Vintage & Contemporary Eyewear
Old Town Pasadena, California Sales or Rentals
the road ahead
At the moment most reporters do not think blogs help the
quality of their work but they do speed up the availability of news, according to a survey by Brodeur reported in
Research Briefs. But maybe beatblogging
can supply that quality.
Beatblogging.org is a collaboration between 13 news organizations from around the country and
www.NewAssignment.Net to figure out how journalists can
use social networks to improve beat reporting.
As described by NYU journalism professor
Jay Rosen, “Beatblogging is a simple project testing a single idea: Maybe
a beat reporter could do a way better job if there was a “live” social network connected to the beat, made up of people who know the territory the beat covers, and want the reporting on that beat to be better. That’s the entire idea—so far. Beat reporting with a social network: can we get it to work?"
And then there is Shawn Smith who thinks blogs
are one of the
“4 must-use web tools every journalist should learn and live by”.
This is also the title of a
www.Mediabytes.com summary of a talk given by
Shawn at a Michigan State University journalism class on computer-assisted reporting.
And the other must-haves are:
Twitter, Del.icio.us, and Google Reader. A brief explanation of each and why
is available at:
Custom Publishing (Jeep, MyFord, etc.) is marching across the magazine scene according to
Advertising Age. Only now it is better labeled “Custom Marketing,” according to
Wendy Riches, Exec. VP at Meredith Publishing Group, one of the forces in the field. She told the trade paper:
"That's because what used to be custom publishing now includes word-of-mouth, the internet, e-mail newsletters, mobile alerts, deeper database crunches and complex behavioral modeling.” Revenue in the field jumped to $37
billion in 2006, up $15 billion from 2004.
According to the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), the
average monthly unique audience figures for newspaper websites
grew by more than 3.6 million in 2007, a record year for the industry and an increase of more than 6% over 2006 numbers.
John Grafman has announced AutoDesignO, the
Design Organization, an association of design studios, and
industry professionals that help to staff and facilitate the
development of production and concept vehicles. The
Organization is dedicated to the highest ideals in
automotive design. This is an all-new professional
association dedicated to promoting improved business
relations, communications, and information exchange within
the design industry. Members include staff and freelance
designers, modelers, fabricators, engineers and similar
design professionals, as well as design and management
representatives from vehicle manufacturers, industry
suppliers, aftermarket companies, consumer groups,
governmental bodies and other motoring-related firms and
organizations. John sees AutodesignO as a perfect conduit
for the media to connect to the auto design industry. For
more information, check out the website
or contact email@example.com.
Peter Frey has announced two new features for his website:
www.HotorNotAuto.com is a unique internet site
that allows anyone to post a photo of a vehicle and have it
rated as Hot or Not on a scale of 1 to 10 by other visitors
to the site. . . . AutoBuddies (http://apps.facebook.com/autobuddies/)
is a new application that can be downloaded by Facebook
users and is a way for members who are auto enthusiasts to
network with similarly-inclined friends.
Tina Gaudoin will edit The Wall Street Journal’s
high-end lifestyle glossy magazine, Pursuits. It is slated
to debut in September, followed by a December issue and
then become a monthly thereafter, focusing on lifestyles of the
wealthy. Gaudoin is assembling a team of journalists and can
be contacted at WSJ’s main office (212-416-2000). Or,
presuming the company’s email formula:
. . . Automotive Rhythms TV will provide exclusive auto video
content to VEOH Networks a video hosting service on the Internet.
Autowriters.Com invites readers to submit their own Clog
(Online Column). Your reward, a byline and an audience of
your peers .
We’ll acknowledge all contributions, queue them and use the
one considered the most pertinent at the time.
Newspaperman, PR executive and consultant
Tom Houston offers his opinion on the departure of
Jason Vines and subsequent downgrading of PR at Chrysler
Ltd. As with all volunteer Tom-Tom rants, raves or rambles,
the opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Jason has landed. Again.
This time Jason Vines, the most peripatetic of Detroit’s
automotive public relations executives has docked at
Compuware, the Detroit –based software builder.
So it’s out of the auto business and into software for Vines
whose PR career began at Chrysler Corp. and wound through
Nissan, Ford, Daimler Chrysler, Chrysler Ltd. (no fault of
Jason’s) and thence to Compuware.
It seems that Vines walked out of Chrysler’s HQ in Auburn
Hills, Michigan, after a disagreement with Bob Nardelli, the
former Home Depot chief who now heads Chrysler Ltd.
