the road ahead
“In the next 10 years, the whole world of media, communications and advertising
are going to be turned upside down -- my opinion. Here are the premises I have.
Number one, there will be no media consumption left in 10 years that is not
delivered over an IP network. There will be no newspapers, no magazines that are
delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electronic form. . . .
Also in the world of 10 years from now, there are going to be far more producers
of content than exist today. We've already started to see that certainly in the
online world, but we've just scratched the surface.”
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Chief Executive quoted in a
Washington Post interview by Peter Whoriskey June 5
“We are going to be swamped with a tsunami of information soon and enabling
people to navigate it is going to be one of the big problems of the next
Martin Moore director of the UK’s Media Standard Trust,
Media Digest Issue 136
"Aggregation, not as a sidelight but as more of a focus, is a mission change for
media, and there's a case for it, to be sure. Time and attention have limits,
but the universe of content, it seems, does not. So finding a way to quickly and
cleanly deliver relevant news is important. "
Matthew Creamer, Advertising Age April 15, 2008
“The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing machines
is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the network’s
reigning business model as well. The faster we surf across the Web—the more
links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other
companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us
advertisements. Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a
financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from
link to link—the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is
to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their
economic interest to drive us to distraction."
“Is Google Making Us Stupid? “ Nicholas Carr, July/August Atlantic
Autowriters.Com invites readers to submit their own Clog
(Online Column). Your reward: a byline and an audience of
your peers. All submissions are acknowledged, queued
and used at the editor’s discretion.
In addition to producing
his weekly automotive TV magazine, Ohama Road for 255 weeks
and still counting and a separate weekly auto review for
KITV4 ABC affiliate in Honolulu, Hawaii auto impresario Bill
Maloney writes a self-syndicated weekly column, “A Bunch of
Maloney" that brings a light touch, insight and a little fun
to folks who like to read about cars. Contact him at
email@example.com if you would like to consider his
column for your publication..
A BUNCH OF MALONEY
THE HMMMMM? ABOUT HYBRIDS
Rival car company market researchers and their soothsayers
have been busy blowing holes in the rationale (and high
pricing) for many popular hybrid cars that are enjoying
A research firm in Portland, Oregon and an editor of
Driver magazine have gone to great strides to seemingly
unmask the efficiency fallacy about two prominent import
hybrids. These two respected entities call these green cars
models that make a fashion statement. They even provided
Would you believe a big Chevy Tahoe SUV has a lower energy
cost-per-mile than a small import hybrid. Which is $3.25
cost-per-mile while the Tahoe sports a CPM of $2.94.
The math, they say, is simple. The Tahoe has a lifetime
expectancy of 268,000 miles while the compact import will
last 109,000 miles.
The CNW market research firm from the northwest along with
the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) say the little
hybrids are a way for some individuals…can you say Leonardo...
to make an environmental statement.
It’s said that a car is no longer a car when it’s a hybrid.
It’s a statement.
There are high visibility dudes who like to drive
Cameron Diaz, Ed Begley, Jar, and the two guys who own
Google, who the CNW study says quote “don’t know
These are people of the conspicuous consumption class who
are into whole foods, wild oats/sprouts and keep Trader
Joes extremely profitable. They don’t drink Jim Beam and
prefer Grey Goose and of course their home away from home is
Starbucks and its designer coffee.
Researchers say these folks are willing to pay to display
their moral superiority and virtue.
Editor of C&D Patrick Bedard states that the small hybrids
don’t save enough gas money to justify their initial high
price. The buyers motivation is largely personal
enlightenment re global warming. A feel good thing.
So that’s the argument from the “have nots”…everybody has an
So when buying a new car and you're into saving the Whales and
trees do your homework. Performance or posturing?
