Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Hill by Christina Wilke:

Hollywood on the Potomac: Sound familiar?

A new political book filled with photographs of celebrities and politicians was released last week under a familiar title, Hollywood on the Potomac.

So familiar a title, in fact, that the paperback photo book was nearly slapped with a lawsuit by Washington publicist Janet Donovan, who is the owner of the trademarked phrase “Hollywood on the Potomac.”

Donovan has written a column about L.A. celebrities in Washington, called “Hollywood on the Potomac,” since 2002, the same year she filed her initial trademark registration paperwork. The column appears in print monthly in Washington Life magazine, and as a blog at

(Full disclosure: ITK’s editor used to work for Washington Life.)

Reached for comment, the publisher of the book, Arcadia Publishing, shifted blame for the trademark snafu onto the author, former Republican National Committee campaign strategist Jason Killian Meath.

“The author signed a contract confirming that they’ve received permission to use any copyrighted material in the book,” said P.J. Norlander, marketing director at Arcadia.

“But there’s certainly a lot of gray area here,” she said, adding, “We’d be happy to come to a resolution with the owner of the copyright.”

According to Donovan, further resolution won’t be necessary ... this time. “I’m going to give them a pass on this one,” she told ITK. “It’s a book, so what would I do, make them pull the book from the shelves?”

That’s exactly what she could do, according to her attorney, and it wouldn’t be the first time Donovan has had to take legal action to protect her trademarked phrase.

The most recent incident occurred when “Hollywood on the Potomac” appeared at the top of a website called

“My lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter and they pulled it down,” said Donovan.

Meath may have been spared the destruction of his book, but as far as he’s concerned, it was his publisher’s job to make sure the title didn’t violate any laws. “We went through a lot of different titles while we were planning the book,” he told ITK, “and of course, the final decision on that is in the hands of the publisher.”

Friday, September 25, 2009

"The Mole" goes to Hollywood on the Potomac book party

Pictured: Jason Meath, Pam Bailey, Patrick Dorton

By "The Mole"

Jack Valenti caught it. Mike Deaver mastered it. At some point, young Jason Killian Meath, too, got the bug. Struck by a photograph of conservative idol and President Ronald Reagan with a bejeweled Michael Jackson at the White House, political media consultant Meath realized that Hollywood and Washington make a bizarre and weirdly fitting couple. It was 1984, after all. These days, Meath, a partner at Rational 360, has come out with a book with a very rational (if copyright-protected) title, "Hollywood on the Potomac" (Arcadia Publishing 2009).

Gee, where have we heard that name before?

The book is straightforward, sepia-tone photos of Hollywood and Washington stars. Jack Kennedy and brother-in-law Peter Lawford don the cover, appropriately pictured sailing, seriously, off the coast of Maine. Republican strategists and Reagan protégés dotted the launch party of 20- and 30-somethings at Georgetown's George -- Grocery Manufacturer's Association honcho Pam Bailey, a Reagan White House wunderkind herself, looked even better than she did as head of the cosmetics powerhouse Personal Care Products Association. (Hollywood -- call her agent!) Former Clinton adviser and Rational 360 partner Patrick Dorton (son-in-law of Democratic lobbyist Fred Graefe), as well as partner Stuart Stevens, "the only Republican media consultant to have worked extensively on network television," his web bio says -- dutifully mingled to support their partner Meath in the cavernous club.

This book, a photo album heavy on Ronnie and Nancy, is a sweet if mild walk down memory lane. For the juice, there's only

Hollywood on the Potomac also appears in Washington Life Magazine by Janet Donovan