The guess is that Vines and Nardelli didn’t agree on how
public Chrysler Ltd. should be. Chrysler Ltd. is a privately
held company and doesn’t have to do all that noisome public
reporting a publicly held company does. Another good guess
is that Vines left a pretty fair chunk of change on the
Chrysler table when he walked out.
It would appear that Nardelli
doesn’t think much of PR anyway because, no sooner had Vines
left, than Nardelli
turned the leadership of PR over to the company’s Human
How dispiriting that must be to the PR pros Vines developed
during his tenure at Chrysler and upon whom Vines heaped
praise when he was elected 2005’s “Communicator of the Year”
by the Detroit Chapter of the International Association of
I don’t know how many reporters covered the home improvement
store industry on a
day-to-day basis, but in Detroit there are about 100
reporters covering every breath
ranking auto execs take and every decision car companies
My suspicion is that Nardelli doesn’t like talking to the
meddlesome media and even though he’s hired press-savvy
Press from Toyota, as Vice Chairman and President to run
Chrysler product development and sales, those 100 reporters
still want to talk to the boss man.
Press reports over the past week – quoting Chrysler
executives other than Nardelli—have Chrysler drastically
simplifying its model line and reducing the number of
Seems an ideal time for a seasoned PR executive to be
getting Chrysler’s vision out to the car-buying public.
Who better than the experts in health care plans?
After two laps in an outdoor pool followed by a six mile run over a frosty
western Colorado moonscape, tight roping across a gulley on a narrow beam and
hauling herself up a dangling 18-foot rope, Sue Mead smiled and asked “What’s
Already an established chronicler of off-road vehicles and adventures, it
was her grit and grin in the try outs that earned her a spot as the first female
journalist on America’s team for a two-week Land Rover competition in the
jungles of Borneo. Since then she has participated in three more of those
competitions as well as the Arctic Circle Challenge ‘95, the Tip to Tip
Challenge ‘96, and the TransAmerica Challenge ’97, and was a co-driver in two
winning Baja 1000 rides and in the Paris-Dakar-Cairo 2000. She was at the
starting line of this year’s Paris Dakar Rally when it was cancelled due to
terrorism threats and, as noted in her recent Off-Road Motorsports Hall Of Fame
induction, she has accumulated enough off-road miles in 62 different countries
to circumnavigate the globe in dirt.
Her work has appeared in dozens of publications and she has authored three books
and raised one daughter, Brooke.
Sue got her start in journalism as a part-time writer/photographer for New
England newspapers and as a stringer for the Associated Press. She added
freelancing for off-road magazines, specializing in four-wheel drive – a niche
that few females had explored at the time and found it or made it, “the answer
to my prayers to use writing and photography skills as a means to travel the
globe and to have an ever-changing “view from my desk.”
In return for her chance to see the globe she works to bring
hope and health to parts of it in great need. She corralled a library’s worth of
books and persuaded BMW to help fund construction of one to house them in Tixfusene, South Africa. Following
Hurricane Katrina, she joined a Hummer’s Owner’s Group Prepared for Emergency
(HOPE) and made six trips to Louisiana and Mississippi to bring medical aid and
supplies to survivors in remote areas. After being thwarted by terrorists in
the Paris-Dakar Rally, she has resolved to do more,
telling her local paper, The Berkshire Eagle, “My hope for the future is that
we can rid our world of radical terrorists and increase the number of radical
Research Briefs reports that 85%of the world’s online population has used the Internet to make an
online purchase, increasing the market for online shopping by 40% in the last two years, according to a
Nielsen Online Global Survey.
Yet, while the online market is growing and consumers are spending 30% of their media time online, marketers are investing but 7.5% of their budgets in online marketing initiatives according to
Media Post. Conclusion: money is
going to flow by the bucket full to the Internet and this means opportunity for auto writers to build an audience. However, manufacturer web sites are not the preferred online information source for car buyers.
According to www.Estrategy.com blog, a
BurstMedia survey revealed: “Consumers who are in the market for a car go online for information—but not to automobile Web sites.
That preference also carries over into advertising: Online
advertising for cars works best on Web sites that have
nothing to do with automobiles."
On the other hand, Wooden Horse News reports a new trend in magazines that one promoter believes will bring advertisers back to magazines and, thus, create pages for writers to fill:
barcoding. Car and Driver published more than 400 links in its late December annual
Buyer’s Guide, according to Wooden Horse. Each car in the guide had a corresponding barcode linking to a microsite
with pictures, reviews and a link to the full road test.
