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The NYT's Sharon Waxman looks at the fallout from last week's PMK/HBH bloodletting, where Pat Kingsley, the Iron Flack, preemptively fired number two uberpublicist Leslee Dart before the whippersnapper could force her into the Old Reps Home. Unhappy A-list movie clients are rumbling about bolting the firm to stay with Dart, terrified that the change could hurt their films' awards-time promotion. Even former PMK director Lois Smith thinks canning Dart was a mistake and that the er, mature, Kingsley might have to start thinking about hanging up her cat o' nine tails.

Retirement, she added, wasn't an easy concept for hard-charging people like herself, and Ms. Kingsley. "It did take me a long time to accept that I had to retire," Ms. Smith observed. "A lot of us get defined by what we do. If we don't do that, who are we? It's not easy."

No one's asking Kingsley to completely retire from her trade...she could probably still enjoy a fulfilling life in her publicity twilight by lying on a freelance basis.

[Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images]