if you're reading this then you not seeing a lot of great images!
april 2011

the road ahead

The market forces re-shaping our media need not result in the fears James Fallows described in The Atlantic Monthly and quoted in last month's Autowriters Newsletter. Paraphrased they are:

  1. An age of lies, idiocy and a complete Babel of "truthiness."
  2. Failure to adequately cover much of what really matters.
  3. A society pulverized into granules and separate information spheres.
  4. A continual-distraction machine weakening our ability to think, concentrate and decide.

Joan Stiles UCSD Cognitive Scientist Lecture on Brain Development

A Wikipedia type rationale for hope is offered by Mashable's Vadim Larusik who believes "Social media has created a human filter for quality media. It affirms that there's still a big need for in-depth journalism and news stories. In fact, news stories were tweeted more often than gossip or opinion pieces," according to data from The Daily.

Reader Jesse Bowers offers a half-time speech rebuttal to lead off our sidebar Talk Back section in this Newsletter. Sort of a "nothing to fear " or "and we can do it again" rejoinder that, itself, evokes the stock prospectus caution: "past performance is no guarantee of future results."

A more scientific reason for optimism is found on YouTube in a lecture on the brain's development by Dr. Joan Stiles, a professor in the cognitive research department on the San Diego campus of the University of California. Titled "Grey Matters, From Molecules to Mind" it is mostly about the physical growth and organization of the emergent brain. However, she offers evidence that the environment interacts with and stimulates the growth and functioning of the brain and, arguably, continues to do so throughout our adult life. Increasing interaction with an unceasing and invasive data flow could expand the brain's capacity and ability to absorb, retain, access, prioritize and organize data.

For those who can't wait for evolution, Kathy Colbin's column in Mediapost offers a rhapsodic view of the near future and media. She writes: "We are rapidly reaching the point where our world is continuously created anew, as we want it, as we imagine it, with few if any cost or complexity barriers. It is arising dynamically, in response to who we are, what we seek, and our changing circumstances. The past moment has faded away, the future moment has not yet arisen, and all we have left is the present, eternally manifesting itself." She reached that point by contemplating implications in being able to populate one location on the cloud with all of our online identity and making our online experience device independent. "Who cares if it's iPhone or Android, if all we're doing is connecting to our universal, disembodied identity in the cloud? Grab a phone, any phone, and you've got your personal setup, instantly generated on an as-needed basis." From there, she goes to the convergence of media on the web, the increased ability to provide users with "what I want: when and how I want it." An on demand world where not just products but even human organs (recently a kidney) are printed on demand.

More immediately, "At some point nearly all magazines will be printed on demand," Andrew Bolwell of Hewlett-Packard's MagCloud service, which prints, distributes and takes orders for magazines, is quoted by Wooden Horse News.


passing scene

Wooden Horse News quotes a Conde Nast executive as saying all 20 of its publications will have a digital edition by the year end. . . . Automobile Magazine added a $4 Ipad edition shortly before completing its 25th year of publication this month. Deputy editor Joe DeMatio told Detroit News interviewer Melissa Preddy that the magazine will continue to rely on its historic strengths: "travel and adventure and story telling that is car-related" (and columnists with attitude) entering its second quarter century. . . . Bob Garfield 's Advertising Age column referenced elsewhere in this issue makes the very real point that "Brand Journalism," a phrase brought to the fore by marketers employing social media, is an oxymoron. "Journalism is conducted at arm's length, and brands have grasping hands."

