the newsletter - built for reading not skimming.
may 2014 newsletter

The Road Ahead
New Report About Internet Newspapers 1981

"All means are ends in the becoming." –unknown. The truth in this observation is demonstrated in the recent turmoil at the New York Times. And we hope not by The Ford Motor Company.

A lengthy 91-page self-analysis by NY Times executives was leaked (flooded) recently to the outside world. Titled "Innovation Report," it revealed the "means" that made the Times the pre-eminent daily newspaper in America has become an "end" that no longer serves it well. Deifying the integrity, values, pride in its heritage and belief in the processes that made it great in the print age has left the Times behind in what got them in the news business in the first place – making money through advertising based on readership. Some of its digital competitors attract more readers by re-packaging Times journalism than when the Times first publishes it.

While one or more Times executives grumbled that the interactive world did not mean readers determine the news, the advertising and subscriber numbers say that increasingly, it is the readers deciding how, where and when they get their news and, inferentially, what they consider the news.

People who spent years dedicated to being the best journalists they knew how to be, maintaining standards forged and tested over the paper's 160-year history are now faced with what the executive analysis referred to as "disruptive innovation." Many columnists covering media have published their own takes on the Times introspection.

Catherine P. Taylor offers her five takeaways in Social Media Insider, May 16. On May 15 staffers at Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab offered high-points from their reading of the report and Erik Sass' Column in Media Daily News engendered some interesting comments. On May 19, Bob Garfield wrote in his Garfield At Large Media Post blog," ... the leaked NYT Innovation Report, (is) a point-by-point explication of how the paper has complicated the existential crisis facing all newspapers by doing practically every single thing wrong for 15 years." All agree that the Innovation Report is important and worth reading.

On the "means" side of the opening quote, Alan Mulally's "One Ford" mantra became the means for freezing the waste of money and time in theOne Ford fiefdoms of Ford and focusing all of its resources on saving Ford from bankruptcy and a government bailout. "One Ford" extended to the thoughtful selection and grooming of Mulally's successor. And, hopefully, to others who subsequently move into the role. The challenge will be recognizing when down the line, technological and cultural changes in society and in the auto industry make "One Ford" a Golden Calf, - an outmoded hindrance to fresh thinking and behavior.


road signs

More native advertising appears to be in the works at the New York Times (and elsewhere) according to Karl Greenberg in Marketing Daily. He quotes Times Executive VP, Advertising, Meredith Kopit Levien, "Native advertising exploits the form, factor, discovery mechanism and production values of the surrounding content, taking the shape of the storytelling around it and aspiring to similar engagement." In other words, it is a symbiotic relationship riding on the back of editorial content and that is what many in media believe it should be called. One thing it should not be called is "deceptive" according to Eric Berry in Publishing Insider. He writes, "In order for the native ad space to leverage its full potential, all practitioners must meet an unimpeachable standard of integrity for presenting brand-sponsored digital content to consumers. For native advertising in particular, the risks are existential. Put simply, consumer trust is paramount for native advertising. To that end, publishers must not "disguise" sponsored posts as anything but paid, non-editorial content.

This raised a question when Silvio Calabi sent AW.Com a very readable piece titled, "The car that dare not speak its name." When we finished we wondered if Silvio had switched to the "dark" side, shilling for a product. He replied, it was just a very unusual review that he thought was worth sharing. You can judge for yourself if it is artful native advertising or a deceptive means of plugging a particular car.

What it's like to own a Tesla Model S - The Oatmeal

Based on their online comments after a Cronkite Conversations panel discussion, "Need for Speed: The Ethics of Automotive Journalism" for j-school students at Arizona State University, the chance to drive new cars, take trips to exotic locales and take home some swag caught the attention of the audience, despite some straight talk by a quality panel assembled and moderated by Micki Maynard, a visiting professor of business journalism at ASU. Guest panelists were: Matt DeLorenzo, managing editor, Kelley Blue Book and former editor, Road & Track; Larry Edsall, editorial director,; and Tom Kowaleski, former vice president of corporate communications, BMW North America.

Various reports and studies have established the amount of video being produced for the various screens available is climbing steadily, as is digital content consumption. Barry Lowenthal, in his Media Post Blog (May 7) asks a good question, "Who Is Going To Watch All That Video?!" One answer is that new, shorter ways of communicating are evolving.


pit notes

If you've not been to Tesla's California factory, watch the video above for an impressive look at the production of a Model S from aluminum coils to out the door. It also bolsters those who predict a "jobless" society down the road.