Users download software from Scanbuy to access the material. As reported by Wooden Horse, Scanbuy
CEO Jonathan Bulkeley believes, “barcodes could be ubiquitous within the next three to five years . . . and bring readers back to print.” . . . However,
Source Interlink, which recently purchased Primedia’s dominant array of car magazines is planning to take 40 million magazine copies out of circulation, as reported in
foliomagazine, although this may be an internal correction of what amounts to
Chrysler’s old “sales bank” practice of producing more than the demand.
To clear up possible misunderstandings about Isuzu’s future
in the U.S., Chip Letzgus writes, “Isuzu Motors America is
not going out of business. The company made the decision to
discontinue the distribution and sale of passenger vehicles
in the U.S. effective January 31, 2009, but that will have
no impact on our parts, service or warranty operations. Isuzu will continue to have a network of dealers nationwide
to service our Isuzu owners. Of course, this decision also
does not affect Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, a
separate company that will continue to distribute the most
popular low-cab-forward medium duty trucks in the nation. And Isuzu Motors America will continue to distribute
industrial diesel engines. There will continue to be public
relations staff -- namely, me . . .” .
A trust fund has been opened for veteran Motor City
journalist Frank Washington to help with his expenses
while recovering at home but unable to work after a brutal
mugging that required extensive surgery and a
medically-induced coma to repair. To contribute, send
your check to: Frank Washington Fund Charter Bank One
Attn: Ms. Angela Todd, bank manager 633 Notre Dame
Grosse Pointe, Mich., 48230 Phone: 313 882-7697 Ext. 22.
The Automotive Press Association is sponsoring a fund
raiser for Frank, Tuesday, Feb. 26 5-7:30 pm, Seldom
Blues 400 Renaissance Center # 1, Luther “Bad Man” Keith
will entertain. $20 donation. RSVP:
ABenefitforFrank@gmail.com. Cards can be sent to
him at: P.O. Box 23167 Detroit, MI 48223-0167. Or email him
Omni GLH photo wanted. Carl Goodwin is
searching for a photo of the Omni GLH produced for Dodge by
Carroll Shelby. He would appreciate hearing from anyone with
a print or a source for one. Contact him at:
. . . Recognition for top automotive email campaigns put
Dodge at the top of a list of 10 selected by Bill McClosky,
editor of Email Insider for MediaPost.
Infiniti was second
and Ford third. . . . HotrodHotline Newsletter is advising its readers using
Comcast to check and see if the provider is arbitrarily
blocking emails it considers spam. The publication
says Comcast is doing this to avoid adding more equipment to
better handle its Internet load.
Immediate Network reported that CHP
Publications in Britain has added Auto Italia to its auto
portfolio that includes 911 & Porsche World and
Performance. Also, that a survey of 4,000 participants in
four European companies revealed that word-of-mouth advocacy
is five times more effective in selling cars in the UK and
nine times more effective in Spain, than is advertising.
Yet, two of Britain’s dailies have dropped their motoring
sections and two others have named auto editors with no auto
backgrounds – one a former food writer.
Bruce Smith’s new towing book, The Complete Guide
to "Trailering Your Boat" McGraw-Hill 2007, has just hit the
bookstores. It talks a lot about vehicle tow ratings and the
dilemma facing boaters when it comes to what their vehicles
can really tow and the meaning of "properly equipped."
Smith’s "Truck Test Digest”, a pickup/SUV-oriented
radio talk show, is heard weekends on the Radio America
AUTOMOTIVE WHO'S WHO, Inc. is pleased to announce that the
content of its North American automotive original equipment
supplier database now exceeds well over
18,000 automotive industry key employees and their contact
data. . . . The maverick and affordable appeal of Jay Lamm’s
LeMons race series for jalopies is being domesticated by the
insurance industry ‘s insistence on safety clothing,
mandatory main hoop specs and rollcage dimensions. For
complete ’08 rules and series schedule, contact
Jim Travers’ new soft cover car book is part of the
Smithsonian Institution’s “Extreme” series
on various topics and therefore is titled Extreme Cars. But
it is not so much about automobile oddities and rarities as
it is snapshots of a century of car culture with attention
to “the men and women behind the cars – and behind the
wheel.” “Often,” Travis notes, “the characters associated
with these cars are every bit as much of the story as the
vehicles themselves.” Eclectic rather than encyclopedic,
Extreme Cars ranges wide with a good-humored appreciation of autodom’s feats, fables and foibles – and much like the
smile that links Denise McCluggage’s AutoWeek
with one of her
gazing out of a press box years ago, it reminds us of what
fun it has been. Harper/Collins, 222 pages, full color.
is soliciting writers for its all-everything automotive web
site. They write: “Any writers interested in expanding
their reach and having their articles posted online on the
AutoViewPoint site can email their submissions to
firstname.lastname@example.org or go to
and click on the "Submit Article" link located at the
bottom.” No mention of remuneration.