Sometimes it is good to be a PR man. From England's Media Digest: "It has long been a habit of writers on the Daily Mail to behave occasionally as caricatures of a Victorian maiden aunt who has suddenly come upon an uncovered male member. And so it was this week, when they set about the PR Director of Audi who has been invited to Prince William’s wedding. It appears that the behaviour which so shocked Associated’s guardians of public morals was his gambit to lease cars at favourable rates to various members of the Royal Family and, as a consequence, gain one of the coveted tickets. Many PR folk, of course, view Audi’s PR budget with deep-seated envy and wish that they too could supply cars to the rich and famous and enjoy the consequent publicity. Just how cynical is it to suggest that this latter view in some way spawned the story? The fact is, of course, that Audi PR has long been a major supporter of many of the Royal Family’s pet charities, as well as a supplier of leased cars. But perhaps the Mail’s shocked scribes have forgotten that it is not that long ago that as well as writing the occasional news story, the prime task of their own motoring correspondent was to arrange cars for proprietor, editor and other executives. And it wasn’t just the Mail’s motoring man who was charged with this vital task. It used to be a Fleet Street fact that unless the motoring man got his boss a decent motor, he didn’t stay the paper’s motoring man for long. The Siberia of the industrial desk loomed large in the mind when a note came down from on high saying: ‘I need a decent motor for the weekend’. I wonder if anyone from the Mail has been invited to the wedding?

Maureen McDonald sent along this Dodge TV spot discovered possibly while doing research for The Sirens of Chrome book a year or so back. It features perky models and was banned from the air she says, back in the quaint '69 - '70 season. Click on the image to play the commercial.

David Koretz, writing for Online Publishing Insider, offers these thought-provoking statistics:

  • This year, publishers worldwide will serve more than seven trillion display ads. Those ads will be sold by hundreds of thousands of publishers, more than 400 ad networks, and a growing number of DSPs.  To make matters worse, the amount of online advertising inventory is growing at rates of more than 50% year over year as mobile devices and 4G help skyrocket the number of Web-connected devices.

  • 2012 alone could add three trillion impressions to the pile of inventory that has to be sold.

  • Fortunately, not all of this inventory is car-related but enough to create a huge demand for auto-related content – thereby placing quantity ahead of quality and diluting the rewards for providers.

General Motors Chairman Dan Akerson may call them 1 million "Nerds" but Toyota happily calls them U.S. Prius owners. . . . Jim Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics at a recent E-Reading Digital Conference, sponsored by the Association of Magazine Media: "Magazines have been liberated from the limitations of paper." -Wooden Horse News 03/27/11.


road signs

Behind The Numbers points to the past decade's uptick in traffic deaths involving older drivers as a concern to be addressed at its national safety conference in Washington DC. May 24. Sean Kane disagrees and defends his "auto safety" territory in The Safety Report Blog. It may also keep senior drivers free of unwarranted new regulations. He quotes statistician Randy Whitfield: "Edmunds asked why there are more traffic deaths in 2009 compared to 2000 within the 51-65 age group, while all other age groups have fewer deaths. An answer that does not involve recourse to unmeasured, hypothetical driver attitudes toward safety is that there are so many more drivers in this age group in 2009 than there were in 2000. Conversely, part of the explanation for the reduction in male driver deaths in other age groups is simply that the size of that subpopulation has remained relatively stable."

248 Miles Per Gallon

Ron Beasley sent along photos and information on this $699 car that allegedly gets 248 miles per gallon.

The car was introduced at a Volkswagen stockholders meeting as the most economical car in the world. It is slated to be released in China next year.

Only a one seater however (a two seater rumored to be not far behind). The body is 3.47 meters long and  just 1.25 meters wide, and a little over a meter high. The prototype was made completely of carbon fiber and is not painted to save weight. The power plant is a one cylinder diesel positioned ahead of the rear axle and combined with an automatic shift controlled by a knob in the interior. Safety was not compromised as the impact and roll-over protection is comparable to the GT racing cars.

No Miles Per Gallon

The Detroit Bureau reports, "If European regulators follow through on a proposal now getting serious consideration all fossil fuel-powered vehicles could be banned from the Continent’s roadways by 2050." The auto-centric news service says the plan would be phased in over the next four decades, with the number of gas and diesel-powered automobiles being cut in half by 2030.

No Surprise

A study from, based on over eight million retail purchases last year "shows that women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased fuel-efficient vehicles while male buyers were completely the opposite, purchasing vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or chose a high-priced, high-performance vehicle," according to Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insights at the consumer auto-shopping site. Brands with nearly 50% women buyers were, in order: Mini, Kia and Honda. Brands with the highest percentage of male buyers (less than 10% female buyers) were; Ferrari, Lotus, Lamborghini, Maybach and Rolls Royce.