And, if you are not familiar with the Bugatti family's museum-quality design versatility beyond cars, Brett Berk provides a brief glimpse at this in: "Born to Bugatti." 

Charged, The Electric Vehicle Magazine, reports the Proterra electric bus (photo below) claims a world record for battery-powered buses by clocking 700 miles in 24 hours over typical commuter and business district routes. Made in Greenville, S.C. The Proterra can be fully re-charged in about 10 minutes through a special charging head that retracts into an overhead unit. One has been in use for more than a year in Pomona, Calif. (As John Matras notes in his March 20 CarBuzzard, the range of battery-powered electric vehicles varies with the ambient temperature).

Proterra fast charging electric bus.

SEMA's photo cove in Diamond Bar, Calif. is open and doing business as part of the SEMA Garage-Innovations Center that SEMA VP Mike Spagnola says, "can cut down the entire product development process to six weeks." An open house planned for Thursday, July 17 will give members a chance to see the remarkable facility in action and learn what it can do for them.

And for those who like car-chase footage, Tony Leopardo sends along a link to a shot-by-shot recapture of the famous Steve McQueen chase in the movie Bullitt:

Video: Steve McQueen in Bullit


new roads

Gavin O'Malley reports in Social Media Daily, "Signal," is a new digital video magazine featuring a mix of reports from WSJ staff and partner filmmakers. Also new from the WSJ is "The Future of Everything" and a revived "The Short Answer." Another WSJ venture he describes is, "Storyful -- a start-up that News Corp. picked up last year for $25 million, which helps publishers aggregate news from various social media networks, verify sources, secure rights to user-generated content, and pair publisher content with branded fare."

According to Leslie Kaufman in the NYTimes, Patch is turning a profit under its new owners. Hale Global took control of the former hyperlocal news division of AOL and cut the staff by 85 per cent while bringing in some top talent. That, plus raising the minimum ad buy to $5,000, enable Patch to profit in February, March and April of this year.

Apple is rumored to be getting into streaming video with Comcast. . . . Speaking of apples, Matt Farah, who forsook the Big Apple for the pickings in Hollywood, plucked a plum from NBC Sports Network. He and partner Chris Harris and their /Drive buddies aired the first of a 10-episode deal on May 24. . . . Wooden Horse reports Vice, the digital media company targeting Gen Y's, will launch a sports channel in June in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It will feature "Vice World of Sports" and cover the intersection of sports and politics, business and culture

Photo by: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz

Bloomberg News reports – "French billionaire Vincent Bollore is setting up the largest U.S. car-sharing program for electric vehicles to promote advanced batteries and services offered by the conglomerate he leads." Within the next eight months he plans to make 500 of his electric-powered Bollore BlueCars available in the Indianapolis market for as low as $10 per hour. It is a $35 million demonstration intended to promote electric cars and, thereby, sales of batteries and other electric car services Bollore's conglomerate provides. The plan also includes building as many as 1,000 battery charging stations. . . . Not new but growing fast, digital newspaper readers increased 19% in March of this year as compared to April of 2013. Not surprisingly, the greatest increase, 146%, was among 18 to 24 year-olds.


autowriters spotlight

Wade Hoyt is retiring after two decades as Toyota's Northeast PR Manager and, before that, more than two decades as an auto writer and editor for a number of consumer magazines. He was one of the last of the first wave of journalists to trade their calling for cash, migrating to the ‘dark side' of auto communications in 1994. AW.Com asked him to reflect on changes in automotive journalism and PR over his career. Here is his valedictory:

First Letterman, Now Hoyt!

I need to start this essay with an apology to Rick Newman at Yahoo! Finance for stealing his reply to my email about retiring and using it as a headline. I hate to waste a good wisecrack.

Autowriters Spotlight: Wade HoytAfter 20 years as Northeast PR Manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (TMS to its friends), I'll be retiring at the end of May. Glenn Campbell's been kind enough to ask me to write something about my career, how I got into PR in the first place, as well as how PR's changed over the decades. So, putting aside my negligible modesty, here goes, to the best of my elderly recollection….

I was an automotive journalist for the better part of 25 years before I went over to The Dark Side, as a colleague once called PR. I'd worked at a series of so-called "screwdriver books" – Mechanix Illustrated, Science & Mechanics, Popular Mechanics – even at Reader's Digest (in the General Books how-to division, not at the magazine) before ending my editorial career at the Hearst trade magazine Motor, which is a very technical publication for independent auto repair shop owners and technicians.

