Embattled Boston agency closes after one month

BOSTON: Joe Burnieka’s attempt to lift McCay Communications out of bankruptcy with a new company, Harborside Communications, has lasted all of one month.

BOSTON: Joe Burnieka’s attempt to lift McCay Communications out of bankruptcy with a new company, Harborside Communications, has lasted all of one month.

BOSTON: Joe Burnieka’s attempt to lift McCay Communications out of

bankruptcy with a new company, Harborside Communications, has lasted all

of one month.



Burnieka closed Harborside several weeks ago after reading in a local

business journal that one of McCay’s creditors, management consultant

Skip Pile, thought the new company was being built ’on the backs of

creditors.’



’When I read that, and it was in black and white, it hit me between the

eyes and I decided that Skip had a point,’ Burnieka said.



Burnieka shut down McCay April 14 with an out-of-court bankruptcy

settlement listing dollars 1.3 million in debts and a letter to

creditors saying they would get only a small portion of what they were

owed. A former partner, Marvin Fried, was owed dollars 500,000.



Burnieka said the PR side of the business was holding its own, but that

advertising was suffering badly. While McCay had clients like Wal-Mart

and Heritage Real Estate Trust, new business had long since dried

up.



When a promising deal with a dot-com fell through, Burnieka closed the

company.



Most of Harborside’s 15 employees have already landed elsewhere. ’If

something like this had to happen, it happened at a pretty good time

economically in our city’s history,’ said Burnieka, who came to McCay in

1997 after a stint at Pinpoint Communications. ’People are looking for

good people.’



Burnieka himself landed at Devine and Pearson in nearby Quincy, where,

as managing director of PR, he is clearly relieved to be rid of

advertising responsibilities.



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