Zip Zooms

Bloomberg News says Zipcar vastly exceeded expectation for its IPO. Raising some $175 million. The company offers its members car sharing by the hour in 50 cities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and on 150 college campuses. It owns and operates an 8,000-vehicle fleet representing 30 makes and models, including hybrids and pickups.

Zip Up or Out

Tom Forbes, writing for Marketing Daily's The Top of The News, quotes Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield about a Chrysler ad agency employee being fired for a personal twitter he authored that offended the client: He was "fired for being funny... fired for being spontaneous... fired for being relevant. Fired for alighting ever so gently, like a canary taking its perch, on a dowel of human truth. You know -- the way social media is supposed to be, because the whole point of it is to discard archaic and abrasive concepts of messaging in favor of actual conversations."  . . . Aflac fired the voice of its duck, comedian Gilbert Gottfried, over insensitive remarks he tweeted about the tsunami in Japan, Mathew Ingram points out that engaging in actual conversations is even more difficult for newspaper journalists." A case in point, he writes in a GIGAOM posting, a new social-media policy introduced at a major newspaper in Canada, which tells its staff not to express personal opinions — even on their personal accounts or pages — and not to engage with readers in the comments. It is hardly alone among newspapers, large and small, he notes. Ingram says it is too late. As journalism professor Jay Rosen has argued, the "view from nowhere" that mainstream media continues to defend is not only dying, but arguably does readers a disservice — since it often distorts the news in order to maintain a perfectly balanced view of events. Although some journalists have started to admit they have personal interests and causes, that remains rare.

"But the main point being missed," Ingram writes, "is that social media is powerful precisely because it is personal. If you remove the personal aspect, all you have is a glorified news release wire or RSS feed. The best way to make social media work is to allow reporters and editors to be themselves, to be human, and to engage with readers through Twitter and Facebook and comments and blogs. Is there a risk that someone might say something wrong? Of course there is. But without that human touch, there is no point in doing it at all."

A Competitor For Arianna

Tech Crunch reports: The Washington Post Company has launched its free, personalized, social news site and aggregator Trove in public beta. Trove aggregates news across subjects of interest and important headlines of the day, from more than 10,000 sources. The news site factors in a reader’s likes and dislikes, combining algorithms with ‘expertise from the newsroom’ (news of the day selected by an editorial team).

Trove takes advantage of Facebook Connect to pull in a user’s interests as outlined by his or her Facebook profile to help jump start the personalization part of the equation. More social media features and site capabilities are slated to be added in the coming months.

Arianna recently said competitors using pay walls are good for The Huffington Post. Trove, as noted, is free. She also has said a quality product can't be produced by hundreds of freelancers. Perhaps a defense against the many unpaid contributors suing her for a share of the proceeds from her sale of the online news (and bloviating) source to AOL. That suit is so without merit, she says, that she devoted the lead article of one issue to it, citing all the reasons it was baseless and could never win, without once describing what the suit was about.


Mothers PowerBall - The versatile metal polishing tool.
autowriters spotlight

Gary Grant is in this month's spotlight because some of you may want to know more about him when considering his win-win-win offer. And, if it helps you decide to accept, it's good for :-)

Gary Grant literally climbed his way out of an auto industry pit to create his Gary Grantown business in the auto media world. No doubt he was fated to be a "car guy" from the time he was just a few months old and his Dad, an auto racer, took him to Mosport. In his teen years he wrenched for a friend who raced Karts and made after-school money changing oil in a fast lube pit. From there it was new car dealerships for 20 years, moving to service writer and then service manager for domestic, European and Asian outlets.

