NEW YORK: PR industry veterans Howard Rubenstein and Michael Sitrick are representing The New York Post and California billionaire Ron Burkle, respectively, in the scandal involving Jared Paul Stern, contributing writer on the paper's Page Six section has been accused of attempting to extort at least $100,000 from Burkle.
Sitrick confirmed that he has represented Burkle for a number of years, but would not comment on specific strategy during this time.
Rubenstein, a longtime representative for the Post, noted that the paper has tried to distance itself from Stern.
"Over the years, they have not been accused of inappropriate or improper behavior," he said. "Jared's situation is quite unique."
He added that the paper is awaiting the outcome of a federal investigation into the matter before deciding how to deal with Stern, who was immediately suspended following the initial allegations.
Even so, the column's practices have come into question--specifically writers accepting gifts from those they routinely cover. Rubenstein said the paper has vowed to "tighten up their operations."
But in the long run, he said, the scandal should not have any negative on The Post's reputation. "People that never heard of Page Six are now buying the paper to read it," he said.