Tom-Tom rants, raves, rambles and ruminations are
and express the opinions of the writer.
launched May 19 appears to have the right elements in place
to achieve its goals of moving cars, moving stories and
moving audiences with broadcast quality content on the
Internet: a veteran, talented content team, an Emmy-winning
production house and a portal already drawing an average 6
million visitors a month.
Paul Pfanner, erstwhile publisher of Sports Car
and Race Car magazines and now head of Pfanner
Communications is CEO of ONCARS.com. His long-time
associates from those ventures, all steeped in the
automotive world, include executive producer and creative
director Rick Graves, publishing partner Bill
Sparks, who came up with the OnCars concept and editors
Emile Bouret and Jeremy Shaw. All of the
footage is shot on location in Orange County, Calif. or in
Pfanner Communications studios there. The final
production is done by Terry Lingner’s Lingner Production
Group in Indianapolis which has been producing top-rated
automotive /motorsports television shows for two decades.
The third partner is Jay Penske (yes, Roger’s son),
CEO of Mail.com Media Corp. whose Mail.com offers
free email service and a growing content network of 253
channels - OnCars being named provider for the portal’s new
Wooden Horse (May 25) describes Japanese
Nostalgic Car as a publication for collectors,
enthusiasts, and drivers of vintage Japanese automobiles. In
addition to articles about Japanese car shows and the
history behind various Japanese vehicles, the magazine
includes a buyer's guide, product guide, readers' rides, a
calendar of events, and editorials. Benjamin Hsu
is the editor of this quarterly that is currently available
by subscription only.
Joylon Law advises of his blog,
www.Todaysautonews.com. He describes it as, “a
daily listing of articles from newspapers, magazines and
other blogs on the topic auto product news.” . . . Sean
Kane writes that The Safety Record is “the inside
baseball” of motor vehicle safety. Contact him for
more info at Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. 340
Anawan St., Suite 200 Rehoboth, MA 02769 Email
firstname.lastname@example.org . . . www.TrueDelta.com
uses owner surveys to provide “apples-to-apples” reliability
and pricing comparisons says the website’s developer,
Car Pub Insider blogs about
automotive magazines with a concentration on
publishers’ online activities. Subtitled The Future
of Automobile Magazines, over 30 posts describe
challenges at the leading pubs, how the online tsunami is
threatening print, and the effect of shifting consumer
patterns on the publishing industry. CPI includes a unique
index to 240 publications with circ numbers, for selected
titles. Publisher Eric Killorin advises that reader
contributions are valued . . . . . YouTube has
launched a "Citizens News” channel, joining
CNN’s Ireport initiative to utilize the phenomenal
growth of citizen journalism but without CNN’s background in
filtering and verifying what is reported.
Stewart Berg and Tony Kuhn’s Ultimate
about a year ago, already has competition, Garage Style
Magazine, launched by publisher-editor Don Weberg. His
is the first print magazine on the subject and, like Berg
and Kuhn, is designed to be the resource for amazing garages
with technical how-to articles, product reviews and buyer's
guide, says Weberg. He also plans to include airplane
hangers and boat houses in future issues of the
quarterly. In case you were wondering how much
information on garages the market can bear, Weberg reports,
"In 2006 homeowners spent roughly $2.5 billion on remodeling
garages. Also that 15 percent of new homes built in
the U.S. have room for 3 or more cars."
Sam Moses, generally, is not as confrontational as his
Tom-Tom in the
May issue of this Newsletter was. As his recently launched website
www.sammoses.com, attests, he prefers to tell stories and let the readers reach
their own conclusions. For example, when covering one of Land Rover’s benighted
lash-ups with R.J. Reynolds a few years back, his readers didn’t need to be told
he didn’t favor the world-wide promotion of smoking, they could practically
smell the smoke and hear the hacking and coughing as he recounted the nicotine
ambience of the Camel Trophy Adventure he covered. Cigarettes proffered like
drugs at a rave.
