NEWS BRIEFS:

SEATTLE: MWW Group has acquired boutique firm The Silver Company, merging it with its Seattle office. All three Silver staffers will join MWW, including president Bob Silver, who is now SVP/GM of MWW's Seattle office. Rosanne Marks, who's been with MWW for more than a decade and was GM for the past six months, will leave in June to pursue other opportunities.

NEW YORK: Brigitte Trafford, Dow Jones' top PR person and chief spokesperson, is leaving the company to head up communications at ITV, Great Britain's largest commercial TV network. Trafford, who is involved in the ongoing search for her replacement, is a seven-year veteran of Dow Jones and its VP of corporate communications. Her last day is June 4.

WASHINGTON: Powell Tate, Weber Shandwick's DC presence, has brought aboard two Democratic Capitol Hill communicators: Dan Drummond, former communications director to Rep. Jim Moran (VA), joins as director and Catrell Brown, a legislative assistant to Rep.

John Conyers (MI), joins as an account supervisor.

NEW YORK: Weber Shandwick appointed three senior leaders to head its Canadian operations: Stuart MacMillan as president and CEO, Trish Ault as EVP, client services; and Francois Perreault as EVP, business development.

BALTIMORE: Warschawski Public Relations has been retained by DeWalt as national PR AOR for its Industrial Power Tools Division. DeWalt is the Professional Power Tool Division of Black & Decker.

NEW YORK: IR firm The Anne McBride Company has entered a strategic partnership with Karakas, a Turkish IR and corporate communications consultancy. Karakas-McBride will specialize in bringing Turkish companies to the US and European capital markets.

REDWOOD CITY, CA: Tech PR firm Eastwick Communications has partnered with IR firm Keen Consulting to provide clients of both firms integrated PR and IR services.

SEATTLE: Sam Sperry, a veteran Seattle newspaperman and PR consultant, has joined Alaska Airlines as corporate communications director. He will focus primarily on internal communications for Alaska employees.

NEW YORK: The Ladies Professional Golf Association selected The Hamilton Group's newly created GolfComm practice as its PR firm for the first World Congress of Women's Golf, which was scheduled to be held May 20-22 at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

TORONTO: Wilcox Group, an independent Canadian PR firm, has expanded nationally with the opening of a Toronto office.

NEW YORK: Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide has added two hires, both from Weber Shandwick, to its consumer marketing practice, Eric Slutsky as EVP and Susanne Weinstein as VP.

SAN FRANCISCO: Margaret Abeles has joined Porter Novelli as VP of West Coast strategic planning. She was previously a director of market research for Walt Disney.

LONG BEACH, CA: Mexican restaurant chain El Torito has hired Allison & Partners to handle PR, media relations, and community relations for its numerous brands. The agency's Los Angeles office will manage the account.

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ: Rob Bailey Communications has been selected as AOR for HIT Entertainment's Stage Show Tour Department, which currently oversees publicity efforts for Barney the Dinosaur and Thomas the Tank Engine live touring shows.

CHICAGO: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company has named Daniel Leib as VP of IR.

CORRECTION: The Agency Rankings, published April 19, incorrectly listed the location for Katcher Vaughn & Bailey. The location should be Brentwood, TN.

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