A guest gig on a Toronto radio station's call-in auto show lasted 18 months and fueled Grant's interest in the the auto world's media niche. He became an auto blogger in 2004 and began to learn Word Press. In 2005 he launched with fresh content provided by a rotating cast of writers from the U.S. and Canada. Based on that success he began creating web sites for others. Samples of the work he has done can be found at In addition to he operates

By 2009 Grant was sufficiently confident in his web media skills to leave the dealership world and rely on his web-know how, writing ability, and his photography talents. In 2010 he began snapping for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and Castrol Canadian Touring Car teams. He is a member of IMPA and ARPA. He can be reached at or 905-706-1257.


new roads

The Media Digest reports that two major dailies doing battle for readers in England are going to take their fight to America as well. Both The Daily Mail and the Guardian have revealed plans to open editorial offices here with intent to boost their online presence among the "Yanks." MailOnline is also in the process of developing news operations on the West Coast, hiring staff from Los Angeles. The Digest writes: "Although both papers have vastly opposing target demographics, both believe they can increase readership across the pond." Brand Republic media analyst Arif Durrani is quoted, "it’s clear enough: both media groups have forsaken any kind of online paywall in favour of open mass reach, so expanding in the world’s largest and most affluent English-speaking market appears something of a no-brainer."

A "robot "was deemed as writing the better story when given the facts of a recent baseball game. Will Roberts pitchedWill Roberts pitched perfect game. a perfect game for the University of Virginia team. It was compared to a human authored account printed by his school's paper. The live story waited until the second-to-last paragraph to mention the perfect game although it was the first in NCAA play since 2002. The facts were fed to a Narrative Science software program and the story produced led with the perfect game. Writers for sports website Deadspin, vocal skeptics of machine-written stories, compared the two and acknowledged the automated account was the better version.

Mark Walsh, writing for Online Media Daily, reports that Newsy has raised an additional $1.5 million of funding in order to expand its editorial, sales and marketing activities. He writes, "The Newsy app, available via the iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices, has gained attention for its 2-minute videos that highlight the differences in coverage of a given story by media outlets worldwide. The idea is to provide context around major news events in a format tailored to an on-the-go audience.


regional news

May 2 is the deadline for MAMA members to register for its Spring Rally at Road America. Performance Driving, Off-Roading, Autocross and Scenic Drives are offered along with an opportunity to drive the candidates for MAMA's Family Car of The Year. Contact:

WheelsTV is taking its in-house Previously Owned Vehicle (POV) of the Year award to NEMPA members. They are being asked to nominate 2 to 3 year-old vehicles in seven classes. The three top nominees in each class will be discussed at an event hosted by WheelsTV and winners determined. They will be announced at NEMPA's awards dinner May 20. Criteria for POV cars include: repair history, recall data, IIHS and NSTA safety rating and consumer feedback.

Tom and Ray Magliozzi of Car TalkNEMPA's awards dinner May 20 will be held at MIT following an afternoon industry round table there on Connectivity and The Car: "the integrated use of telecommunications and informatics in vehicles and in conjunction with controlling vehicles on the move." It will be moderated by MIT Grad Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk with panelists from Hyundai, Hughes Telematics, BMW, Ford, GM and MIT.

Car enthusiasts in the San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose Bay areas can gather for a free monthly Saturday morning "shoe and shine" outing at Club Auto Sport in San Jose. The idea is that car lovers cruise in or may trailer a collectible in and enjoy the people and the variety of vehicles on hand. is sponsoring the series, and free coffee, as part of a new marketing partnership with Club Auto Sport.

The Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA) named the Nissan Murano Cabriollet "Best In The Show" at the Atlanta international Auto Show March 25. GAAMA also presented Peach Awards to the Hyundai Equs as Best New Vehicle; Nissan Leaf, Best Green Vehicle; Ford Explorer, Best Truck/SUV and Land Rover Evoque, Best Crossover.

GAAMA officers elected March 23 are: Ryan Rees, president; Kym Backer of Upscale Magazine, senior vice president; Linda Sharp of Distaff Publications, vice president; Priscila Rivere of Engines & Heels, secretary. Bob Jackson of CBS Radio, an at-large representative. Greg Morrison of Griot TV remains treasurer along with at-large members Araba Dowell of General Motors and Rene Serrato of Prestige Autos USA. Rees, who writes a weekly auto review column, The Car Couple, with his wife, Marilyn, takes over for Jim Tucker, publisher of Southern Automotive Journal, who remains on the board as president emeritus.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC will help TAWA kick off the 2011 Texas Auto Roundup (formerly Spring Challenge) for the third consecutive year by hosting lunch, a vehicle display, a tour of Texas art in its building and (hopefully) helicopter tours on Sunday, May 1, from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at its Fort Worth Business Operations Center.

