<b>NEWS BRIEFS:</b>

VENTURA, CA: Marketing communications firm Halsted Communications and publisher People Media Group will merge effective today. Principals of Halsted and People will remain in offices located in Ventura and Los Angeles. The name for the combined company will be People Media Group.

NEW YORK: Hill & Knowlton USA has appointed Barbara Edler as SVP and US director of internal communications, a specialty of the firm's corporate and financial practice. Edler will be based in San Francisco.

PORTLAND, OR: Subway Portland has selected HMH to handle media planning and placement, account service, PR, and promotions for the 165 Subway franchises in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK: Jordan Associates Advertising/Communications has been named AOR for strategic marketing and advertising efforts for Denver-based Sport- Haley, an apparel maker.

REDWOOD CITY, CA: Informatica has named Text 100 as its global AOR. The business software company began working with Text 100 in Europe last year, and expanded the relationship to the US last month. Informatica develops data-management and business- intelligence software.

SAN FRANCISCO: Peppercom has promoted Maggie O'Neill to director of its San Francisco office. She will oversee overall strategy and account management, along with director Andy Hilton. O'Neill will also head new business development and focus on initiatives for marketing events, corporate meetings, and sponsorships.

LONDON: Ketchum has appointed Simon Kleine as a group director for its corporate practice, where he will report to corporate and technology MD Paul Baverstock in providing senior leadership and counsel to the agency's corporate business in the UK.

SAN FRANCISCO: Narus, the provider of the carrier-class Internet Protocol platform, has hired Golin/Harris International as its AOR. Golin will work to advance Narus' market leadership in billing, mediation, and network security through the promotion of customer success stories, product launches, and speaking engagements.

PHILADELPHIA: Vox Medica, a healthcare marketing and communications company, has named Eve Dryer as president of the Healthcare PR Group, James Foreman as president of the Healthcare Marketing Communications Group, and Brian Russell as president of the Institute for Continuing Healthcare Education.

NEW YORK: Articulate Communications, a specialist in b-to-b and tech PR, has added four new clients: DataDirect Technologies, Odyssey Logistics & Technology, Viewpoint, and XTEND Communications.

DENVER: Linhart McClain Finlon Public Relations has been selected to provide services to the Daniels Fund, the largest foundation in the Rocky Mountain region.

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL: The Apple Organization, a PR and marketing firm, has promoted Angelica Langston to president and Yaffa Mizrachi to VP, internal operations.

NEW YORK: Scanbuy, a software developer dedicated to creating mobile bar-code commerce solutions, has selected Trylon Communications as its AOR.

BOW, NH: High Point Communications Group has hired Margaret Bonilla as EVP. She previously served as VP for PR, internal comms, enrollment, and marketing at Emmanuel College, and as director of public affairs at the Executive Office of Transportation, both in Boston.

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