the road ahead
The rift between The Detroit News and its auto
critic, Scott Burgess, (see
Lane Changes) may well
be resolved by the time this newsletter is
distributed but it touches on the tensions in
professional journalism described by NYU Journalism
Professor Jay Rosen in his insightful talk at the
recent South by Southwest Interactive Conference and
Festival in Austin, TX. (http://pressthink.org)
In analyzing the continuing name-calling between
journalists and bloggers although he says the war
between the two camps has long been over, Rosen
reasons, "disruptions caused by the Internet
threaten to expose certain buried conflicts at the
heart of modern journalism and a commercialized
press." One of those conflicts was evidenced when
the online version of a Burgess column was rewritten
after an advertiser complained. With publishers busy
exchanging print and broadcast dollars for digital
dimes (as Rosen describes it) the definition of
professional journalism itself must change.
"Our experiment with a free press is 250 years old.
Whole chapters of it were discarded by American
journalists when they tried to make themselves more
scientific and objective in order to claim elevated
status." Yet, "No one ever says, I went into
journalism because I have a passion for being…
objective.' Or: ‘Detachment, that's my thing. I'm kind of a
detached guy, so I figured this would be a good
field for me."
Rosen says. " . . . the terms of authority (in pro
journalism) have to change. The practice has to
become more interactive. And this is happening under
conditions of enormous stress." The story the
professional press has been telling itself has
broken down. It no longer helps the journalist
navigate the real world conditions under which
journalism is done today. Somehow, journalists have
to start telling themselves a better story about
what they do and why it matters. And we have to help
them. We interactive people."
David Sullivan in his blog says, " We need to stop
thinking that we are competing with everyone in the
world. We are competing with people who do what we
do to gain the readership of people who want to
follow what we do. Those are our customers. Other
customers will go to other types of information.
With every person having a printing press, it has to
be that way. There are too many options to cover
every bet. We have to figure out what customers we
can get and what they want, and not be worried about
the customers we won't get."
That heroic view is contrasted by James Fallows in
The Atlantic Magazine in a piece titled Learning to
Love the (Shallow, Divisive, Unreliable) New Media.
He writes "If we accept that the media will probably become
more and more market-minded, and that an imposed
conscience in the form of legal requirements or
traditional publishing norms will probably have less
and less effect, what are the results we most fear?
I think there are four:
that this will become an age of lies, idiocy, and
a complete Babel of "truthiness," in which no
trusted arbiter can establish reality or facts;
that the media will fail to cover too much of what
really matters, as they are drawn toward the sparkle
of entertainment and away from the depressing
realities of the statehouse, the African capital,
the urban school system, the corporate office when
corners are being cut;
that the forces already pulverizing American
society into component granules will grow all the
stronger, as people withdraw into their own separate
and that our very ability to think, concentrate,
and decide will deteriorate, as a media system
optimized for attracting quick hits turns into a
continual-distraction machine for society as a
whole, making every individual and collective
problem harder to assess and respond to."
Click here to comment online: Road Ahead
"BMW i" is a new global sub-brand that is going to be as much about the German
car maker's mobility solutions efforts as new vehicles, Karl Greenberg reports
in Marketing Daily. He quotes a BMW news release about the new brand's efforts,
"everything from the research on urban mobility and mobile Internet cityscapes
to a venture capital arm based in New York that will fund tech startups whose
products might change the way people move around cities."
shallow, low quality content provided by "content farms" are on Google's
endangered species list. Thereby, AWCom trusts, increasing the demand for
professional writers. A new app for its Chrome browser allows users to block
specific sites. This reduces the number but improves the quality of search
results. In addition to feedback from user-blocked sites, Google is changing its
search algorithmics to reduce the rankings of "low-quality" sites.
Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, and Cadillac are the auto brands among the "2011
Customer Service Champions" in J.D. Power & Associates annual ranking of brands
based on customer feedback. Greenberg says in Marketing Daily, one reason
offered as to why auto brands do well in the survey is that automakers recognize
product quality has gotten a lot better and a lot less varied, so product alone
is not enough to make a difference.