The Riverside International Automotive Museum will allow two of its historic race cars to perform on the Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif. The weekend of April 29-May 1 Tony Adamowicz will drive his 1969 F5000 championship Gurney Eagle on the road course. The very first Gurney Eagle, the 1966 4 cam Ford V8 Eagle which Dan drove at the 1966 Indy 500 will be on track as well, driven by RIAM president Doug Magnon.

There will be two guest cars from RIAM on the track. The Sunoco Indy Lola, driven to a second place finish by Mark Donohue at the 1970 Indy 500, and the Indy Lola driven by Roger Ward at the 1966 Indy 500 will be making one last run before heading back to Indianapolis.

pit notes

Doug Evans, Source Interlink Media, V.P., has been named chairman of the "Save The Salt Coalition" formed to replenish the depleted salt at the storied Bonneville Salt Flats. Among the coalition members seeking ways to avoid and repair the deterioration caused by potasch mining next to the site are: SEMA, Southern California Timing Association, local racing associations and Source Interlink.

Donald Trump, scheduled to drive the pace car. Shades of Eldon Palmer. And shades of Evil Knievel, a masked daredevil attempting a world-record four wheel vehicle jump the morning of the race. What race? Oh yes, what used to be all on its own the most famous and most watched single auto race in the world, The Indianapolis 500. In the past, sports writers spent what one of them, Deke Houlgate, called it the "year of May" in the Hoosier capital pumping out stories from every angle: driver's diets, wardrobes, hobbies, and more, feeding the national interest in the race. ...Maybe that is why National Speed Sport News shut down its press and today is online only (, catering to today's audience that can't wait. Instant results and on to the next diversion.

Media registration is now open for the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nov. 4,2011. Check . . . The Austin Texas Grand Prix race track, site for a Formula One race in the U.S in 2012, has been named "Circuit of America," Steven Cole Smith reports in AutoWeek. Also, that the 20-turn, 3.4 mile track will host motorcycle races starting in 2013. . . . Auto Pacific's periodic survey of its Vehicle Voce internet panel confirmed what has always been the case: American car buyers want better fuel efficiency but don't want to drive smaller cars, SUVs or pickups. The research and consulting firm says the government will have a tough time artificially stimulating demand for smaller vehicles if car companies are going to meet looming fuel economy regulations. Gas prices, however, may do it.

James Saulsbury with the National Transportation Research Lab ( advises that the government is now offering a fuel economy sticker used car sellers can download and paste on the windshield of their car. He says that the fuel economy of a properly maintained car changes very little over a typical 15 years of use and therefore the original EPA estimates can be a reliable indicator. The stickers can be downloaded at:  . . . The 24-Hours of LeMons believes it can help save the U.S. Economy and offers a twisted road course of reasoning to support that contention, ending with this quote allegedly from the mouth of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: "Each LeMons race converts the irrational exuberance of the market into the irrational expectation that a Peugeot can win an endurance race, and simultaneously drives thousands of talentless, zero-experience chuckalucks into the market for domestically manufactured items such as Bondo, malt liquor, and divorce counseling."  An animated illustration of this process is offered at: Or, check for "Crapcan Race Will Restore US. Economy."

A Morgan Motor Car

Hand crafted car by the Morgan Motor Company.

Retro Formula 1 may not do the same for Great Britain's economy but they are trying with a new, licensed, Cosworth DFV T-Shirt featuring the original blueprint of the DFV on the front with the back dedicated to the Formula constructors and drivers who won world championships with the iconic engine. For more information contact Andrew Smith at: Email:, website: . . . The best and the worst of the 2011 cars as designated by the Center for Auto Safety are in the 31st edition of The Car Book. Journalists who would like a review copy can email Julia Redmon at or telephone her at 202-737-0766. . . . And, for those who would like to see how a handcrafted car is built, click here for a series of photos with brief text, that shows how the Morgan Motor Company has been doing it pretty much the same way as it did when it started 100 years ago.