During much of this time, I commuted into and out of Manhattan in test cars. It's about a 43-mile drive from midtown Manhattan to my home in northern Westchester County, and this provided an excellent mix of roads from congested urban traffic to twisty, hilly Depression-era highways to country roads. Some thought I was nuts to drive into Manhattan every day, but I viewed it as a competitive event. Because Manhattan's ring roads – the Westside Highway and FDR Drive – are so congested, my commute went through Central Park and Harlem. I usually got onto the Westside Highway near the George Washington Bridge, where 90 percent of the traffic was exiting for New Jersey.

Although some were aghast that I would venture into Harlem, I've got to say that, having done so for decades, I've had only one uncomfortable incident, and it was a long time ago. I was driving north in the left lane of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. in a Saab test car one summer evening. This is a wide thoroughfare with a central median. A Wonder Bread van passed me on the right, swerved into my lane, crumpled the right front fender, punctured the tire and kept on going. But I could see that he'd be halted by red lights ahead, so I drove after him, the flat tire flopping. I blocked his path, got out of the Saab and said: "Hey, you hit my car back there!" The Wonder Bread driver was so stoned he didn't even realize he'd hit me.

I told him to pull over into a nearby bus stop so we could exchange information. Once there, he got out of the van and immediately walked around the corner, looking for a pay phone to call his dispatcher. This was before cell phones. I prepared to change the tire. I found the spare and the jack in the unfamiliar Saab, but couldn't locate the lug wrench. While I was rummaging through the hatchback's cargo bay, a short, neatly dressed black man approached me holding a paper bag that looked like his lunch. He calmly said, "I'm a drug addict, I've got a gun in here, and I want 20 bucks." And I thought to myself: It's Friday night and I want to go home. My first thought was to pull out my wallet and give the pest 20 bucks to get rid of him. But then I thought: What if he snatches the whole wallet? I'll lose all my money, my credit cards, my license and my comb!

He didn't look like a drug addict to me. He had a neatly trimmed goatee and could have passed for a college professor. His back was to traffic and I could see a police car leisurely approaching us as we blocked the bus stop. I said, "I guess I'm out of luck, I don't have 20 bucks." And he said: "So make it 10."

Well, now we're talking, and the police car is still slowly approaching. By the time I got him down to 3 bucks, the police car was nearly behind him. I said, "Excuse me a second," and leapt out in front of the cruiser, waving my arms wildly. By the time I told the cops what was going on, the little guy had vanished. He had turned to vapor!

I told the cops my story: no, it's not my car; I'm the auto editor of Popular Mechanics and Saab has lent it to me so I can review it, etc., etc. Their reaction was: "They pay you for this?" But they took mercy on me, lent me their lug wrench, and proceeded to fill out a police report as I gave them the details while putting the temporary spare onto the Saab. Just as I finished up, the Wonder Bread driver drifted dreamily back around the corner. I asked the police if they wanted me to stick around and they said: "No we'll take care of him."

As I prepared to drive away, the cops reminded me not to exceed 50 mph with the temp spare once I got onto the highway, and I thought: I know that; I'm the auto editor at Popular Mechanics! But I kept it to myself.

On the way home, I stopped at a friend's tire store and bought Saab a new tire. Which brings me to the point of this tale: I was able to expense the tire because Editor Joe Oldham always insisted that we return test cars in the same condition in which we received them – washed and fully gassed. If the car was damaged, we'd either have it repaired or offer to pay for the repair. It was not only the right thing to do, but kept us in good stead with the manufacturers.

Wade Hoyt riding in to the sunset.
Wade Hoyt riding into the sunset.

I don't see a lot of that attitude today. I see some writers and bloggers ignoring parking tickets and toll violations, pretending they were unaware of minor damage, and even insisting they're not at fault when a test car is booted or impounded for parking violations. One guy, who will remain nameless, got a $400 speeding ticket in a state park at a Lexus launch awhile back. He had the nerve to ask if we'd pay the fine. When I declined, he said, "Mercedes always pays for my tickets." I replied: "Oh good, send them that one, too." I know, I know: PR is supposedly the art of diplomacy!