Elliot Forbes Robinson
on CXC Simulator, Riverside Int'l Automotive Museum
Bobby Allison will join Bobby Unser,
Lyn St. James & Hershel McGriff as well as returning Legends honorees Dan Gurney &
Shelby for the Riverside International Automotive Museum's Legends of Riverside
III honoring Parnelli Jones March 25-27. . . . Writing for MIN Online,
Smith, notes blog sites are trending away from chronological scrolling of
postings in favor of a more
"magazine/newspaper single lead story dominating the front page.
blogger Andy Didorsi has opened Paper Street Motors in an abandoned warehouse in
Detroit-adjacent Ferndale. Mich. He rents low-cost space where small businesses
can take an affordable chance to see if their venture can take root and grow. .
. . . For those who think they are painstaking auto restorers, check out the
results in Todd Cooperider's blog about
25 hours he put in on a
never-been-driven black Ferrari 458 Italia that had
been "polished" by the dealer prior to delivery.
Click here to comment online: Passing Scene
The Newspaper Guild is calling on unpaid writers of The Huffington Post to
withhold their work in support of a strike launched by Visual Art Source
response to the company's unfair labor practices. In addition, the Guild is
asking its members and all supporters of fair and equitable compensation for
journalists to join in shining a light on the unprofessional and unethical
practices of this company. Cherie Turner, one of the striking Visual Art Source
writers was quoted: "We feel it is unethical to expect trained and qualified
professionals to contribute quality content for nothing. It is unethical to
cannibalize the investment of other organizations that bear the cost of
compensation and other overhead without payment for the usage of their content.
It is extremely unethical to not merely blur but eradicate the distinction
between the independent and informed voice of news and opinion and the voice of
Gavin O'Malley, writing in Media Online says YouTube's
acquisition of Next New Networks signals Google's move away from premium content
and an attempt to foster more semi-professional content creators. Concurrently,
Google purchased Green Parrot Pictures, a technology that improves the quality
of videos . . .. O'Malley also reported that global smartphones sales topped PC
sales in the first quarter of 2011.
Katie Colbin reported that a speaker at a recent meeting told of Facebook
actually filtering his messages to eliminate those with subject matter he showed
less interest in. She notes personalizing advertising is one thing but asks in
OnlineSpin if this involuntary personalization of content is dangerous? While
The New York Times just getting into an online paywall, Reuter's reports
Wall Street Journal has quadrupled the number of its tablet subscribers in the
past year. . . . More Americans got their daily news in 2010 from online sources
other than print, according to the Biannual News Consumption Survey from the
Research Center for the People & the Press. Also, Pew found that the Internet is
now the No. 1 news source for the 18-29-age cohort, with 65% saying they get
most of their news online, compared to 52% for TV and just 21% for newspapers.
Ironically, the survey revealed that five of the seven top online-only news
operations generate most of their traffic by aggregating traditional media.
Another Pew Survey revealed that only 6 percent of the adult U.S. population
Tweet. That's 8 percent of the online population, excluding teenagers who,
reportedly are not Tweeters. . . . And for astounding numbers about the
Internet, AWCom refers you to Shelley Podolny's op-ed The
Digital Pileup in the
March 12 New York Times. A sample: "The current volume estimate of all
electronic information is roughly 1.2 zettabytes, the amount of data that would
be generated by everyone in the world posting messages on Twitter continuously
for a century. That includes everything from e-mail to YouTube. More stunning:
75 percent of the information is duplicative. By 2020, experts estimate that the
volume will be 44 times greater than it was in 2009. There finally may be, in
For those who ask where we will find the energy to handle this massive overload,
this link may have answer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-hm5gCEUvc
Click here to comment online: Road Signs
Jeff Melnychuk is a partner and driving
force in the eye-catching designs of Wheelbase Media's weekly auto
pages that enliven the auto sections of some 200 daily newspapers in the
U.S. and Canada. A winner of some 14 design awards, he sees tablets as "
a tantalizing new visual platform for print designers caught between the
downsizing of their industry and the relatively creative inflexibility
of Web pages." They are a means to achieve the rosy picture for
communications described in last month's Road Ahead" and to offset the
boring presentations that make it tough, as noted in that same article,
"to curl up with a good web site."