Mothers: Polishes*Waxes*Cleaners
lane changes

Karl Brauer has left after 13 years there. He says a new opportunity awaits and in the meantime he can be reached at: . . . Former Oregonian writer Bob Kehoe has switched his email to: - - Also moseying to the frontier is freelance tech writer Mike Mayrigan who now can be reached at . . . Lindsay Dechacco at or 602-650-2732 is now editor for AAA Arizona. . . .The correct email address for Jodi Pillsbury editor for the AASP News serving Minnesota members of the Allied Automotive Service Providers is . . . Motor Age managing editor Tschanen Neiderkohr is now Tschanen Brandyberry and her email is now: . . . Connie Harper is the auto contact for the Call & Post in Cleveland. Her email is:  . . .Scott Burgess and the The Detroit News have made up and he is once again the paper's auto critic. He told Autoline Daily that he is still writing thank you notes to the many persons who wrote or called to offer support. . . . Aaron Kessler is now with the Washington Bureau of The Detroit Free Press. He can be emailed at: . . . Ben Klayman has switched from sports business correspondent for Reuters to an automotive correspondent for the news service in Detroit. His email is: . . . Ruth Manuel-Logan, formerly with Woman's Day, is now an Examiner autos editor based in Trumbull Ct.


across the finish line

David E. Davis, Jr., Auto Journalist Extraordinaire.


- 30-

Glenn F. Campbell

table of contents

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awards honors and events

This just in: Margie Petersen & the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation have gifted the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation approximately $100,000,000. Click here for detals. 

Keli Snyder crowned Miss MintThe race is over but the face is fresh. General Tire crowned Keli Snyder, a University of Southern California journalism student and a television host for Lucas Oil, as this year's Miss Mint 400 - after a national internet competition, the press release said.

The Nissan Leaf was bestowed the "World Car of The Year Award" at the New York Auto Show. Other winners of World awards selected by 66 jurors from six continents were: Chevrolet Volt, Green Car of The Year, Aston Martin Rapide, World Car Design of the Year and Ferrari 458 Italia, World Performance Car of The Year.

Ford Motor Company won Polk's Automotive Loyalty Award which is based on numbers of households returning to market to purchase or lease a new vehicle of the same model or make as the one they are replacing. Ford boosted loyalty rates by 4.5 percentage points and led all brands with an owner loyalty rate of 60.3% for the full year. General Motors was second. Toyota, third.

July 8 has been declared by the U.S. Senate as "Car Collector Appreciation Day," thanks to the efforts of SEMA, its Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and the Hot Road Industry Alliance (HRIA). Begun last year, the day celebrates the nation's automotive heritage and the sponsoring organizations will gladly partner with individuals, businesses and organizations to sponsor car cruises, club gatherings or other related activities.

The Detroit Bureau's Paul Eisenstein says Kia's "ham-stars" put the soul in the Kia Soul to win Nielsen Automotive Advertising's 2011 Ad of the Year as selected by a panel of industry pros. Other winners were Ford (2): Best Sales Event Campaign and Best Green Ad; Toyota: Best Spanish language TV ads; and Mercedes: Best Luxury auto ads. is hosting a one-day conference on the future of car safety on May 24. in Washington, DC It is titled: "Truly Safe? Debunking Myths and Crafting Policies for Car Safety." Authorities from various disciplines will speak, debate and interact with the audience. More information is available at Registration is accessible directly at


Bill Hensyl of Timonium, Maryland won "The People's Choice Award" at this year's Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. For what wasn't in the announcement but scale-model enthusiast Bill Warner, impresario of the event, was happy to report that the award itself was a Bobby Rahal-autographed 1/18 scale model of the colorful Apple-sponsored Porsche 935 that Rahal drove in the IMSA series and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This year's Concours may become an historic moment in the annals of the event for having both the recently deceased David E. Davis, Jr. and Brock Yates on the judges panel.

