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Ad Trade Reporters Frequently Take Jobs With the Sources They Cover

How close are reporters in the advertising trade press to the agencies they cover? Very close. That closeness was writ large -- again -- by the news this week that USA Today ad writer Theresa Howard has joined Crispin Porter + Bogusky as a copywriter. Before USA Today, Howard was at Brandweek.*

The barrier between reporter and source is permeable indeed. Howard is not the first ad reporter to end up in the employ of the companies she's spent years covering.

JWT's chief trendspotter, Ann Mack, was formerly an interactive reporter at Adweek.* Mack was a former cubicle-mate of MRM's current vp/director of communications, Kathleen Sampey.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Former Adweek reporters Hank Kim and Rich Linnett (who also wrote for Ad Age) jumped into -- and then out of -- MPG as branded entertainment execs. Linnett is now at Fathom.

And Former Adweek reporter Thomas Siebert became vp communications at MPG and then preceded Kim and Linnett out the door at MPG in 2006.

Why does this happen? Because agencies pay better than news operations do.

*Disclosure: Author is a former employee of Adweek and Brandweek and still writes occasionally for the latter.

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