Seven things PR pros need to know on Thursday, 2.5.2015

Brian Williams apologizes for misremembering 2003 Iraq war story; Major data breach at Anthem; White House loses two top comms specialists.

1. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams apologized on air on Wednesday night for saying he was on board a helicopter that was brought down by enemy fire during the 2003 invasion of Iraq after being called out by veterans. Williams had repeated the story on Friday during a tribute for a veteran at a New York Rangers game.

2. As many as 80 million people may be affected by a cyberattack on Anthem, the nation’s second-largest health insurer. The incident could go down as the largest data breach ever acknowledged by a healthcare company.


3. White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri is stepping down to join the converging campaign team of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Earlier Wednesday, Obama administration chief communications strategist and senior adviser Dan Pfieffer said he was leaving his role.

4. Publicis Groupe is expected to complete its acquisition of Sapient on Thursday after a few hurdles. Sapient is the Paris-based holding company’s first major buy since its proposed merger with Omnicom Group fell apart last year.

5. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told employees in a memo that the company "suck(s) at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years," vowing to make it easier for users to avoid harassment. After reaching a search deal with Google on Wednesday, Twitter is under pressure to deliver better financial results when it reports its fourth quarter 2014 earnings today.

6. RadioShack is planning to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as soon as possible, according to Bloomberg News. The chain could sell 2,000 stores to Sprint and Standard General and close the rest of its outlets.

7. Chicago will take the wraps off the Chicago Epic tourism marketing campaign on Thursday. The Windy City took in more than 50 million visitors last year, up 3.5% from the year before. 

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