Roll Call: Hill+Knowlton, SPM Communications, Priceline and More

Today Hill+Knowlton announced the appointment of media/PR veteran Chris Winans as the new general manager of its New York office.

Winans, who begins the new role October 13th, most recently served as chief of comms and marketing at Promontory Financial Group, a “leading regulatory advisor.” Before joining Promontory, Winans held similar positions at AXA US, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Morgan Stanley (he served as head of media relations at AIG from 2005-2008). While Winans’ LinkedIn bio describes him as a “proven leader in corporate and crisis communications and marketing,” he began his career in journalism, spending more than a decade as a national news editor at The Wall Street Journal.

H+K Americas President/CEO Mike Coates writes, “Experience and success like Chris has had in navigating unprecedented business upheavals of recent years is exactly the reason our clients look to us.” (Release)

SPM Communications announced the launch of a sister agency called MediaLine. The purpose of MediaLine PR, founded by SPM President Suzanne Miller and longtime SPM executive Rebecca Wilkins (who will run the new agency) is to allow the agency to grow and add new clients in the “restaurant, food and franchise” sectors. In the release, Miller clarifies that SPM, which celebrated its 15th anniversary this year, wanted to “be able to say yes to great brands that would approach us for PR support, but who were competitors of our existing clients.”

MediaLine opens its doors armed with a client roster including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Cheddar’s Casual Cafe and more. (Release)
Flavie Lemarchand-Wood has joined Priceline as its VP of communications.

The communications veteran most recently served as VP/deputy communications director at Nielsen. In an email to media contacts, she writes:

“…I led communications for Nielsen’s television and audio businesses and was responsible for the measurement company’s cross-platform communications…Prior to joining Nielsen, I was responsible for Vivendi’s communications in North America and managed the group’s strategic communications during the creation of Activision Blizzard and the formation and eventual divestiture of NBCUniversal. I started my career on the agency side working on technology and financial services clients.”

On her new role: “In this role, I will oversee all internal and external communications for the priceline.com brand.” PR Week notes that Lemarchand-Wood’s previous roles included client service manager at PainePR and account supervisor at Euro RSCG Magnet. Her successor at Nielsen has yet to be named. (PR Week)

Gwyneth Paltrow-founded lifestyle pub venture goop has announced a new CEO in what looks like an attempt to compete more directly with Martha Stewart and her various properties. Lisa Gersh, who previously held executive positions at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and NBCUniversal, writes in the release that “It’s rare to work with such an inspired founder and a digitally native company, a brand that thinks digitally from an organic point of view and successfully fuses content and revenue-generating retail” — her previous employer excepted. (The Hollywood Reporter)