While I was in publishing, I'd always done some freelance writing for non-competing magazines. Pitches for auto articles aren't an easy sell in Manhattan, where more than half the residents don't even own a car. I recall reviewing a Jeep for Esquire and having my editor there call with a question: "What's this part about a 6-cylinder engine?" I explained that there were two kinds of engines, 6-cylinders and V8s [this was a long time ago]. The editor said: "I don't think our readers know what that is. I'm taking it out." At which point I thought: Just get my name right on the check!

As anyone in the magazine business can attest, every time there's a recession, ad revenues go down and layoffs ensue. The third time I was laid off in my checkered career, in 1994, I had a mortgage, two kids in college with one more to go, and I was over 50. Thank God for freelance and a gainfully employed wife! But I knew I couldn't go on in publishing. I may be stubborn, but I'm not stupid. As an auto writer and editor, I'd travelled around the world on the auto companies' dime, learned which fork to use, and driven a lot of exciting cars in exotic places. It was an exhilarating ride, but it was time to move on. I decided to follow many others and cross the road into automotive PR, if I could find an opening.

Thanks to networking at IMPA, I learned that Fred Hammond was about to leave his position in Toyota's Northeast PR office and return to Volvo. I sent resumes to the two Toyota PR guys I knew best: Joe Tetherow at Toyota's headquarters in California, and Moon Mullins, who I later learned was a Toyota consultant, not an employee. After what seemed like months of interviews (the Toyota Way), I got the job. I was elated! As I explained to a former editorial colleague who wanted to know how I could possibly stand doing PR: "At Toyota, you don't have to make excuses for the products." I would have taken a job with Daewoo; I was out of work!

Although my title was officially Public Affairs Manager, the job really consisted of media relations, mainly with established automotive editors and writers, with an occasional financial writer who covered the industry thrown in, like the late, unforgettable Jerry Flint at Forbes and Alex Taylor at Fortune. Like many automotive PR folks in the ‘90s, I had no formal degree or training in PR. I just knew that some of the PR folks I'd dealt with in the past were life savers and some were totally useless. I vowed to be one of the former group. My PR coach at Toyota was Bernard "Moon" Mullins. Moon was an urban legend.

I'd first encountered Moon when I was a journalist and he was the New York-based Dodge PR guy. Car and Driver was based in Manhattan in those days, and a staffer had some Hemi-powered Dodge muscle car stolen off the street while parked near his Brooklyn apartment. Rumor had it that the car was being raced at a drag strip on Long Island. The police couldn't spot the car because every week it appeared at the drag strip with a different paint job and grille. Back then, Chrysler kept body styles in production until the dies wore out, but redesigned the grilles and tail lights each year. The perps were apparently working out of a body shop.

Feeling responsible (yes!), the editor accompanied police to the drag strip and fingered the stolen Dodge. Elated, the editor called Moon on Monday to announce that the car had been recovered. To which Moon allegedly responded: "Damn! It was winning!" And that was my first inkling of what PR was all about.

Moon had many aphorisms relating to PR: "The guy with the shortest quote wins." "Get the bad news out all at once." "Stretch out the good news." I referred to them as The Sayings of Chairman Moon.

During two decades working for Toyota, there were many highlights and some not-so-great times. During the Unintended Acceleration panic, I told commiserating friends that it was surprisingly comfortable under my desk. My 15 days of fame were the result of a call one Wednesday before Thanksgiving from Jim Cobb, Automobile Editor at The New York Times. He told me he was expecting an article from a correspondent in the Middle East concerning the use of Toyota HiLux pickup trucks by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and did I have any comment! I told him I needed to do some research and would call him right back. I was able to determine that Toyota had not sold any vehicles in Afghanistan since the Russians had invaded the country 10 years earlier, but that we assembled them across the border in Pakistan.

I dutifully reported that to Jim, but couldn't help adding: "It's not our proudest product placement, but it does show that the Taliban are looking for the same things as any truck buyer: quality, durability and reliability." What else could you say: "We can't control what the end users do with our products"? That's just lame, and it's always best if you can defuse a prickly situation with a little humor.

I could hear Jim keyboarding as I spoke, and I thought: This might not end well. But the quote was picked up as one of Time magazine's quotes of the week, by NPR's weekly news quiz, and elsewhere. The Times actually reran it in two subsequent articles, and I began to get congratulatory emails from around the country. When Micki Maynard inserted it into a Times article, she had originally written, "quipped Toyota spokesperson Wade Hoyt." An editor in the paper's News Department informed her that he had changed "quipped" to "said" because "no one quips in The New York Times." Beautiful!

