NEWS BRIEFS

SAN FRANCISCO: Providian Financial, one of the country’s largest credit card and financial services companies, has named Alan Elias VP of corporate communications. He was most recently senior managing director at Hill & Knowlton’s Los Angeles/Irvine office, where he headed up media relations and crisis communications. He was a key contributor to H&K’s work for the International Olympic Committee.

SAN FRANCISCO: Providian Financial, one of the country’s largest credit card and financial services companies, has named Alan Elias VP of corporate communications. He was most recently senior managing director at Hill & Knowlton’s Los Angeles/Irvine office, where he headed up media relations and crisis communications. He was a key contributor to H&K’s work for the International Olympic Committee.

SAN FRANCISCO: Providian Financial, one of the country’s largest

credit card and financial services companies, has named Alan Elias VP of

corporate communications. He was most recently senior managing director

at Hill & Knowlton’s Los Angeles/Irvine office, where he headed up media

relations and crisis communications. He was a key contributor to H&K’s

work for the International Olympic Committee.





MCLEAN, VA: O’Keeffe & Company has added four marketing communications

pros to its ranks: Chris Zanardi, who arrives from Maryland-based tech

firm RMR; Jennifer Wagner Schmidt, who worked in the ad department of

Government Executive; Kevin Caviston, formerly employed by Virginia

Tech’s sports information office; and Janice Pitchford, who has worked

in local government and for various non-profit groups.





NEW YORK: A&E Television Networks is looking to hire a PR manager to

help publicize its new interactive division, which houses the firm’s six

Web sites. The sites include Mattel, Weston Presidio Capital and

Genealogy.com.





PALO ALTO, CA: SparkPR has lured another ’Netscapee’ into its fold,

hiring former Netscape Netcenter senior PR specialist Erin Schlough as

lead account contact for a new client still in ’stealth mode.’

Schlough’s official job title is ’chief rocket scientist.’





FT. LAUDERDALE, FL: Newly-formed ANC Rental Corporation, comprised of

Alamo Rent-a-Car, National Car Rental and CarTemps USA, has named Cheryl

Budd SVP of corporate communications. Budd, who previously headed her

own firm, will serve on the nine-person executive team that will guide

the company through its spin-off from AutoNation later this year.





NEW YORK: Major League Soccer has hired Carlos Giron as its first

director of Hispanic communications. Giron has been charged with

promoting the league to the Spanish-language media.





LOS ANGELES: Rogers & Cowan, agency of record for Microsoft WebTV

Networks, has installed Bill Bence and Nikki Pesusich as VPs in its

newly renamed Television and Digital Entertainment Department.





NEW YORK: Jericho Communications has scored a hat trick of new business,

winning retainer accounts from Cuervo Gold and State College, PA-based

Accuweather as well as a project from BuyerZone.com. The Cuervo

assignment will focus on a year-long branding campaign that will

highlight Cuervo Nation, a private island owned by Cuervo.





ATLANTA: Media giant Cox Enterprises has named Colleen Cotter Brannan

senior manager of corporate communications. She was formerly a PR

manager at MCI WorldCom, and also served stints at Cohn & Wolfe and

Ketchum.





NEW YORK: Eyeweb has chosen Porter Novelli Convergence Group as its PR

agency after a six-firm review.



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