British-based Coalition PR will close at the end of the month and the staff will divide to set up two new public relations firms.
Music publicist Rob Partridge founded the company 13 years ago, but its future has been in doubt since he died in November. He was 60 and fought a lengthy battle against cancer.
Coalition Management, which Partridge set up in 1999 and now has a roster including The Streets and Brazilian pop band CSS, is unaffected by the changes and will continue as normal from the Coalition address.
“Rob Partridge was the first person in the British music industry to sing our praises,” U2 frontman Bono told The Guardian shortly after Partridge’s death. “He was a person who would educate you about the kind of obstacles you were going to meet, and how to get over them.”
Partridge’s career began in journalism and he had stints with Record Mirror and Music Week before being recruited by Melody Maker, where he became news editor.
He also wrote for a range of other music-related publications including Rolling Stone, Billboard and Time Out.
He worked as head of press at Island Records but left when company chief Chris Blackwell sold out.
Coalition’s Steve Phillips and Jakub Blackman will set up a new company called Big Mouth Publicity. It will work in association with La Digit online PR and be based at Hope House, 40 St Peters Rd, London W6 9BD. The new company will continue in the Coalition office until April 6.
Phillips and Blackman will be joined by Carl Delahunty, another Coalition colleague, who will continue in his role as regional press officer.
Their international press roster will include Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Franz Ferdinand, Jarvis Cocker, White Lies, Amadou & Mariam, Manu Chao, The Clash, Edwyn Collins, Archie Bronson Outfit and Sunshine Underground.
The other new company to rise from Coalition’s ashes is called Notorious, started by Janine Bullman. It will work alongside Radar Maker, the digital marketing and promotions company.
Notorious will be based at The Mission, 55 Holywell Lane, London, EC2A 3PQ. Coalition’s Liam McMahon will join Radar Maker April 1 and continue with the HMV and FOPP accounts and online PR.
Bullman’s national press client list includes Bloc Party, Carbon/Silicon, Billy Bragg, Johnny Marr, Teitur, The Rakes, Those Dancing Days and Von Bondies.
Tony Linkin, the sixth senior staffer at Coalition, has decided to take a break to work out what he intends to do next.