"With fifteen million iPads sold in less than a year plus iPad2
expanding that base and, considering Apple's tiny percentage of the
computer and cell-phone markets," Melnychuk says, "you don't have to be
a genius to see that we're standing at the bomb-bay doors of an all-out
tablet war: everyone and their dogs will come out with an iPad fighter."
That's sufficient impetus for a major shift in Wheelbase Media's initial
business of selling complete articles, including graphics to other
publications as they need them. The company is launching a new
subscription-based weekly consumer magazine, Shift, along with a new
Shift app available for free at the Apple app store. It will enable
readers to see the new pub in all of its graphic glory and enjoy the
work of the Wheelbase stable of professional writers and artists.
Wheelbase will license the app they developed for quickly adapting
content to the iPad.
As Melnychuk sees it, "The Web, as robust an entity as it is, has
obvious limitations to
high-impact page design since it's data driven and not graphically
driven. You can't easily overlay text on a photo -- you can't even
easily put text beside other text -- and the simple fact that browser
preferences are such that users can specify their text size means that
the effect a designer is looking to create might never be fully
realized. With its high resolution display and increasing popularity the iPad platform (and other tablets coming on the market) is a natural for
designers to showcase their graphically rich work. There's an audience
and the pages are seen precisely as the designer intended, only better
than in print since registration and the colors are not mixed from the
usual dull CMYK primary colors. It's a significant advantage over long,
bland columns of text on Web sites or blogs. - as well as an advantage
over print with its faster navigation of pages, portability and the
ability to store many issues or even volumes."
Melnychuk and his partner, Malcolm Gunn, believe people will pay for that
kind of product. "Product is the key word," Melnychuk says, since a Web
site, no matter how good, is not really a product. Getting "something"
for your money is the way that North Americans have been trained to buy.
They don't appear all that interested in paying for "access" to
information, which is proven by Web sites that derive their entire
revenue by being what we flippantly refer to as ‘click mills.' And,
well, people who surf the
Internet think everything should be free. Also, they're tired of
scouring the Web only to find poorly written, unsubstantiated stories
and junky advertising that's more annoying than useful.
"A product, by contrast, is the intentional binding of the content to
present an experience. A regular product -- weekly in the case of
Wheelbase's new magazine -- also creates a sense of timeliness, whereas
on a Web site there's no way to really know what's actually new, which
no doubt keeps some people from ever returning. The cornerstone of the
electronic product is solid design as an extension of the content."
It is not as simple as converting content to PDF, Melnychuk says. "While
magazines and newspapers could make PDF files of their pages to be
viewed on the iPad, they are painfully slow to load and scroll,
Melnychuk says, and, "chances are iPad owners would never know about
them to find them in the first place. It all boils down to marketing."
"Although this still has to be done with an iPad app, a key benefit is
that your product is officially exposed to the 15-million-plus iPad
users via Apple's app store."
"Apple takes 30 percent and the more you sell, the more they make, so
it's in everyone's best interest to be in the store."
"As a business-to-business company, we really set out to provide an app
platform for any publication to build off. Of course, the best way to
validate it was to build our own magazine. Although we offer the
architecture for resale to other publishers to help them cut time and
expense from their own iPad programs, the iPad app was ideally modeled
to get our own graphically rich content beyond print and into a new,
more robust platform."
For more information on the new app go to:
Melnychuk says that as new tablets come on stream, they will be
evaluated to see if Shift is a logical fit. "Of course, the ideal plan
would be to have a completely universal architecture for all tablets,
and if they're smart they'll want to make it easy for publications to
convert and adapt."
Click here to comment online: Autowriters Spotlight
Tom-Tom rants, raves, rambles and ruminations are
volunteered and express the opinions of the writer.
