Skyler favored for mayor's top PR post

NEW YORK: Michael Bloomberg looks certain to enter city hall - and

the second-toughest job in politics - with Ed Skyler as his right-hand

PR man.



While the mayor-elect has yet to make his PR appointments public, Skyler

is a hot favorite to be communications director. Skyler worked at the

Bloomberg company previous to joining the campaign, and was a deputy

press secretary to Mayor Giuliani in '99. He is expected to work with a

team of about five.



Two senior strategists, Bill Cunningham and Kevin Sheekey, are

considering their futures. Both worked for former Sen. Patrick Moynihan

(D-NY). Cunningham currently lives in Albany, while Sheekey is based in

Washington, DC.



Also involved in the campaign was media strategist David Garth, who has

helped seven of the past nine mayoral candidates to victory. He runs the

Garth Group in New York.



Stan Collender, national director of public affairs at

Fleishman-Hillard, explained why the race was so close: "September 11

changed everything.



It was difficult for election politics to get press attention. It seemed

anti-patriotic." He also attributed Bloomberg's win to the last-minute

endorsement of current mayor Rudy Giuliani. Indeed, members of

Giuliani's press team are interested in remaining on the city hall

staff.



When asked why Mark Green lost, Collender said: "He did not define his

brand well." A top Green aide blamed the defeat on "money, money,

money." Bloomberg is estimated to have spent around $50 million

to Green's $10 million.



Green's press secretary Joe DePlasco is returning to Dan Klores

Associates, where he had been EVP.



Collender said Bloomberg's first PR challenge is to introduce himself to

those still unfamiliar with the media mogul.



Bloomberg's own corporate PR director Chris Taylor has spent the past

ten months dealing with unprecedented interest in the company's

activities.



That is unlikely to change given Bloomberg's continued ownership of a

news organization that will be covering city hall.



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