Moses likes to write, particularly, he says, when he gets paid for it. That may
be a challenge for his website which he considers
an aesthetic, functional success but not yet a financial one. He thinks he needs
to focus on driving traffic. However, his preference for telling stories instead
of hitting readers with a two-by-four or punch in the jaw may bring his website
the metric that is gaining favor over the number of eyeballs – engagement. Readers who are enticed not by “must read news you can use” and half-hourly
“scoops” but an experience they can get into.
The first thing Moses’ ever wrote for publication was from the Isle of Man TT
motorcycle races, during his first week of honeymooning around Europe in a
Volkswagen bus. "The editor of MotorCycle Weekly, a tabloid in Irvine, liked it
and asked if I wanted to follow the MotoGP circuit, so my young wife and I used
the racing to determine our itinerary."
His ability to tell stories took him to
Sports Illustrated as Motorsports Editor
for 17 years, deputy editor of AutoWeek for
a stint and to successful freelancing. He has penned auto reviews for numerous
outlets, including New Car Test Review, and
authored two books with a third being polished and a fourth “itching to be
written.” His first book, now in paperback, "Fast Guys, Rich Guys, and Idiots''
was rated one of the best auto racing books ever written. It recounts his two
seasons behind the wheel racing a stock car. The second, “At All Costs“
describes the Allies race to capture the island of Malta during World War II and
thereby thwart Nazi General Rommel’s dash across North Africa to the Middle
East’s oil reserves. The third, “Senor Madre,” relates
his experience as a single parent raising two teenage boys. Lurking between his
mind and the computer keyboard is a fourth
book, a novel based on his several hundred-mile descent of The River of Doubt in
Brazil to where, he says, no journalist has ever gone before.
His website offers brief glimpses of the books, a blog recounting his recovery,
restoration and renewed racing of the Skoal Bandit Olds Cutlass featured in his
“Idiots” book and a blog of his new car test reviews. Motor vehicles have had a
dominant role in his writing because he was born into autodom. One of the
favorite memories of his youth is riding with his Dad as they towed a silver AC
Bristol from his hometown of Altoona, PA to Akron, Ohio for the 1958 Buckeye
Trophy Race. He proudly notes that his Dad finished second, pushing D production
winner Arch Means all the way.
For those who want to continue the conversation from his May Tom-Tom, Moses
concludes his comments with these observations:
Press launches and junkets are not perfect but they are necessary to get cars
reviewed by journalists. Does being pampered and catered to at these events
affect what he writes? He says, "Mostly, they keep me from being negative
in tone but it does not stop me from making critical comments about a car,
pointing out a flaw, underachievement or as I see it, misdirection in design.
What pisses manufacturers off is a flip and negative tone, not a
critical comment of their car that can be backed up by an example." On the other
hand, he has found reviewing cars loaned by auto dealer puts him squarely in the
quid-pro-quo “pay and praise” game. The dealer buys ads in the newspaper and
expects a laudatory review in return.