Autowriters.Com invites readers to submit a tom-tom. Your reward: a byline and an audience
of your peers. All submissions are acknowledged,
queued and used at the editor's discretion.
is a classic example of the Internet's unlocking voices that
would not be heard. He claims no experience or education as a writer but his
passion for cars has raised his JustACarGuyBlogspot.com above The New York Times'
blog (14 to 16) in one survey, he proudly reports. Retired from the U.S. Navy,
Bowers has a day job and on occasion drives a cargo truck for extra pay. His
blog brings in no money yet he manages to travel from his San Diego, Calif. base
to 120-150 car and trade shows a year and take an amazing 50,000 to 60,000
photos. All is grist for his blog that is informed by a lifetime of reading
about, tinkering and working on cars, starting at age 6 while growing up in a
particularly remote part of Michigan's already remote Upper Peninsula. For this
month's Tom-Tom he submits his thoughts on
last month's Newsletter.
Post by Post Review
The innovation is the internet that author David Koretz seems
to not like when it comes to Google answering any question we have, but he
forgot so quickly that it has innovated such amazing things like instantly
translating foreign languages online? You can use Google Translate, or instant
translate on Google Chrome Browser, to read from foreign countries. That was
impossible for an ordinary guy like me to do before Google made it possible, I
can't read Russian, Hungarian, Portuguese, and the other languages of websites
and blogs I enjoy thoroughly now. All foreign press was unintelligible, and
mostly inaccessible, before the internet.
What I feel Nina, the COE of magazine media has overlooked,
is that few if any, read magazines online, yet almost all despise advertising
online, and most can find the same information or photos, without paying for a
magazine... you got it, online. I have linked to 4 or 5 online magazines, and
yet never have looked at them since letting my readers know about them. Turning
digital pages is a lousy method of simulating flipping paper pages, and who
needs the simulation? I just want the feature stories, and hate the ads. Same as
They have a free app for blogs, and it's not much use. I'm not sure
it's even working, and its not as good as Blog stats that Blogger recently added
as a built in feature.
I agree with Linda on most everything, but have no first hand
knowledge of any hardcopy press being denied free entry as media to any events I
attend, as SEMA, Grand National Roadster Show, Los Angeles Roadster Show,
Guys Nationals, Coronado Speedfest, the Primer Nats, and the
have given no indication that any media people are turned away. I actually had
to point out to the GNRS people when they denied my media credential that I have
far more going for my blog than most newspapers
and magazines... since I'm growing, popular, awarded by my peers who've reviewed
and enjoyed my blog above others, and that includes the paid pros that make the
New York Times auto section (http://www.ridelust.com/ridelust%e2%80%99s-top-25-car-blog-and-websites/
) just one example. I further argued that as about a hundred newspapers a year
are failing, and have went under and out of print, and many magazines (various
levels of cultural demographics) have went down and are knocked out, the
internet media are thriving. 700 billion text messages were sent last year in
the US was the stat that was just on the local radio news at 100.7 in San Diego.
Not that those are media, but it's digital communication in growth, and the Post
Office is circling the drain.
Hardcopy was put on notice when TV journalism
began, and they didn't adapt, maybe they can't... and internet journalism
doesn't cost a dime. Free news, from nearly anywhere on the planet, as long as
you have internet access, and libraries are converting to desktop and wifi
access points just to keep people coming in the doors. Anyway, the person I was
emailing talked to her boss, and he changed his mind due to my convincing facts
(too numerous to copy and paste here), and from now on Bloggers will get media
passes to the GNRS.
I think Linda should have stated the facts about the case of the hardcopy US
media she claims was denied access to some event, her vagueness doesn't convince
me, I have read far too many hoaxes that you may have guessed, are disproven by
Snopes.com. Skepticism and research are now simple, and asking neighbors about
urban legends was never useful.
If he knows that a hyphen is necessary, due to another guy with the same name,
he's just sending people to the other guy. Not good odds that people will
remember the hyphen, but they would have remembered something well thought out
like, Best Damn Sports Writer Blogspot.
version of Top Gear
It's a flop. It's already dead but hasn't realized it's time to pull the plug.
The BBC original is now about 12 years in, and still attracting a
tremendous audience, the US copy stands about as much chance as the NBC
copy of Coupling. Yeah, you probably never heard of it, but the BBC
original was 3 seasons of brilliant comedy. No idea why they lost Jeff on the
My Compliments to Sue Mead and the Raptor. Respect!
