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Jay Cranford, Ross Cranford, Denver Peacock Resign from CJRW

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Three of Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods’ top executives – Ross Cranford, Jay Cranford and Denver Peacock – resigned from the Little Rock ad firm Monday, continuing a string of defections that began last year.

Chief Public Relations Officer Richard McKeown confirmed the resignations, but told Arkansas Business that the company “doesn’t normally comment on personnel issues.”

Ross Cranford, formerly one of the firm’s vice presidents, and Jay Cranford, who was a senior vice president and chief creative officer, are sons of Wayne Cranford, who co-founded CJRW and is now on its board of directors. Their brother, Chris Cranford, remains on the company’s website as part of CJRW’s video subsidiary, Jones Film Video.

Peacock was senior vice president of public affairs.

Peacock declined to comment on the reasons behind his resignation. Peacock had recently applied for the vice chancellor for governmental relations position at the University of Arkansas, but was not chosen as a finalist

Neither Ross nor Jay Cranford could be reached for comment.

CJRW, the state’s largest advertising, marketing and public relations firm, has been fighting a changing ad industry in recent years, with many staff members leaving to join or found smaller ad firms.

Last year, two agency employees, Rebecca Tennille and Jordan Johnson, left the agency to found their own marketing firm, taking CJRW’s account for the William J. Clinton Presidential Center with them.

In Feburary, CJRW named northwest Arkansas publishing industry veteran Darin Gray as its new president. Gray is a past chairman of the Arkansas State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. CJRW’s biggest client is the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism, worth $8.4 million this year.

Wayne Woods is the company’s CEO. He and his bother Shelby ran The Woods Brothers Agency, which merged with Cranford Johnson Robinson Associates in 1990 to form CJRW.

In March, the company announced it was moving its headquarters to a new space in downtown Little Rock.

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