Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Tuesday morning

Stagwell-MDC merger by the numbers; Vaccine rollout a boon for pharmacists; Corona beer is doing just fine.

Last night's big news: Stagwell Group and MDC Partners are making it official. The two networks said on Monday evening that they've reached an agreement to combine. MDC chairman and CEO and Stagwell managing partner Mark Penn is set to lead the merged group as chairman and CEO. Stagwell's firms include SKDKnickerbocker, Reputation Defender and a minority stake in Finn Partners. MDC operates Allison+Partners, Hunter and the recently merged KWT Global and HL Group, among others.

By the numbers: Stagwell and its affiliates are expected to hold 79% of the combined company's common equity when the deal closes. The merged network is also targeting 5% annual organic growth and more than $3 billion in revenue in 2025.

The latest on COVID-19: The House of Representatives and Senate have passed a $900 billion relief bill, sending it to President Donald Trump's desk. BioNTech's CEO said its vaccine, made in cooperation with Pfizer, should be effective against the new coronavirus variant, but more testing is needed. Pharmacists are very much in demand as the vaccine rolls out.

Remember that widely criticized survey that found the pandemic would be the end of beer brand Corona? That did not happen. Corona's store sales this year were consistent with 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal, with consumers opting for trusted brands at the height of the pandemic.

What happens when it takes seven years to produce an eagerly anticipated video game featuring a movie star and the launch is a clunker? That's the subject of PRWeek's latest crisis timeline, which explores how Cyberpunk 2077 left gamers and gaming journalists feeling turned off.

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