Over the years, the publishing scene has changed radically as the Internet has undermined the printed page. Newspapers that have managed to stay in business have often laid off their automotive editors and reporters, replacing them with syndicated articles at much less cost. Many of those journalists have started blogs of their own and continued to bring informed opinions to a reduced audience.

On the industry side, Marketing departments have begun to exert more influence over PR, which used to be a separate if unequal department. And the latest trend in Marketing is social media. Most auto companies now have internal departments and outside agencies helping them to identify online "influencers." These bloggers and tweeters now qualify for loans of test cars, sometimes coaxed into them with swag like designer sunglasses, tote bags and gift cards. A few of them are knowledgeable auto enthusiasts who can write about our products with authority. Some do their homework on a particular vehicle and write credible reviews. But others just spew out such mindless blather that I wonder how much credibility they can possibly have. And you have to wonder if a 140-character tweet ever influenced a car sale. Social media experts talk about thousands or millions of "impressions," but what exactly is an impression?

When I was Project Editor of the Complete Car Care Manual at Reader's Digest, I brought in several copies of the "buff books" (Road & Track, etc.) to prove to the Copy Editor that brake disc is not spelled with a "k" and tuneup is not two hyphenated words, at least not in the automotive world. Other editors marveled at the level of the writing in these magazines, its felicity, sophistication, humor and creative use of vocabulary. I don't see much of that in most blogs, which tend to be annoyingly mawkish and self-centered.

If I'm starting to sound like some bitter old fart railing against a modern decline in standards, I need to point out that I'm not bitter. Just callin' ‘em like I see ‘em.

In any case, I have little interest in or presence on social media. Being a fairly private person, I have serious privacy concerns about Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and the rest of it, so I don't indulge. Basically, this part of the new PR world has passed me by, so I'm just going to bow out gracefully while I can. As my Uncle Nick used to say: "Enough is too much!"

Besides, I'm a lot older than I hope I look, and it's just time. I've had a good run and it's mostly been fun. I've been lucky enough to spend most of my working life doing work that I love. I sincerely thank everyone who made that possible.

So here I go, off into a third chapter of my life. Wish me luck (just please don't tweet it!).

(To get in touch with Wade on anything but Toyota business, try:


passing scene

According to the Wall Street Journal's Priya Ganapati, two Harvard Pluto Mail Logostudents have created Pluto Mail, an app that enables the sender to self-destruct emails at a time the sender pre-determines. David Gobaud and Lindsay Lin's free web-based email service is not an email provider per se, users have to authenticate their email address when they sign up. Then it can be used with existing mail clients or Pluto's web face. . . . According to Mark Walsh's Media Post Blog May 14, The Pew Research Center predicts, "The internet of things will be a reality by 2025 with the proliferation of tech screens, wearable devices, connected appliance and environments full of sensors and cameras. He lists some of the negatives as well as positives of a data-saturated world monitoring us so minutely. The findings come from a survey of 1,600 people, including some of the world's top technology experts.

"Shocker: Journos Use Twitter, Promote Selves," is the headline of Erik Sass's blog reporting on a recent Indiana School of Journalism survey. It covers other uses journos make of social media but confirms they are indeed human when it comes to advancing themselves via a medium so well suited to their skills. . . . .Kaila Colbin offers several examples in her Online Spin Column on the sorry state of the digital ecosystem. She says: "The digital ecosystem doesn't work for advertisers, who have to fight rampant fraudulent activity for eyeballs that may not even pay off. It doesn't work for publishers, who couldn't afford to pay content providers even if they wanted to. And it doesn't work for content providers, who can't afford to eat unless they find a loophole to exploit. The only people it may work for are the content consumers. For everyone else, the digital content ecosystem is completely broken."

Ironically, in an interview by Leslie Kaufman of the NYTimes, a chief reason Ezra Klein gave for leaving the  Washington Post to start Vox, a new website, was the same criticism the Times made of itself in its Innovation Report. The conventions of newspaper print journalism in general, with its commitment to incremental daily coverage, were reflected in publishing systems, which need first and foremost to meet the needs of printing a daily paper." For those who want to know how digital journalism differs from print, a good start is Kaufman's April 6 article: Vox Takes Melding of Journalism and Technology to a New Level.


regional news


NEMPA's MIT Tech Conference on Engineering Safe Drivers kicks-off at the MIT Media lab this Thursday with a luncheon and presentation on smart technology in the 2015 Ford F-150 by its chief engineer, Pete Reyes. An additional five experts will participate in a panel discussion on minimizing the impacts of age, inexperience and distraction on driving. NEMPA's annual general meeting and awards banquet will follow that evening.