April 2011
28 IMPA, Luncheon, 3 West Club, NYC, Smart Phones for Autos
May 2011
1 Pacific Coast Dream Machine, Half Moon Bay Airport, California
1-3 TAWA Texas Auto Roundup, Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth Texas
3-5 CARS Conference, Dearborn, MI, Auto Workforce Transformation
5 APA, Luncheon, Michelin Design Panel, Detroit, A.C.
10 MPG, Luncheon, Kia
12 APA, Luncheon, Robert Bosch, Detroit, A.C.
19 IMPA Spring Break, Bear Mountain State Park, NY
20 NEMPA, Vehicle Connectivity Conference and Awards Dinner, Cambridge, MA
24 MAMA Spring Rally Manufacturer's Dinner, Elkhart Lake, WI
25-26 MAMA Spring Rally, Elkhart Lake, WI
25 APA Luncheon, Detroit, A.C., GM Financial
TBD SAMA Luncheon, GM, site and date to be determined
June 2011
18 Petersen Auto Museum, New Exhibit Opens, Scooters
23 APA Luncheon, Detroit, A.C., JD Powers
TBD SAMA Luncheon, Mazda, site and date to be determined
July 2011
20-21 NEMPA Ragtop Ramble, Crustacean Crawl, Boston, MA


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,

ARPALogo: Ameican Racing Press Association

American Racing Press Association- Stan Clinton, President,,


International Motor Press Association, NYC, Mike Spinelli, President -,

GAAMA: Greater Atlanta Automotive Association

Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association


Midwest Automotive Media Association, Chicago , IL-

MPG: Motor Press Guild

Motor Press Guild, Los Angeles -

NEMPA Logo: New England Motor Press Association

New England Motor Press Association, Boston, MA -


Northwest Automotive Press Association, Portland, OR, Jeff Zurschmeide, President,


Phoenix Automotive Press Association, Phoenix, Cathy Droz, President-

Logo: Rocky Mountain Automotive Media Association

Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, Denver -

SAMA Log: Southern Automotive Media Association

Southern Automotive Media Association, Miami FL, Paul Borden, President,

Logo: Southeast Automotive Media Organization

Southeast Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC


Texas Auto Writers Association, Mike Herzing,


Truck Writers of North America, Tom Kelley, Executive Director,


Western Automotive Journalists, San Francisco -, Ron Harrison


Washington Automotive Press Association, D.C., Alvin Jones, President




March Road Ahead

Fallows' last bullet point doom forecast is typical shallow thinking that was preceded by gloom and doom cranky old farts every time a social norm became obsolete. When the poor learned how to read and write, when slaves were freed, when gas lamps lit the streets and houses, when the car became inconvenient to horse drawn buggy owners, when electricity was brought to the masses, when tv was invented, when the microwave started cooking food, when the internet became easily available, and when cell phones revolutioned (sic) person to person communication.

Now Fallow forecasts "an age of idiocy" and "our very ability to think etc.,  etc." is doomed and "Media will fail to cover too much of what really matters". In Bugs Bunny's phrase, "What a maroon"

Fallow, use your brain for more than blocking light from going between your ears. If the content of any media source is what people want, they will find it, they will enjoy it, they will cause it to succeed beyond it's competition. If you build it (well) they will come (to the one they like the most).

Anyone, or any news source, will be the best, or get the most readers due to one thing... deliver what they want.

Rosen had a brilliant comment about objective journalism... my compliments! Bravo! That is intuitive and astute!

Justacarguy Jesse

Hi Glenn,

You do a terrific job. This is my first comment ever, but I need to echo the sentiment that the war between the traditional print media and the blogs is way’s not up to me to decide who is worthy to cover an event, it is up to the manufacturer…all the blog people I have been with are professional in their approach to covering the beat, so I have no problem with them being on programs. The bottom line is the content and the value to our audience. Our audience is measured by subs….we have more than 600,000 and they are better than "uniques". Our mission will be to continue to serve them first and foremost. I welcome our blogger pals…I think they added a much needed blast of fresh air."

Matt DeLorenzo
Road & Track


Glenn—Interesting issue, good job!


Ronald Ahrens

Hi Glenn... great newsletter!  Enjoyed the content...