In summation, terrific newsletter! I would add that giving some focus to
individual writers and excerpts would keep my attention glued... Ezra Dyer
(Automobile and Mens Journal), Dan Neil (Wall Street Journal)
(Mopar Action) , Ken Gross writes regularly for Rodd Report,
Road and Track, Automotive Magazine, the Mechanic at Edmunds,
Thanks for your time and patience, great newsletter, I'm looking forward to
reading more of them if you'll send them but I probably won't respond again like
this... takes too long and I have stuff backed up to get posted.
Click here to comment online: Tom-Tom
The new collaboration between the Automotive Journalists of Canada and
the Canadian Automobile Association includes launching an online
publication to "inform consumers about new engine technologies." . . . A
similarly purposed quarterly magazine titled iCar will be launched in
England in May. Specialty magazine publisher Future's announcement said iCar
will cater to "growing consumer interest in more efficient, intelligent
and technologically advanced cars. With three revolutions in engine
development predicted within the next 30-years, accompanied by a myriad
of innovative driver aids and in-car tech systems, iCar has an
exciting future ahead building consumer awareness and driving desire."
TheOldMotor.com, developed to become the "Life Magazine of Vintage
Automotive Photography" was launched February 10th by vintage automotive
restorer, collector, and expert, David Greenlees. Rare, interesting,
entertaining, mysterious, awe inspiring photographs are submitted by
knowledgeable car enthusiasts, collected and categorized by
TheOldMotor.com expert editorial panel, and displayed on the site. For
more information: firstname.lastname@example.org . . .
One Minute News, as its
name implies, is a new the online- and mobile-based news service
specializing in "bite-sized" content, which it is both producing and
aggregating, according to Gavin O'Malley in Online Media Daily.
Click here to comment online: New Roads
The Automobile Journalist Association of Canada and the
Canadian Automobile Association have partnered to "provide Canadian
consumers with better access to factual, ethical and honest
information on automotive topics that matter to them." The two
organizations will collaborate on conferences and awareness
campaigns about driver distractions and co-existing with cyclists on
TFLcar.com Managing Editor Roman Mica has been elected
President of RMAP replacing outgoing President Michael Cotsworth.
TFLcar.com Senior Writer and freelance automotive journalist Nathan Adlen has been elected Vice President while
Sara Lacey remains RMAP
Mica announced that RMAP's 2011 Rocky Mountain Driving Experience (RMDE)
will be to a two-day event that will conclude with a stunning drive
up a 14,000 foot mountain. Lacey added: "We will still be at
Plains Raceway and Colorado Off-Road Extreme for the first day of
the event. On the second day, we will be providing drive routes that
will include scenic mountain drives and some twists and turns."
RMAP will host a new series of monthly membership meetings in 2011
built around newsworthy automotive themes. Sponsorship of these
meetings is open to any car manufacturer interested in presenting to
the general press membership of RMAP. For more information on the monthly meeting, RMAP, or on the 2011
RMDE please visit: www.RMAPmedia.com or contact Roman Mica at
Tom Appel writes: People have been asking about Spring
Rally dates. Write this down: May 25 and 26. Be there. While
we're at it, the Fall Rally is October 5. Our good friend Patrick Hespen is no longer with
Ford. He has asked that I pass along his personal email:
The 2011 Hyundai Sonata has been named the inaugural winner of
MAMA's Family Vehicle of the Year award. To qualify for the award,
vehicles had to have four doors, start at less than $50,000, appear
at one of MAMA's two annual rallies, and be new or significantly
updated within a year of the Spring Rally, which took place in May,
New England Winter Car of 2011 is the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Winter Car class awards went to:
Pickup Truck: GMC Sierra 2500
Compact SUV: Hyundai Tucson
SUV ($25,000-$35,000): Ford Explorer
Premium SUV ($35,000-$50,000): Volvo XC60
Luxury SUV ($50,000+): tie: Range Rover HSE/ Infiniti QX56
AWD Sedan/Wagon: Subaru Forester
AWD Sedan/Wagon $25,000-$35,000 : Dodge Charger
AWD Sedan/Wagon $35,000-$60,000: Mercedes-Benz E350 wagon
AWD Sedan/Wagon $60,000+:BMW 7-Series
The Yankee Value Award went to the Suzuki SX4
The Best People Mover is Toyota's Sienna AWD
The Best All-Weather Sports Car is the Porsche 911 Turbo
While not yet graced with its own auto press association, the
island state has two regular Newsletter correspondents both veterans
of the stateside auto scene; the "never say die" Bill Maloney and "I'm not dead, just relocated,"
Maloney writes: Since I lost the sight in my right eye due to a
faulty contact lens several months ago my popular long running (312
weeks KITV) Ohana Road automotive infotainment TV show has been off
Now I'm back in action with a fake eye and will reprise Ohana Road
to air on KHON 2 Fox 5:30 PM Saturday's as the lead-in to the
stations number one news show at 6. Huge audience. Ohana Road will
also rerun weekly at 3 PM Saturday on KHON . First show is Sunday,
April 3, 2011 Joining the "younger look" movement as new program
hosts are American Idol's Jordan Segundo and actress-model Rachel Pacarro.