Just a few days later, June 3, Manheim, the world's largest wholesale auto auction company, has invited NEMPA members to visit its New England site for an auction tour in North Dighton, MA, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.


Somewhat overshadowed by the auto industry troubles and bailouts and the city's bankruptcy was the 2009 Pulitzer prize won by Detroit Free Press scribes M.L. Elrick and his fellow muckracker, Jim Schafer, for exposing the scandal and corruption that led to the conviction of former Motor City Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. No longer. Their fellow journalists gathered as guests of Crain Communications  at a local bar and grill recently and hoisting a few while trading riffs.

At the other end of the scale, it will be elegant dress, fine wines and dancing on July 26, the night before the Concours d Elegance of America at St. Johns Inn just outside of Detroit. For more information of the event, which will feature the Evolution of the Sports Car in classic displays on the verdant greenswards, check:


Chrysler Group secured six of the possible 19 awards, the most of any manufacturer participating in the Texas Auto Roundup hosted by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in April. Included was "Texas Family Car of the Year," awarded the Chrysler Town and Country.


29th Annual Huntington Beach Concours d'Elgance classic car

The 29th Annual Huntington Beach Concours d'Elegance  Family Car Show, featuring Classic Automobiles and Motorcycles starts May 31. The event will feature live entertainment by Aprile Deanne DJ/ Vocalist, Hot Wheels racing for the kids, good food and interesting vendors. The Sunday event has free ice cream, face painting, and balloon art for the kids!!

A secret road rally route will challenge entrants' driving, navigation and trivia skills on September 13 and end with the awarding of prizes and the kick-off celebration for the Palos Verdes Concours d'Elegance at the Trump National Golf Course the next day in Rancho Palos Verdes. To enter or for more information email: or call 1-866-522-7746. . . . . MPG members have until June 30 to nominate their favorites for the 2014 Innovative Vehicle of the Year. They may submit up to three vehicles in both the under $30,000 price category and the $30,000 and higher category. Submissions should be sent to :


lane changes

The Virginia–Pilot eliminated its auto editor post this month, leaving Larry Printz partly on the beach in Norfolk, Va. He remains affiliated with WVEC-TV, the Gannett-owned ABC affiliate there. He can be reached at 757.446.2220 or  . . . Tony Cervone's move from executive vice president, corporate communications for Volkswagen to Sr. vice president, Global Communications for General Motors merits mention here simply because AW.Com predicted the pick the day it was announced that former GM communications head Steve Harris would spearhead the choosing. Cervone had worked for Harris at Chrysler and GM, Volkswagen is slipping while there is no place but up for GM's reputation. The only hurdle was choosing a former GM employee to fill a key role in the company's ballyhooed plan to shake off its old culture and become "a new GM." . . . . In less rarified air, Steve Natt has been replaced by Tim Berg as motorsports host on the Entertainment Radio Network. Email him:  . . . . Mira Oberman is on an extended maternity leave from Agency France Presse in Chicago and asks auto news be sent to  and  . . . Adam Bruce, formerly with StreetFire is now with Motoholdings, A You Tube multi network for Fox Digital. Also with Motoholdings is Jeremy Hayhurst. Their emails:  and  . . . . . Elaine Haessner, co-founder and driving force behind the International Automotive Media Competition, has found it necessary to step back from day-to-dayTom Kelley operations to get a bit of well-earned rest. While Elaine will continue to oversee the program, the hands-on tasks have been delegated to two of her long-time colleagues, Tom Kelley and Louise Noeth. For more information about the competition, now in its 23rd year, contact Tom at:  or telephone 704-599-0570. . . . Consumer Reports has a new editor-in-chief, Ellen Kampinsky . . . . Popular Mechanics' new editor-in-chief is Ryan D'Agostino.

Across The Finish Line
Sir Jack Brabham – Three-time Formula 1 World Champion as a driver, two time constructor champion and first driver to be knighted (1961) for service to motorsports.


