wake of Cheronis's sudden departure, Cathy Carl was named to succeed Cheronis, who had orchestrated public relations not only for Chicago but the rest of DDB's American outposts. But sources now say that after only a few weeks on the job, Carl, who was based in DDB's Seattle office, has exited the agency as well. A call to Carl's cell phone was not returned.

It's official. Now that Amy Cheronis has left her position as chief PR spokeswoman for DDB's United States operations, Cathy Carl will take over those responsibilities. In recent years, Carl said she has reported to -- and worked with -- Cheronis to orchestrate the agency's public relations efforts domestically. Carl is based out of DDB's Seattle office, where clients include Microsoft. But Carl said she will be traveling more as she takes on a more active role orchestrating DDB's public relations through the United States. She plans to be in Chicago next week to begin to develop her game plan here. Two staffers who had worked with Cheronis on public relations in the Chicago shop will carry on in their jobs for now, Carl said. Carl declined comment on how her approach would differ from that of Cheronis, who seemed to be trying to maintain a low profile for DDB's Chicago office. "I don't feel comfortable talking about that now," she said.



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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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