Carl Sheffer
Sheffer Enterprises, LLC
1608 Sandcroft Street
Westlake Village, CA 91361


Lance Lambert

March Spotlight

I wouldn't say that Wheelbase Media's weekly auto pages "enliven" anything. There's a reason they are often in the advertising supplement. I guess they will never have to worry about their content being "edited" because an advertiser complained.

I see their articles, or should I say advertising copy, in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Imagine if all articles in newspapers were edited to reflect advertising needs, like the Detroit News did to Scott Burgess. If I want auto advertising, I'll head on down to the dealer for a pamphlet or click on an automaker's web site.

I am thankful that the Pacifica Tribune (Pacifica, CA) ran my reviews month in and month out without alteration for just over 13 years before I moved. As a small town weekly struggling for survival it would have been so easy for the publisher/editor to want puff pieces to attract advertising but instead they ran what I wrote, good or bad.

Bruce Hotchkiss

Accreditation and Anarchy (February Newsletter)

As a founding member and former board member of MPG, I can tell you determining what is a journalist was hot button issue for me during my service tenure. It was especially galling when one clown sweet-talked his way into a hot Mustang and then promptly killed a pedestrian with the test car.

I tried for years to get the membership rules strengthened to no avail.

Russ makes a good point about too damn many "media" people at auto shows. I simply quit going and focused on land speed racing.

At a recent meeting of the Society of Professional Journalists here in St. Louis I again wrestled with "what is a journalist?" while dissecting the Wikileaks situation with a local FBI Bureau Chief, daily newspaper investigative editor and a hot shot 1st amendment professor.

While by no means the end-all decision, we seemed to agree that those whose work is verified, checked, considered and vetted by someone other than the poster, more often than not is a legitimate journalist.

Frankly, from my time on the MPG membership committee, I believe there were far too many people with "full journalist" status than there should have been, but getting them reclassified always met with a thud. Was it the almighty revenue from dues? Maybe.

Louise Noeth

Press Group Listing


It's time: change the IMPA listing to Mike Spinelli as president, which was official as of the January meeting, even though his first meeting was February.

Paul Weissler

Automotive Trivia

Former Toyota PR Man Jim Fewel passed on this automotive anecdote (you may want to pass on it too):

Apropos of nothing but California's ill-starred Salton Sea, a locally owned business there actually made lead-acid electric-car batteries, which were sold mostly for use in the now-rare but very effective electric cars operated by some of the constabularies in America of that era.

As you know, electric cars given a single complete charge can generate amazing torque, for breakneck acceleration, which was useful for quickly catching up with all kinds of miscreants,

The electric police cars were soon furloughed as gasoline engines with their superior distance potential evolved, but the flash-in-the-pan success of the electric pursuit vehicle is the source of the familiar law-enforcement phrase, "arrested on the charge of a Salton battery."

(Ed.'s plea: "Please no more like this.")


Webmaster Gary Grant has made an offer which AWcom hopes many of you can use. He will donate $50 to the AWcom beer fund for each person who accepts his offer. He writes:

Having been publishing online since 2004, I have become somewhat of a Wordpress specialist. Weekly, I receive requests from autowriters and photographers who know they need a personal web presence, but can't stomach the $3-5,000 they are quoted to set up their own site. I would like to extend an offer to readers that will make it easier and more importantly, sensibly priced.

Normally I would charge $550 to develop a personal business blog page, including hosting for one year. For that price, you get a wordpress based site with pages for contact, portfolio, galleries, social media links and pretty much anything else you can think up. Clients can choose from 35 template layouts with custom colors. Never published with Wordpress? Not to worry, I'll walk you through every step of the way if you need it. This site can be set up with your existing domain name or I can help you buy one that suits you.

You can see some of the other sites I've done recently here

I'll knock $50 off the $550 and donate an extra $50 to the Beer Fund to help keep this great publication coming every month.

If $450 for a wordpress site and a $50 donation to sounds like a deal, shoot me an email at

Have a great day,

Gary Grant

Reach him at either the or or 905-706-1257. For those of you who accept, let us know when you get your site up and running, Autowriters will report it in our Newsletter.

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