- 30-

Glenn Campbell, Owner, Publisher

Glenn F. Campbell

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May 2014
1-3 Pinehurst Concours | Pinehurst, NC
7 APA | Luncheon - Detroit, MI - Michelin Design Panel
13 MPG | Droptops & Dirt - Malibu, CA
14 WAPA | Luncheon & Drive -Manor Park, MD, KIA
15 APA | Luncheon - Detroit, MI - KIA
15 IMPA | Spring Brake - Bear Mountain, NY
20-22 MAMA | Spring Rally - Elkhart Lake, WI
28 NEMPA | MIT Tech Conference | MIT Media Lab
31 HB Concours d'Elegance | Rod & Custom Show- Huntington Beach Central Park, Huntington Beach, CA
June 2014
1 HB Concours d'Elegance | Salute to Ford Mustang 50tj Anniversary- Huntington Beach Central Park, Huntington Beach, CA
1-3 Pinehurst Concours | Pinehurst, NC
3 Telematics Update Detroit | Media Day - Suburban Collection Showcase, Novi, MI
3 Telematics Update Detroit | Awards Gala Dinner - Hyatt Place, Novi, MI
3 NEMPA | Mannheim Auction Tour | North Dighton, MA
7 APA | Luncheon - Detroit, MI - Michelin Design Panel
11 MAMA | Luncheon - Oakbrook Terrace, IL, Nissan
12 WAPA | Ride 'N Drive Luncheon - River Farm, Alexandria, VA, Chrysler
13 SAMA | Topless In Miami Convertible Competition, Key Biscayne, FL
17 IMPA | Luncheon - 3 West Clube, NYC, NY, Global Automakers
18 APA | Luncheon - DAC, Detroit, MI, JD Power IQS
18 WAJ | Dinner - Basque Cultural Center, South San Francisco, CA
July 2014
15 Concours d'Elegance of America | Short Lead Press Day, Plymouth, MI
24-27 Concours d'Elegance of America  |  Plymouth, MI
October 2014
2-3 Paris Motor Show |  Media Days, Paris France
4-19 Paris Motor Show |  Public  Days, Paris France
7 APA/NADA |  Luncheon, Detroit, MI
9-10 TAWA |  Truck Rodeo, San Antonio, TX
14-15 MPG |  Track Days, Rosamond, CA
28 APA |  Consumer Reports, Luncheon, Detroit, MI
November 2014
19 MPG | Keynote Breakfast & Ivy Award, Los Angeles Auto Show, Los Angeles, CA
18-20 Los Angeles Auto Show  |  Press Days, Los Angeles, CA
21-30 Los Angeles Auto Show  |  Public Days, Los Angeles, CA
December 2014
9 MPG | Dean Batchelor Awards Banquet. Los Angeles, MI


press box

Here are some auto related books brought to’s attention this past month:

Michael Davis' eighth book for Arcadia Publishing: Mustang and The Pony Car Revolution. It traces the Mustang’s spiritual linage to the 1924 Ford Runabout.
As a Ford PR man for 25 years and former executive director of the Detroit Historical
he has a few "creds" for his view but the Detroit News reports at least one other author disagrees with him, John Clor, also a Ford Communications alum. He is the author of "The Mustang Dynasty," as well as "Ford Mustang 2015: The New Generation," due out this fall. Ford Motor Company, itself, didn't cooperate with Davis' book although not necessarily because it disagreed with Davis thesis. He speculates in the News that it was because of a conflicting agreement the company had with Motorbooks for another coffee table book, "Mustang: 50 Years."

David Bull alerted us to 911 x 911, the only official book to mark the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911. Produced by the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, the book uses 866 photographs and 57 charts and drawings to tell the story of the Porsche 911, from its earliest incarnation in 1963 through the present day. For price and specs, check: here.

Graham Hill, the only driver to win Monaco, Indianapolis and Le Mans, is featured in Cart Art's slide-show blast of paintings available for Father's Day. For more information, check:


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awards & events

June 3-5 Telematics Update, Detroit Press Registration: here.

Registration to attend the 2014 SEMA Show is now available at

The 2014 CAR Management Briefing Seminars will launch this year on Monday, August 4 with a strong emphasis on manufacturing during the opening session. The full four-day schedule and registration form are available here.


talk back


Glenn -- Another fine issue of Autowriters, particularly Larry Greenemeier's article "Fact or Fiction: Your Car is Hackable" from Scientific American. I am still waiting to see an article on this subject in SAE's Automotive Engineering. I also enjoyed the feature on Ford and, really, everything in the issue.

