SC heavyweights unite, form state's biggest PR entity

COLUMBIA, SC: Two of South Carolina's largest integrated firms will merge, creating the state's biggest PR practice, according to Rick Silver, who will be vice-chairman of the new agency.

COLUMBIA, SC: Two of South Carolina's largest integrated firms will merge, creating the state's biggest PR practice, according to Rick Silver, who will be vice-chairman of the new agency.

Silver is a founder of Chernoff/Silver & Associates, which will join Newman Saylor & Gregory to form CSNG in Columbia.

The 70-person agency will provide advertising and marketing services, in addition to PR. It will have $70 million in annual capitalized billings, $15 million to $20 million of that from PR.

The merger is expected to be completed in October.

Lee Bussell, Newman Saylor president, will become chairman and CEO of CSNG. Silver will share the co-chairman title with Newman's David Anderson.

Silver said his firm's PR practice focused on utilities and healthcare, as well as crisis management and public affairs, while Newman's PR work has focused on b-to-b, technology, and IR.

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