june 2008 newsletter

Problems viewing this newsletter? Click here to read it online

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 decade.”
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 Monthly


AWcom for targeted news release distribution.

the tom-tom

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 if you would like to consider his column for your publication..


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 record sales.

Picture: Bill Maloney, Syndicated ColumnistA research firm in Portland, Oregon and an editor of Car And 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 stats.

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 statements.

Cameron Diaz, Ed Begley, Jar, and the two guys who own Google, who the CNW study says quote “don’t know 'dick' about the environment.”  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 agenda.

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 volunteered and express the opinions of the writer.


new roads 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  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 Media Corp. whose offers free email service and a growing content network of 253 channels - OnCars being named provider for the portal’s new Automotive Channel.

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,  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 . . . uses owner surveys to provide “apples-to-apples” reliability and pricing comparisons says the website’s developer, Michael Karesh.

Car Pub Insider blogs about automotive magazines with a concentration on publishers’ online activities.  Subtitled The Future of AutomobileLogo: Car Publisher Insider 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 Garages www.Garages.Net, begun 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."


autowriters spotlight

Sam Moses, generally, is not as confrontational as his Tom-Tom in the May issue of this Newsletter was. As his recently launched website, 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 hearPicture: Autowriters Spotlight: Sam Moses 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.


pit notes

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 ( . . . 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 . . . The General Motors 2009 Product Information Guide is now available. 


Jump TV, Inc.
lane changes

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, Brian Chee is now freelancing and can be reached at . . . Mark Ellias has migrated from Automotive Traveler to  where he is responsible for US auto reviews and photography.  He says is updated throughout the day with automotive 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 Post-Dispatch.


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 editor Jim Donick.


- 30-

Glenn F. Campbell

table of contents

subscription info

Did someone forward you a copy of our newsletter? Sign up for your own subscription here. If you want to stop receiving this newsletter, please send an e-mail to

vehicle awards list


 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
“Fatal Failures”

Product Review
Scott Burgess
Detroit News
“Va-VA Vroom” Audi R8

Wire/News Service
 Bill Koenig
Bloomberg News
 Advance look at UAW Negotiations

 Doron Levin
Bloomberg News
“Too Much Café Makes Smaller More Expensive”

General Interest Magazines/ Special Interest Publications
 Mary Beth VanderSchaff, Mark Recthin
Automotive News
Toyota’s 50 Years in America

For complete winning entry description/reference, rules and numerous other category winners check:

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 won best blog in AARWBA’s annual
Journalism competition.





14 Deadline for LeMons New England
18 WAPA Luncheon: Lower Weights for Higher Mileage, National Press Club, DC
19 SAMA, Luncheon, Shell Oil, Coral Gables, FL
21 Tire Rack, Survival Teen Driving Program, London, NH; South Bend, IN
24 SEAMO/IAMA Media Awards and NA Concept Vehicle Awards, Dearborn, MI


1 MPG, Luncheon, Ford, Los Angeles, CA
10-11 NEMPA Rag Top Ramble, Boston to Kennebunkport, ME
15 APA, Luncheon, Toyota, Detroit Athletic Club, Detroit, MI
15-17 NWAPA, Summer Run Event, Portland, OR
21 SAMA, Luncheon, Audi, TBA
26 Automotive Hall of Fame Classic, "The GM Century", Dearborn, MI


5 MPG, Luncheon, Subaru, Los Angeles, CA
11-15 CAR Management Briefing, "Transcending Turbulence", Traverse City, MI


motoring press organizations

The 14 regional automotive press associations provide information and background not easily found elsewhere.
  If they are too distant to attend their meetings, belonging usually gives you access to transcripts or reports of these events and other benefits.


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 -


Northwest 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,


Southeast Automotive Media Organization, Charlotte, NC


Texas Auto Writers Association, Harold Gunn, 


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


Western Automotive Journalists, San Francisco  -, Ron Harrison


Washington Automotive Press Association, D.C., Kimatni Rawlins, President -

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!

talk to us

We’re always looking for better ways to put out a newsletter people want to read and advertisers want to use - -  so talk to us! What do you like or dislike about this newsletter?  What topics or information would you like to see covered?  Have a question you'd like posed to the readership?  How can we make this newsletter more useful to you? Talk to us!
Send your rants, raves, questions and suggestions to:

Go Mobile Giveaway - Win $50,000 or an amazing, new smartphone!

automotive journalists

Help us make sure you continue to get
the information you want
the way you want it
Keep your profile current. Fill out the form online.
 Thank you!

automotive bloggers

AWcom is compiling a directory of automotive blogs. This is a guide to people who only write an automotive related blog. If that's you - - then sign up!

services & rate card

PR, Marketing and Media Relations Pros, can work
 with you to get the right info
to the right people who write
 about cars!
Contact us for your next release.
or phone 435.656.1040.

Our Ad Rate Card is available online at
or by request.

table of contents your way to get the right info to the right people who write about cars.

  home services newsletter autowriters sign-up autobloggers sign-up contact us  

Copyright © 2008 All Worldwide Rights Reserved.