Today’s Ad Industry Scandal: John Partilla’s Strange Love Story

By Kiran Aditham 

Love blossoms in mysterious ways, and in the case of ad exec John Partilla and former WNBC reporter Carol Anne Riddell, it destroyed two marriages as a result. Partilla, in case you didn’t know, just recently left Clear Channel to take on the COO post at Dentsu Network West.

As the love story goes, according to the NY Times, Partilla and Riddell, both married with children, met in a pre-K classroom in 2006 at an Upper West Side school which both parties’ kids attended. Over the next two years, Partilla and Riddell and their respective spouses became friends, but the dynamic changed between the two after the former invited the latter out for a drink. With spouses absent, Riddell tells the NYT that Partilla told her, “I’ve fallen in love with you.” She said she quickly left the bar, but returned five minutes later to tell him, “I feel the exact same way.” The end result: a separation from their spouses and an eventual marriage earlier last month at the Mandarin Oriental.

The Partilla-Riddell saga was essentially revealed when the couple’s wedding announce appeared in this past Sunday’s “Vows” section, in turn spawning its share of supporters and detractors and ultimately earning scorn from Kathie Lee Gifford this week on the happy hour known as the Today show’s 10-11am timeslot. Over the years at AgencySpy, we’ve been privy to tips about various indiscretions within the walls of agencies, and compared to some of the horror stories we’ve heard, this is surprisingly not quite as egregious.


Our recently relaunched sister site, TVSpy, has more on this story here.