Guesting on our kickoff program will be Jim Nabors who's singing of
"Back Home Again In Indiana" at the Indianapolis 500 each year is a
high point of the events opening ceremonies Ohana Road will retain it's magazine format showcasing
New On The
Road, Car Personalities, Concepts and Classics, great automotive
events and A Bunch Of Maloney, automotive whimsy.
Plans for national syndication are brewing."
McClurg pens: "Just a quick attachment to let you know that I
haven't fallen off the end of the earth. I'm just out here on a big
rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean." From the
LEGENDARY DRAG RACING LENSMAN HONORED: Veteran photojournalist Bob McClurg was recently honored by the
Hawaii Classic Cruisers Car Club when he was invited to display
examples of his award-winning quarter mile photography at the Big
Island's Queen's Market Place/Waikoloa Classic Car Museum in
Waikoloa, Hawaii. The three-month long exhibit features numerous 1st
through 3rd Place awards won from 1999 to 2011 competing in the
Southern California Automobile Club-sponsored California Hot Rod
Reunion's prestigious Leslie Lovett Memorial Photo Contest. Photo by
Willy T. Ribbs is back on the motorports scene after a 10-year break.
The colorful and sometimes combative Ribbs, will join Barbara Terry
Racing for the remainder of her 2011 off-road racing "Best In The Desert
Series" schedule. He is the first African American to qualify for and
compete in the Indianapolis 500 and has competed in NASCAR,
Ford, Cart/Indy Car and other venues to claim the title of "winningest
African American driver in history." Terry is competing in Class 9 which
she leads after one race in her Volkswagen-powered buggy sponsored by
Deltran Battery Tender and Muc-Off USA. Ribbs will join her for the
Silver State 300 in April, Vegas to Reno in August, the Bluewater
Desert Challenge in October, and Henderson 250 in December.
Americans are still befuddled by hybrids, according to a recent study
reported by Karl Greenberg in Marketing Daily. He writes, "New research
from marketing firm Synovate, based on a survey last fall of 1,898 new
vehicle buyers and intenders, actually suggests that even though modern
hybrids have been around since Toyota launched the first-generation
Prius in the late 1990's...consumer knowledge about hybrid power trains
is so low that it could prove a significant barrier to sales." For more
information check: http://www.synovate.com/motoresearch/.
The 17th Annual Kyle Petty Charity Motorcycle Ride will stick to the East
Coast this year. Most of the previous events have been west-to-east.
This one starts May 7 in Lake Placid, NY and ends May 14 at Amelia
Island, Fla. AutoWeek has invited four riders to join its
Team entry in the event that has raised more than $15 million in the
last 10 years. For more information
contact AutoWeek.com. . . . The
makers of Solowheel say it is "the smallest, greenest, most convenient
people mover ever invented." A self-balancing electric unicycle, it
weighs 20 pounds and has two folding foot platforms on the outside.
Inside it has two gyro sensors, a 1000 Watt motor and a rechargeable
Lithium-ion battery. Once aboard, lean forward to go faster, backward to
Click here to see the SoloWheel in action.