Carl Goodwin

Thanks. You do a great job on this.

Jil McIntosh

Dear Pal, Glenn:

I'm very pleased to be back on the mailing list for your essential newsletter ... BTW: I put my hand up a bit too high a few months ago and am now an actual (hated, mistrusted, abused, cursed) MPG Board Member (!) Saints preserve us!

Doug Stokes


Another fine issue. Keep up the good work!

Ronald Ahrens

Ackerman's Departure

Hi Glenn fyi, re: "Also not seen are cynical media appraisals of Dan Ackerman's hasty departure from GM, stepping out the door just before the recalls hit the fan." There was at least one! Total Recall GM Bites Bullet


Jamie Kitman

Suggestion to follow up.

Glenn, when I was a young man I was a car nut, read all the motor mags, couldn't wait to get a license, and then my first car. I serviced and modified my car and hung out with a lot of friends with similar tastes. Now, I see an almost complete lack of interest from young men in cars (they're just a means of A to B), and none of these guys would dream of getting their hands dirty. I guess the appeal was the mystery of the machine and how it gave us freedom and personality. Now, as per the latest AW newsletter, I see the references to the Internet of Things and the Connected Future - and I think that most of my fellow members of IMPA who are my age will soon be replaced by younger people who are totally connected to the Digital Age.

Us old guys may be able to stretch our intelligence and curiosity to manage our current computers and digital home life, but eventually our knowledge and capabilities will fade against the tech knowledge of the up and comers. I think it's interesting to see this shift in social mores, interest in things digital rather than mechanical, and the loss of interest in 'cars' as an extension our ourselves.


JC (John Crawford)


Glenn: I am curious as to how many automotive/motorsports writers also write a fishing column, I have been doing both since I broke into newspaper journalism 40 years ago. Twice in my career (mainly at outdoor press conferences) I have met automotive columnists who do both.

Russ Dodge


Hello Glenn, Correction for Eric Cruz, press fleet coordinator at Mercedes-Benz USA in Montvale. Eric's e-mail address is His phone is 201.730.3231

John Thompson

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motoring press organizations

North American 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.

American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, Inc.

Logo: AARWBA - Automotive Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association

Norma "Dusty" Brandel
President, Exec. Director

Automobile Journalists Association of Canada


Automotive Press Association
Detroit, MI

Logo: APA Auto Press Associaion

Mark Phelan, President

American Racing Press Association

Lo Association

Stan Clinton, President


Eastern Motorsports Press Association
Ballston Spa, NY

Logo: EMPA Eastern Motorsports Press Association

Ron Hedger, President


Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Atlanta, GA

GAAMA: Greater Atlanta Automotive Association

Davis Adams, President

International Motor Press Association

Logo: IMPA Int'l Motor Press Association

Dave Kiley, President


Midwest Automotive Media Association
Chicago, IL

Logo: MAMA Midwest Automotive Media Association

Kirk Bell, President

Motor Press Guild
Los Angeles, CA

Joni Gray, President

New England Motor Press Association
Boston, MA

NEMPA Logo: New England Motor Press Association

Craig Fitzgerald, President

Northwest Automotive Press Association
Portland, OR

NWAPA Logo: Northwest Automotive Press Association

Nik Miles, President

Phoenix Automotive Press Association
Phoenix, AZ

Logo: PAPA Phoenix Automotive Press Association

Cathy Droz, President

Rocky Mountain Automotive Press
Denver, CO

Logo: Rocky Mountain Automotive Media Association

Andre Smirnov, President

Southern Automotive Media Association
Miami FL

Log: Southern Automotive Media Association

Bill Adam, President  

Southeast Automotive Media Organization
Charlotte, NC

Logo: Southeast Automotive Media Organization

Texas Auto Writers Association

Michael Marrs

Truck Writers of North America

Logo: Truck Writers of North America

Tom Kelley, Executive Director

Western Automotive Journalists
San Francisco, CA

Logo: Western Automotvie Journalists

Brian Douglas

Washington Automotive Press Association
Washington, D.C.


Melanie Batenchuk, President

Publisher's Note

Guest articles are welcome! All submissions are saved and used at our discretion.

Our audience is interested in all things related to the automotive industry generally as well as the changing nature of media, communications and journalists.

You may send your article(s) to Glenn Campbell, including any photos that you have the right to use.

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