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Flacks don’t show up, but the show goes on

What do a Mariah Carey concert and wilting summer heat have in

July 26, 2013
By Bill Ehart

Both conspired against the 10th annual “Hacks vs. Flacks” softball game July 14 in New York’s Central Park. The hacks—that is, members of the New York Financial Writers Association, organize the game each year. NYFWA is a 501(c)(6) organization founded in 1938.

But the flacks—PR professionals who deal with the reporters on a daily basis—didn’t show for the first time in the history of the game.

“It was kind of an odd event,” said Britt Tunick, NYFWA executive manager and a freelance investment writer. “We had a poor showing. It was like a thousand degrees.”

The journalists who came to play had to deal with detritus from the previous night’s 2013 MLB All-Star Charity Concert for Superstorm Sandy victims, featuring Mariah Carey, on the park’s Great Lawn. The stage had been in the outfield of Field #7.

Someone in the “stupid parks department” should have placed the game on a different field, Tunick said.
The reporters chose teams from among themselves, “grade school”-style, by having captains pick players one by one, Tunick said. Rich Wilner, business editor of the New York Post, was one captain. The other was Hajime Matsuura, a reporter from the Japanese financial publication Sankei Shimbun.

Wilner’s team won 10-4, Tunick said.

The game is a social event designed to get the denizens of public relations and journalism together outside the pressure of hard questions and unwanted story pitches.