SEMA has announced July 8, 2011 as the second "Collector
Car Appreciation Day," which it plans to build to an annual national
event to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and
collection plays in American society. SEMA expects collectors and
enthusiasts will host hundreds of events across the country on July 8
and will proudly partner with individuals, car clubs and businesses as
they organize car cruises, club gatherings and other educational events
to celebrate the day. SEMA will maintain a list of events scheduled to
commemorate America's time-tested love affair with the automobile.
Individuals, car clubs and business owners interested in publicizing
events should contact Mike Dingell, director, SEMA Action Network (SAN)
at 202/7-6007 ext. 38 or email@example.com.
. . .The Three World Car of
The Year Finalists are: Nissan Leaf, Audi A8 and BMW 5 Series.
Click here to comment online: Pit Notes
Jalopnik editor Ray Wert reported in an exclusive story, titled
"Sellout" that The Detroit News may have sold its soul but
did not by
abruptly resigning when the paper altered his review of the
Chrysler 200 after a complaint by an advertiser. Burgess, the paper's
auto critic, was quoted by Wert, "Yes, I resigned from The Detroit News
as of today and I have been sending notes to carmakers announcing such.
It's the best job I ever held. The resignation was not planned. I choose
not to answer the reasons for the resignation." Burgess has since
said it was the motivation behind the re-write that prompted his
resignation. Sue Carney, the paper's
business editor was quoted, "A car dealer raised a complaint and we took
a look at the review, as we would do whenever a reader raises a flag.
The changes were made to address the journalism of the piece, not the
angst of a car dealer. We left the print version alone, but the the
online environment offered the flexibility to rework language that
should have been caught in the editing process." But the most telling
quote in the Jalopnik story and perhaps an indication of where all this
may be going, was from the News publisher Jonathan Wolman," Our intent
was to make an editing improvement and we obviously handled it poorly.
We should have let the online version of his review stand as written, as
we did the print version."
MPG president James Bell advises that
he moved on from Kelley Blue Book as of Feb. 28 and his new destination
will be announced. In the meantime, he can be reached at:
or 562.225.7400. . . . Wooden Horse News reported that Andrew Moseman is
the new web editor at Popular Mechanics. Reach him at
. . . . Dave Pankew has been named editor-in-chief of Performance Auto
and Sound Magazine, a monthly Canadian print publication that Pankews
says is "number 1 in paid circulation in the Sports Compact genre." He can
be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 426-992-75626 x 3016.
Bentley Motors, Inc. has named Graeme Russell head of Public Relations
and Communications in the United States, Canada, Central and South
America. Previously, he was USA Brand Ambassador for Macallan Highland
Single Malt Whisky. . . .Tony Cervone has returned to the
Auto Industry as Executive Vice President, Communications for
Volkswagen Group of America. He spent 24 years in automotive public
relations with Chrysler and General Motors before moving
to United Airlines as Sr. V.P and chief communications officer in
Click here to comment online: Lane Changes
Glenn F. Campbell
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GAAMA, Atlanta Int'l Auto Show Press Day, GM Breakfast,
IMPA, Luncheon, 3 West Club, NYC, Auto Journalism &
CARS Conference, "Road to Renewal", Dearborn, MI (Hyatt)
Deadline for TAWA members to register for Texas Auto
Media days, Dallas Auto Show
WAPA, Luncheon, Alexandria, VA, Chrysler Ride 'n Drive,
10:30 a.m. on
2011 PACE Awards Presentation, Detroit, MI
NEMPA, Dinner, Boston Globe, HAARTZ, Boston, MA
MPG, Luncheon, Proud Bird, Los Angeles, CA, Ford
2011 SAE World Congress, Detroit, MI
NADA/IHS Automotive Forum "The Road Ahead", New York
City, NY, Hilton
New York International Auto Show Press Days, New York, NY
22- May 1
New York International Auto Show Public Days, New York,
TAWA Texas Auto Roundup, Texas Motor Speedway
CARS Conference, Dearborn, MI, Auto Workforce
APA/Robert Bosch Luncheon, Detroit, MI
APA/Design Panel Luncheon, Detroit, MI
MAMA Spring Rally Manufacturer's Dinner, Elkhart Lake, WI
MAMA Spring Rally, Elkhart Lake, WI
SAMA Luncheon, GM, site and date to be determined
Mothers® Gets Tires Back-to-Black® with a
Long Lasting, High Gloss Finish
motoring press organizations
The 16 regional automotive press associations provide
information and background not easily found elsewhere. If they are too distant for you to attend their meetings,
belonging usually gives you access to transcripts or reports of
these events and other benefits.