Barbara Powell is no longer on the auto beat for Bloomberg
News. She’s moved from the Detroit Bureau to her home state
of Texas and the energy beat in Dallas . . . It took a little longer than when first
announced but Brock Yates and Car and Driver have parted. In
his first column for The Truth About Cars blog aggregation,
Yates writes he was told the magazine “could no longer
afford my services.” He promises he will continue to be
outspoken on the Internet and invites those who don’t like
his writing to stop reading. For those who don’t and write
him back he promises to respond.
Manny Lopez, who
covered the Auto industry for the Detroit News is now its
auto editor and Jose Valencourt has left to join
The Wall Street Journal there. .
. . Auto writer Todd Seibt has accepted a buyout at
Michigan’s Flint Journal with plans to be announced. His
boss, Carl Stoddard, also accepted a buyout and retired.
Marjory Raymer is the new assistant metro editor and is in
charge of the business, auto and Monday Money pages. She can
be reached at email@example.com,
or at 810.766.6325.
After 16 years as editor of the San Jose Mercury News'
weekly Drive section, Matt Nauman is now covering clean
technology and energy for the paper. As part of cuts that
are ongoing throughout the industry, and with a series of
new owners and new editors at the Mercury News, the
newspaper moved the auto section from the newsroom to the
advertising department. The paper's real estate section will
follow a similar path. Nauman still covers auto topics
related to his new beat -- hybrids, electric cars, biofuels,
California emission stories, etc. He still can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org, and says he's doing a bit of auto
free-lancing. He writes, "I might be the only person
in the world who is sad about not traveling to Detroit in
the middle of winter.”
Lisa Fleming has left Subaru to take
the Product News Manager job in Ford’s New York office.
Michael McHale has assumed Lisa's duties at Subaru. . . .
Dan Engelman has moved to Porsche in Atlanta after a
year on the Toyota account in Houston for Stevens/fkm . . . . .
Rob Mitchell has agreed to stay at
BMW as interim head of PR for several months. Also,
Dave Buchko has acquired new duties in addition to PR for
BMW motorsports. . . . Peter Hubbard, founder and first
president of TAWA would like to return to Texas, the West or
Southwest . He presently is in the frigid Midwest and can be
reached at 779-348-2090 . . . Charles Cyrill previously with
the Greater Cleveland Auto Dealers for eight years, is the
new NADA Director of Public Relations, succeeding
Landspeed Louise Noeth is slated to
move from California to St. Louis, Mo. where her husband has
a new job, but will continue as the chief tub-thumper and
fundraiser for the continuing pursuit of the absolute world
land speed record begun by missing adventurer Steve Fossett.
. . . Bill Garlin will retire as Global Manager,
Communications, at the end of February. Future plans to be
announced. His new email contact is:
. . . RV Trade Digest and Light Truck and SUV will share
Carnahan as publisher and Dana Nelsen as
Andy Schupack challenges the claim in last month’s
newsletter that Lola is, “the world leader in race car
victories and championships.” He says, “they (Lola) have
nowhere near the number of motorsports victories that
Porsche has (and Lola doesn’t even make an engine, so they
cannot call themselves a race car manufacturer). Porsche is
the only car company that manufacturers race cars right on
the product assembly line for general sale to the public. Also, Porsches have won – by our latest calculations –
almost 29,000 races – 23,000 of those by 911-based cars.” (AWCom’s source for the Lola claim did not respond when sent
Greg Rager, editor of Mopar Enthusiast Magazine, takes
exception to a statement by Bernard Simon in The Financial
Times quoted in last month’s newsletter that, "it is
impossible to review a car without driving it.” “Obviously," Rager writes, “Mr. Simon has never heard of the late
Huntington. Roger was one of the premier automotive writers
of the Sixties and Seventies. He was very highly regarded by
all the manufacturers (as well as his peers and his readers)
for his accuracy and unbiased objectivity when it came to
writing road tests of their new product. He was able to
describe the seat-of-the-pants feel of muscle cars of the
era like no other before or after him. But what few people
ever knew then - or know now - is the fact that Roger was
confined to a wheelchair and never drove any of the cars he
so accurately reviewed. It was all done from the passenger
seat - but was as detailed and spot on (often more so) as
any writer who had actually driven the cars. We lost Roger
in 1989, at age 63 - and his absence has left a void.”
