Next Fifteen plans new future for Bite, and six other things for PR pros to know Tuesday morning

Bite merged into Text100 in mainland Europe and Asia; Press secretaries pay tribute to Brady; LinkedIn settles labor charges.

Next Fifteen said early Tuesday that it is merging the Asia-Pacific and mainland Europe operations of agency Bite into the Text100 network. It expects a small number of job cuts as a result. Next Fifteen CEO Tim Dyson said Bite will focus on technology, meaning it will hire a different breed of new staffers.

"Three to five years from now, it will not be unusual for CMOs to dedicate a portion of their budget to technology to solve marketing problems rather than an agency," he told PRWeek UK. "We’re unlikely to hire classic PR people to Bite in the future."

Next Fifteen’s pre-tax profits for the six-month period ending January 31 were up 13%. In late 2012, it rebranded Bite from Bite Communications after merging it with UK-based digital marketing firm Bourne.

Six other things to know Tuesday morning
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and 11 of his predecessors released a statement on Monday in tribute to James Brady, the press secretary for President Ronald Reagan who died Monday afternoon. Brady, wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan, became an avid gun-control advocate. Here is an NBC News segment on Brady’s legacy.

The US Justice Department is investigating GM Financial, the automaker’s financing wing. Government investigators are looking for information on underwriting criteria, warranties, and subprime loans issued since 2007.

The Incite Agency, the DC-based shop founded by former Obama White House strategists Robert Gibbs and Ben LaBolt, is supporting former CNN anchor Campbell Brown’s crusade against teacher tenure, joining a number of prominent Republicans in the process. Gibbs split with New Partners last year due to his work for Brown’s group, the Partnership for Education Justice, according to a Monday story in The Huffington Post.

LinkedIn has paid nearly $6 million to more than 350 former and current employees after a US Labor Department investigation found the company violated the Fair Labor Standard Act by requiring employees to work "off the clock" without overtime pay.

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder emphasized the plight of Native Americans on reservations on Monday during a radio interview. The Q&A, conducted by a former Redskins player, took place on ESPN 980, a station Snyder owns. Burson-Marsteller is working with the team on communications related to its name, including its alumni-backed website.

Former White House press aide Reid Cherlin explained in Rolling Stone on Monday how President Barack Obama’s relationship with the press has soured. One reason: the Obama team’s use of social media to go around the press dating back to his first campaign for president. 

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