Automotive Press Association, Detroit -
Joann Muller, President,
American Racing Press Association- Stan Clinton, President,
International Motor Press
Association, NYC, Fred Chieco, President -
Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Midwest Automotive Media
Association, Chicago , IL-
Motor Press Guild, Los Angeles -
New England Motor
Press Association, Boston, MA -
Automotive Press Association, Portland, OR, Jeff Zurschmeide,
Phoenix Automotive Press
Association, Phoenix, Cathy Droz, President-
Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, Denver -
Southern Automotive Media
Association, Miami FL, Paul Borden, President,
Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC
Texas Auto Writers Association
www.TexasAutoWriters.org, Mike Herzing,
of North America, www.twna.org Tom Kelley, Executive Director,
Western Automotive Journalists,
San Francisco - www.waj.org, Ron Harrison
Automotive Press Association, D.C., Rick Trawick, President www.washautopress.org
RE: Jim Kenzie's speculation that his may have been "the first
newspaper auto column."
Hi Glenn - Much as I love Kenzie and much as I hate to admit harking
back to the dark ages, I wrote a dedicated weekly Wheels column,
their first, for Gannett Newspapers as a reporter for the White
Plains Dispatch, NY, back in 1975. Sorry, Jim!! The column was
initially dubbed Hubcapsules, AND it was syndicated. At least Jim's
is still going strong, while mine is not.
Re: Cathy Droz
Cathy Droz is the hardest working, loyal and honest business woman I
know. She follows through with everything she takes on and does it
with style and flare. She is my role model and also the best mom a
son could ever ask for. Thanks, mom. I love you!
Re: Changing Lanes
fer gosh sakes, get Carano's name right!
Re: Management Guff
Some more Management Guff, as sent to me by a friend in England.
He noted that he was recently promoted into more responsibility when
another position in his company was "disestablished."
Re: Road Ahead
The key phrase in this offering is "curling up." We (or at least the
older members of the press) have often "curled up" to a good book,
or even a great magazine. (sometimes even a thick newspaper)
While on-line "journalism" offers a lot of convenience, there is
nothing to sit, savor and reflect involved in it. To borrow from a
more crude reference, it's more like "slam, bam, Thank you ma'am."
I fear the younger generation which only knows the Internet, will
avoid books and magazines as being "too slow" in their quest for
I hope that books and magazines don't go the way of the typewriter.
Re: Pit Notes
Congratulations to Sue Mead and Darren Skilton! It was a harrowing
rally. Years ago, when Sue first decided to segue into being an
automotive journalist, she freelanced for me at 4 Wheel Drive &
Sport Utility Magazine. I always enjoyed/enjoy her work.
Re: February Newsletter
Glenn -- I have been reading your monthly AutoWriters Newsletter for
many years. This past February 2011 was one of the best yet. I
especially liked seeing the news about Sue Meade and Linda Water
Nelson's comments on credentialing. I agree with her analysis that
long-time, proven, active auto journalists should not be shoved to
the back of the line.
Keep up the good work.
As a veteran auto journalist of 28 years, I have never had problems
getting credentials for the three auto shows that I cover,
Philadelphia, New York, and sometimes DC. What I have noticed that
is quite different than it was 28 years ago, is that the automotive
press is far outnumbered by the general media, especially TV
There was a time when reporters attending a show press conference
could ask questions of the manufacturer's official making the
presentation. There was always a back and forth dialogue. Today, the
mobs that attend each press conference make it impossible to have
question and answer sessions (not to mention finding a seat), and I
am not so sure that members of the general media would know what
relevant question to ask if they could.
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