Breakfast Briefing, 2.8.2017: Rasky Baerlein principals split

Two of the three principals at the Boston-based firm are going their separate ways.

New this morning
Belgium-based public affairs agency Interel has bought American firm AMG in a deal that creates a shop with annual revenue of $27 million. Weber Shandwick U.K. has partnered with the Media Trust on a paid internship program to boost diversity. Lionsgate put a clever spin on the movie trailer with the John Wick 2 chatbot.

Rasky Baerlein partners split
Two of the Boston-based agency’s three founders are departing the firm. President Joe Baerlein and principal Ann Carter are departing to launch their own businesses. Cofounder Larry Rasky will continue to lead the strategic and crisis communications and lobbying shop.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative funds 50 scientists
Six months after its launch, the organization has said it will financially back 50 scientists in fields including biology, chemistry, and computer science, according to BuzzFeed. The group, launched by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, has also begun building out its communications team.

Report: White House begins comms director search
The Trump administration is searching for a replacement for Sean Spicer as communications director, according to CNN. Last month, veterans of politics told PRWeek a dual role of communications director and White House press secretary was likely too big to be filled by one person. Washington Post: Melissa McCarthy shows the power comedians have during a Trump presidency.

Trending this morning: #LetLizSpeak
Senate Republicans used a procedural rule on Tuesday night to stop Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) from reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King in opposition to President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions. She finished her remarks on Facebook Live as Democrats continued an all-night protest of the pick.

Under Armour CEO speaks out for Trump
Negotiating the current political climate can be a minefield for CEOs — ask Uber chief Travis Kalanick — but Under Armour leader Kevin Plank said Tuesday that President Donald Trump is a "real asset" for the U.S., citing his pro-business policies. Plank is already getting some blowback on Twitter. 

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