CORRECTIONS: From last month’s Newsletter, it is
(with an “a”), Micki (with a “c”)
Maynard and Cary (without
an “e”) for the North Carolina town located between Durham
and Raleigh which Steve Schutz tells us TarHeel
stands for ”Containment Area for Relocated Yankees.” . . .
Jeff Johnston offers this quote regarding AWCom’s sniffing
at unneeded profanity in submissions to the
"Profanity is the result of a weak mind trying to express
across the finish line
Tom Lindamood, who won a legion of friends while
heading A&M’s Los Angeles office, lost his battle with
cancer. His brother Tim is assembling a scrapbook for
Tom’s boys to let them know about their father’s
professional life. He invites anyone with memories or photographs
to contribute to please send them to him at
Glenn F. Campbell
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vehicle awards list
the addition of the Consumer Report Top Picks and the
Collector Car of The Year Award, AWCom has compiled 91
annual vehicle awards to be won.
are not weighted, each being treated as equal in the eventual
summary when all have been announced. Most likely there will be
more when various class, segment or other distinctions are made.
And, by the time all of the 2008 awards are recorded, the 2009s
will be a short breath away.
you know of an award not listed here please let us know. For
those who ask, The Collector Car of The Year is voted on
annually by members of the Friends of the National Automotive
History Collection (NAHC) which supports the world-famous
automotive collection at the Detroit Public Library. They
predict the "Collectible Vehicle of the Future" from the
year's new American-built cars and trucks.
TUNER OF THE YEAR
AUTO A FONDO
TOP TEN SEDANS
AUTOMOBILE OF THE YEAR
*GREEN CAR OF THE YEAR
CAR/TRUCK INDEX TOP
*CARS.COM LIFESTYLE AWARDS
COLLECTOR CAR OF THE YEAR
CONSUMER REPORTS PICKS
CLASSIC CAR AWARD
MUSCLE CAR OF THE YEAR
OF THE YEAR
OF THE YEAR
CAR OF THE YEAR
SUV OF THE YEAR
TRUCK OF THE YEAR
CAR OF THE YEAR
TRUCK OF THE YEAR
NWAPA “MUD FEST"
SUV OF THE YEAR
*READERS CHOICE AWARD
SAMA AWARD WINNERS
TRUCK OF THE YEAR
*TAWA CAR OF THE YEAR
URBAN WHEELS AWARDS
*WEALTH TV AWARDS
WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR
*We need the results when available.
International Wheel Awards hosted by the Detroit Press Club Foundation
is accepting entries until March 15 for this year’s competition in seven categories: Newspaper, Wire/News Service, General Interest Magazine/Special Interest Magazine, Internet, Photojournalism, Television and Radio. It is open to all journalists, editors and producers. For entry forms and further information go to
Individual Communicators Network Web site at
www.icnpr.net or contact Steve Purdy at 517-655-3591, email:
Frank Washington Benefit, 5-7:30 p.m., 400 Renaissance
WAPA, Luncheon, Nat'l Press Club, Consumer Reports
MPG/IAG Research Luncheon, Auto Advertising Awards, Los
NEMPA's Annual Winter Driving Awards Dinner, Boston Globe
APA, Luncheon, SAE Detroit
MAMA Luncheon, Chevrolet
Deadline International Wheel Awards Entries
IMPA New York International Auto Show
Show Kickoff Breakfast, Chrysler
Deadline TAWA Spring Challenge Registration
TAWA Spring Challenge, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth
The 14 regional automotive press associations provide
information and background not easily found elsewhere. If
they are too distant to attend their meetings, belonging usually
gives you access to transcripts or reports of these events and
Automotive Press Association, Detroit - John Lippert,
International Motor Press Association, NYC, Fred Chieco, President -
Midwest Automotive Media Association, Chicago -
Motor Press Guild, Los Angeles -
New England Motor Press Association, Boston -
Automotive Press Association, Port Orchard, WA-
Phoenix Automotive Press Association, Phoenix, Cathy Droz, President-
Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, Denver -
Southern Automotive Media Association, Miami FL, Ron Beasley, President,
Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC
Texas Auto Writers Association
http://www.TexasAutoWriters.org, Harold Gunn,
Writers of North America,
www.twna.org Tom Kelley,
Western Automotive Journalists, San Francisco -
www.waj.org, Ron Harrison
Washington Automotive Press Association, D.C., Kimatni Rawlins,
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