I managed to slip away from my clients today to sit in on the the kickoff lunch of PRWeek‘s NeXT Conference held at The Times Center in New York. It was great seeing some old friends, (including a few former interns now running agencies).
I didn’t recognize any of the folks honored at the “40 Under 40” lunch, but was impressed by their accomplishments. They ranged from bringing their companies into the digital age to convincing the public that soybeans have tremendous nutritional value. Oh. I love this business!
The winners will be featured in the weekly, I mean monthly magazine’s August issue. Ironically, I sat at the mostly Edelman table where I caught up with some former colleagues from that agency — the largest independent agency in the world. Damn IPG! (FD: Edelman was my last big agency job).
I also had the good fortune to sit next to a couple of seniors communications folks from ESPN. I couldn’t resist soliciting their opinions on the Penn State imbroglio. We all agreed that it was as bad as it gets in the PR business.
The lunch was held during Joe Paterno’s presser today, and I asked my tablemates whether this octogenarian had sufficient mojo to go toe to toe with the press gaggle. “He’s definitely slowed down, but still has his wits,” was the consensus. Then, as if on cue, a New York Times news alert crossed my new BB 9930.
“Penn State Said to Be Planning Paterno’s Exit.”
Maybe he has lost his wits? Or more likely, the presser was cancelled. Apparently it was against the legendary coach’s wishes:
“The AP says Paterno’s son Scott tells it that the decision was made by President Graham Spanier’s office. Scott Paterno says his father was disappointed and was prepared to take questions about the scandal as well as the upcoming game against Nebraska.”
I’ll be back tomorrow to catch some of the keynotes and panels.