Shandwick loses revered PA muse

WASHINGTON: Donald Riegle, a former senator from Michigan and the driving force behind Shandwick's public affairs practice for six years, has parted ways with the agency.

WASHINGTON: Donald Riegle, a former senator from Michigan and the driving force behind Shandwick's public affairs practice for six years, has parted ways with the agency.

WASHINGTON: Donald Riegle, a former senator from Michigan and the driving force behind Shandwick's public affairs practice for six years, has parted ways with the agency.

Despite rumors, Riegle, whose departure has been described as amicable, claims to have made no decisions about what he will do next.

However, local speculation that he is leaving to set up his own lobbying shop is not entirely wrong. 'It's a possibility,' he acknowledged. 'What really turns me on is assembling teams and getting an energetic and talented group of people together to go out and climb sheer cliffs. That was part of the challenge at Shandwick. I would like to do that again.'

Shandwick hired Riegle to expand its Washington, DC public affairs practice - then a seven-person operation with dollars 2.5 million in billings - after he retired from the Senate in 1995. In 1999, prior to its merger with The Weber Group, Shandwick DC's PR income was reported at almost dollars 70 million.

'I was hired to do this on a half-time basis and it soon became full-time,' Riegle said. 'I didn't know at the time I would become that involved, and I never envisioned getting the Washington practice to its current size.'

Riegle came to Capitol Hill as a Republican representative from Michigan in 1967 and credits the anti-war movement for his decision to become a Democrat in 1973. His 1972 book, O Congress, is a diary of his days on the Hill.



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