There is very little that hasn’t been done before in autodom but
Volkswagen may have
been the first to stage a new model press launch on a college campus and ask journalism students there
to participate in it. Curious as to how an undergraduate might react to a full-blown press launch,
AWCom asked the Dean of the University of Colorado School of Journalism
at Boulder, Paul Voakes, to select a student to provide a brief impression
of his/her Tiguan intro experience. Following is aspiring auto journalist
Matt Wessels' un-edited report:
“In late April Dean Paul Voakes walked into my journalism class at the University of Colorado and promptly announced that
VW and Road and Track are offering us an opportunity of a lifetime. My ears perked. He spoke of testing a brand new vehicle and the opportunity to have our material published in arguably the most prestigious North American automotive magazine. As soon as he said "test drive" he might as well have put a leash around my neck and drug me wherever he liked. They educated us on automotive media, coverage and how reviewing cars isn't just about thrashing a brand new vehicle. Check. They invited us to the pre-release dinner. Great food, great company, great opportunity. I must say, I had no idea a German car manufacturer could have this much fun! Maybe it will be reflected in their car?! After many briefings, presentations, education and the like our press day started. We were given the same press release the professional journalists group received, including a full press packet, and the cars followed. VW assigned two students to a car and told us to stick to the route book. And then they turned their eyes away. No way! So we drove and drove, had a couple of snacks on the way, and kept admiring the fact that VW actually trusted us with their cars. The experience and business lunch half way through was well orchestrated and most delicious. We all ended back up at CU with all cars intact, with fuel gauges showing the right amount of fuel. VW, I definitely hope to work with you again in the future!” In case they or others are interested, Wessels appended his email address:
The online charity auction for
Frank Washington had gathered $6500 by the May issue of this Newsletter and “taken on a life of its own,”
Brenda Priddy reports. She also notes, “And people have been so generous: It's not uncommon for a 'winning bid' to be $60 or $70, and yet the buyer sends in an even hundred! People who have donated items have also donated the shipping charges - which make the items even more appealing. It's just been an amazing experience.” This makes it easier for 100% of the proceeds to go to Washington, who is uninsured. Priddy says
Jim Dunne has offered to share in the costs of the ongoing E-Bay auction.
Porsche, Lexus and
Mercedes finished 1,2,3 in the Luxury Institute’s Luxury Brand Status Index, as reported by
Media Post, June 2. The survey
went to 1600 plus Americans with incomes averaging $349,000 and net worth averaging $3.7 million . . . Until gas prices drop well below $4.00 per gallon, even
Corvette owners might find it better to skip this year’s annual “Drive Your Corvette to Work Day”
scheduled for June 17.
Sardonic John Dinkel suggests that AWCOM might change its mission statement to: “Get the right info to the
right people left writing about cars.”
Perhaps, but AWCom has a vetted list of 3000 persons in the U.S. and Canada who make all or part of their living writing about cars. . . . The
Automotive Communications Council recently awarded $1,000 scholarship to two graduating high school seniors focusing on marketing, public relations, journalism, advertising or a related field within the aftermarket. Attracting the best and brightest into the marketing and communications discipline of its industry is deemed increasingly important by ACC members.
White is still tops but blue is gaining in popularity, according to a special mid-year DuPont car color update (email@example.com). . . .
Bridgestone has a teen video contest underway. The contest will award three $5,000 college scholarships for the most compelling and effective videos that drive home life-saving messages on auto and tire safety.
Entries close June 24. Rules and other information available at
www.SafetyScholars.com . . . The
General Motors 2009 Product Information Guide is now available.
Andrew Stoy, ex wrench and ad suit but always a hands-on
enthusiast is the new senior editor of Jalopnik. . . .
Mark Glover, auto editor of The Sacramento Bee from November
2000 until the paper's two weekly WHEELS sections were
turned over to The Bee's advertising department in April
this year, is now reviewing motor vehicles in the
Northern/Central California Cruisin' News, published monthly
out of Folsom, California. While Glover is no longer
reviewing motor vehicles in The Bee, he is doing stories on
the business and alternative-fuel vehicle aspects of the
auto industry for the newspaper's daily business section. .
. . Joe Volpe has been named director of Motorsports
Activities and Tim Hannen Kart Manager at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Volpe can be reached at:
After eight years at
www.AutobyTel.com, Brian Chee is now
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . . . Mark Ellias has
migrated from Automotive Traveler to
he is responsible for US auto reviews and photography. He
says LeftLaneNews.com is updated throughout the day with
industry and vehicle news, new car research, future vehicle
information, and reviews. He can be reached at:
. . Donna Alexander has replaced Ray Petevis as Auto Manager
at the Wilmington News Journal (Del.). . . . Eric Kaminsky
replaced Denise Rounds as managing editor of Amos Automotive’s Pontiac Enthusiast. . . . .R.Chandler succeeds
Eric Eckard as auto editor at the Rocky Mount Telegram
(North Carolina). . .
