Boston Herald, “Rasky Baerlein Buyout to Split PR Power Team,” February 7, 2017
By Joe Battenfeld
Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications — one of Boston’s most powerful business teams — is breaking up.
The lobbying and public relations firm at the center of dramas ranging from the sale of the Red Sox to the Catholic Church abuse scandal has ended its 20-year partnership.
Founder Larry Rasky confirmed he has bought out longtime partners Joseph Baerlein and Ann Carter, who are both leaving to start their own ventures.
The former partners told the Herald in a joint interview that the breakup was amicable, denying rumors in Boston’s business world that friction was contributing to a split.
“It’s not a divorce. It’s a business agreement, It’s a buyout,” Rasky said.
The firm – which will be called Rasky Partners, won’t be losing clients or any of its nearly 50 employees in offices in Boston and Washington, according to Rasky.
Baerlein said his new firm, Baerlein & Partners, will be focusing on his longtime interests, which have included representing groups in numerous successful ballot campaigns. Carter is also launching her own firm, AC Communications Partners.
Rasky and the others declined to talk about any disputes they have had, saying it was time to move on to new ventures while the firm was stable and riding high.
“We always tell our clients we’re in the business of keeping secrets and that starts with us,” said Rasky, who has been a close adviser and friend to former Vice President Joe Biden and represented Democrats ranging from Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh to Sen. Edward Markey.
Baerlein, who like Rasky got his start in politics in the 1980s as campaign manager for former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy, said “it was a day to celebrate” all the firm’s accomplishments.
“This is a good time for me,” he said.
Rasky Baerlein was in the middle of numerous high profile PR battles, including helping guide the Boston Archdiocese through the clergy abuse scandal, representing the Suffolk University Board of Trustees during its nasty fight with former president Margaret McKenna, and representing John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner in their successful bid for the Boston Red Sox.
Baerlein and another of the firm’s partners, Justine Griffin, also worked for supermarket magnate Arthur T. Demoulas in his longtime family feud that ended with Arthur getting control of the Marketbasket stores.
“By all accounts (we) beat the other side to a pulp,” Baerlein said.
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