Über Flack: San Francisco Public Relations Agency pro Sam Singer spins the tiger attack and more
What do you do if Mike Wallace is banging on your front door with a camera crew in tow? Call Sam Singer, of course. His clients have included the 49ers in their quest for a new stadium in San Francisco (he severed ties when they announced plans to defect to Santa Clara) and Jack in the Box during the E. coli scare that almost put the hamburger chain out of business. His current high-profile client is the San Francisco Zoo where a tiger tragically killed a patron last Christmas. Raised in Berkeley, Singer started out wanting to be a journalist and even forestalled his college education after high school to take a job as a part-time copy boy with the Berkeley Gazette in the late ’70s. Singer eventually earned a master’s in journalism from Northwestern and returned to Berkeley to edit the very last edition of the Gazette in 1984. In his next job he tried to turn the homespun Berkeley Voice into the Village Voice and got the axe. Realizing that his future may lie in public relations, journalism’s kissing cousin, Singer became a political operative for Democrats and eventually opened his own successful shop. I tracked Singer down recently for his take on the tiger attack and his profession in general and, not surprisingly, got more than an earful.