The Wall Street Journal reports Wednesday that Dan Abrams, former MSNBC general manager and host of the 9PM hour, has launched a media strategy firm, Abrams Research. The firm will "offer corporate clients access to advice" from what the article describes as "media insiders." From the WSJ:
Want good press? Hire a journalist. That's Dan Abrams's pitch.
The former general manager of MSNBC is launching a media-strategy firm, Abrams Research, to help business executives navigate public-relations challenges -- from major acquisitions to bothersome bloggers to outright scandals.
The firm's chief selling point will be a network of media insiders whose advice is available in exchange for an hourly fee. Mr. Abrams has assembled a roster of "thousands" of such professionals, he says, with the aid of former Huffington Post media writer Rachel Sklar. The firm has already signed its first client: billionaire investor Ronald Perelman.
The Journal says that Abrams "plans to continue working as an outside legal analyst for NBC News."
The New York Times describes Abrams Research as "a consulting firm that...will connect a global Rolodex of media experts with businesses that need strategic advice." The Times also reports that Abrams will closely police potential conflicts of interest as journalists bridge the press/consultant divide:
Working on media strategies with businesses could raise ethical red flags for journalists who were required to be detached and objective about the subjects they covered. Mr. Abrams said the company would "bend over backwards to make sure that there are no conflicts or ethical issues that arise."
He said he planned to broaden the network of experts beyond traditional journalists, employing media analysts, bloggers and others who might not operate under such stringent rules. He said he was especially interested in connecting bloggers with businesses that had trouble dealing with online media.
The firm's website, AbramsResearch.com, describes the company accordingly:
Abrams Research is a media strategy firm that connects business leaders with a global community of media professionals. Our proprietary data networks and global contacts allow us to target strategically selected media insiders to offer insights, data and personnel never before available to businesses for image enhancement, branding, investigative reporting and the execution of the best media plan.
The firm's board of advisers includes media heavyweights from various areas of the media: Former NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly, HBO's Bryant Gumbel, Court TV founder Steven Brill, Former American Media Editorial Director Bonnie Fuller, Men's and Women's Health editor David Zinczenko, Curbed Network Founder Lockhart Steele, Former New York Times Sunday Business editor Judith Dobrzynski, and NBC Travel editor Peter Greenberg.
Full press release below:
Abrams Research Launches
Board of Advisors includes top names in media.
Dan Abrams announces the launch of Abrams Research, a unique global strategy firm that connects business leaders with top media professionals around the world. Businesses can now communicate directly with experienced media insiders, bloggers, and authors in almost any region or area of expertise. This unprecedented access to a wide range of experts can help companies make smarter decisions about marketing and communication. In addition, Abrams Research offers valuable perspective on local media, specific journalists, government officials or even crucial details about local customs.
"With this global network we will offer businesses more targeted, relevant and cost-effective media advice than has ever before been available," said Dan Abrams, the firm's CEO and founder.
The Abrams Research Board of Advisors includes top leaders from almost every area of media: Former NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly, HBO's Bryant Gumbel, Court TV founder Steven Brill, Former American Media Editorial Director Bonnie Fuller, Men's and Women's Health editor David Zinczenko, Curbed Network Founder Lockhart Steele, Former New York Times Sunday Business editor Judith Dobrzynski, and NBC Travel editor Peter Greenberg.
Abrams is the former General Manager of MSNBC and a Columbia University-trained attorney, who has appeared on NBC News and MSNBC as a reporter and anchor since 1995. He now continues with NBC News and MSNBC as a contributor in the role of Chief Legal Analyst. While Abrams himself offers businesses a trusted media advisor and attorney uniquely positioned to unite legal and corporate communications strategies, that same level of specialized expertise is now available on a far broader scale through the Abrams Research Network. "By offering businesses insight into how the relevant media will best respond to any strategy, campaign, product, initiative or crisis, I believe the often contentious relationship between business and media will improve," said Abrams.
Abrams Research has also established strategic partnerships with major PR and media strategy firms including Dan Klores Communications and The Abernathy Macgregor Group.