Christopher Boyce is the automotive and
auto manufacturers business editor at the St. Louis
across the finish line
Beverly Rae Kimes, May 12, 2008. Automotive writer
historian, deemed “one of the greatest automotive writers of
our time” by the Antique Automobile Club of America,
her books and articles earned numerous awards. “An amazing
talent and a lady of grace,” said Vintage Sports Car
Glenn F. Campbell
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vehicle awards list
CONSENSUS AWARDS FOR 2008
We expected the fanfare of trumpets to be in this issue of
the Autowriters.Com Newsletter but at the last minute we
discovered the U.S. News and World Report Car and Truck
Rankings were not included in our finely tuned evaluations and
precise measurements of all the annual U.S. car awards we have
been able to compile in one place. The hunt goes on.
2008 Detroit Press Club Foundation Wheel Awards
Mike Casey and Rick Montgomery
Kansas City Star
“Va-VA Vroom” Audi R8
Advance look at UAW Negotiations
“Too Much Café Makes
Smaller More Expensive”
General Interest Magazines/ Special Interest Publications
Mary Beth VanderSchaff, Mark Recthin
Toyota’s 50 Years in America
For complete winning entry description/reference, rules and numerous
other category winners check: http://www.wheelawards.com/
Jerry Flint, columnist for Forbes magazine, is the 2008 winner of the
Elliott V. Bell Award, the New York Financial Writers’ top recognition
for distinguished contributions to the field of financial journalism. He
has been with Forbes since 1979 and before that was Detroit Bureau Chief
for the New York Times and a reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
While their owners may or may not claim total car of the year awards,
those driving a SuzukiX4, Chevy Malibu, Jaguar XF, Audi TT, Mazda5 CUV
and Chrysler Town
And Country can claim “Interiors of The Year” as determined by
the editors of Wards Automotive Group . . . Michael Knight’s
Spindoctor500blog.blogspot.com won best blog in AARWBA’s annual
LeMons New England email@example.com
Lower Weights for Higher Mileage, National Press Club, DC
Shell Oil, Coral Gables, FL
Survival Teen Driving Program, London, NH; South Bend, IN
Awards and NA Concept Vehicle Awards, Dearborn, MI
Ford, Los Angeles, CA
||NEMPA Rag Top
Ramble, Boston to Kennebunkport, ME
Toyota, Detroit Athletic Club, Detroit, MI
||NWAPA, Summer Run
Event, Portland, OR
||Automotive Hall of
Fame Classic, "The GM Century", Dearborn, MI
Subaru, Los Angeles, CA
Briefing, "Transcending Turbulence", Traverse City, MI
The 14 regional automotive press associations provide
information and background not easily found elsewhere.
they are too distant to attend their meetings, belonging usually
gives you access to transcripts or reports of these events and
Automotive Press Association, Detroit - Katie Kerwin
International Motor Press Association, NYC, Fred Chieco, President -
Midwest Automotive Media Association, Chicago -
Motor Press Guild, Los Angeles -
New England Motor Press Association, Boston -
Automotive Press Association, Port Orchard, WA-
Phoenix Automotive Press Association, Phoenix, Cathy Droz, President-
Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, Denver -
Southern Automotive Media Association, Miami FL, Ron Beasley, President,
Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC
Texas Auto Writers Association
http://www.TexasAutoWriters.org, Harold Gunn,
Writers of North America,
www.twna.org Tom Kelley,
Western Automotive Journalists, San Francisco -
www.waj.org, Ron Harrison
Washington Automotive Press Association, D.C., Kimatni Rawlins,
Happy Birthday Glenn
with love from your "pit crew"
Kim, Jamie, Richie, Amy,
Jonathan, Clay, Alicia, Kyle, Sean, Justin, Lysa, Meres, Rusty,
Andy, Margaret, David
and your Crew Chief, Mary!
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