No doubt many a fun road traveled was revisited and new ones mapped by Brock Yates and friends when they gathered recently to honor the latest curve in his journey. William Jeanes graciously recaps the event:
“On Saturday, 17 June 2006, a group of automotive writers, friends, and family met at Farmstead, the Wyoming, New York, home of Brock and Pamela Yates. The occasion? Yates's severance from Car and Driver after some four decades. In addition to his often acerbic writing for Car and Driver, Yates is best known as the progenitor of the Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash and of the less life-threatening One Lap of America. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Against Death and Time, and the soon-to-be-released Umbrella Mike, and wrote the screenplays for Cannonball Run and Smokey and the Bandit. Yates has also done considerable television motorsports commentary. "Yates always found writing for car magazines to be a profitable sideline," quipped David E. Davis, Jr., dean of U.S. automotive journalists and one of five former editors of Car and Driver in attendance. The other four, in chronological order, were Brock Yates, Steve Smith, Stephan Wilkinson, and William Jeanes. The late Leon Mandel and current editor Csaba Csere were among the missing former Car and Driver editors. “Under the auspices of master of ceremonies John Phillips, brief words from the editors and ex-staffers Jim Williams and Tony Swan spiced the evening. Following the speeches, Yates regaled the crowd with comments on the current state of automotive magazines and put forth the news that "there will be another real Cannonball," beginning and ending at secure undisclosed locations. The evening ended when the beer, wine, and food ran out.”
Yet another familiar road being traveled is Carroll Shelby’s competitive drive. This time he’s taking on himself. Carroll vows he will market a better chili mix than the one he created and sold along with his name on it a decade or two back. Nothing gets fire in his eyes like somebody else making money on his name - without getting a cut himself. . . . Ohana Road TV’s Bill Maloney suggests manufacturers could provide interesting side trips for media during down times at press previews. He mentions visiting a friend’s impressive private collection with some colleagues while attending a recent preview in the northwest. A number of years back Toyota PR’s John McCandless, then with Chrysler and active in the Naval Reserve, arranged a tour of a battleship during a press intro at Mobile, Ala.
Automotive Rhythms is transitioning in reverse, from the
internet and TV to print. Kimantu Rawlins, the driving force
behind Automotive Rhythms’
media investments said “The magazine will further enhance what we call ‘The Urban Automotive Experience,’ offering car enthusiasts another outlet to learn more about the industry and its products.” Editor is Brian Armstead.
OFF THE TRACK
Chris Mullen is no longer with RTM Productions nor is Road & Track TV but RTM, which relocated to Franklin, TN., produces four auto shows for Spike TV. . . . August Cole is gone from Marketwatch and missing from Primedia are Kevin Wilson (not to be confused with Autoweek’s Kevin A. Wilson), Super Chevy publisher Tom Vogele and its editor Terry Cole. . . . John Peter left his dieselpub address when Diesel and Gas Publications sold Automotive Industries. . . . Ron Kino is gone from Motor Trend and Dave Phillips from The Detroit News. Deputy Business Editor Sue Carney replaces Phillips as Auto Editor.
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Adam Barrera brings some good news to the auto journalism front. While technology makes it easy to turn speech into print and vice versa, this University of Houston junior has been advised by his instructors to continue to focus on the basics: reporting and writing. ”The better you are at those,” his news writing professor said, “ the better you’re going to be as a professional writer.” As to Barrera’s passion to be an automotive journalist, he was told, “It’s a very good area for you to go into. You can have lots of fun and make a living at it.” Barrera has written a number of auto-related stories for the school’s 14,000 circulation Daily Cougar and makes a good case for getting new cars to review: “Students at the University of Houston are well-known for their work ethic. Most maintain jobs in addition to a full-time course load, giving the student body meaningful purchasing parity.” Until he succeeds in persuading some manufacturers to put him on their “B” lists, at least, Barrera provides the school paper with profiles of students involved in motorsports, reports on automotive engineering technology at UH, alternate fuels and The Houston Auto Show. Most of these he migrates to his website: www.highmileage.org.
Ex Car Craft staffer Terry McGean has switched sides of the nation and rent districts. He is now with Hemmings Motor News. To replace him Car Craft has a novel contest for applicants recruited from its website. Those considered the best applicants will have their resumes posted (sans name, we presume) so readers can help select those worthy of an interview. The candidates selected for an interview will also have a shot at other editorial jobs open in Primedia’s 120-title automotive publishing empire. Applicants who opt out of the contest will still be considered. . . . Earle Eldridge, former auto writer at U.S.A. Today writes: “I am now with the Baltimore Examiner, a daily newspaper that is part of the Clarity Media Group, which includes the San Francisco Examiner and the Washington, D.C. Examiner.” He covers area angles of national auto news and writes a weekly automotive column. . . . Jeremy Peters returned to the mother ship from the Detroit bureau of the New York Times. He advises that he will still occasionally cover autos. Taking Peters’ place in the Detroit bureau is former Detroit News award-winning reporter Nick Bunkley. . . . Chris Berend, has moved from Esquire to ESPN, The Magazine. Succeeding him is three-year Esquire staffer Tyler Cabot.
By now, every journalist reading this newsletter should have received an invitation to participate in the Motor Press Guild’s 2006 survey about their satisfaction with automotive public relations activities. John Rettie, MPG Board Member, Past President and architect of last year’s limited initial survey says the positive response by manufacturers, several of whom have elected to use the MPG survey instead of conducting their own, encouraged a second, expanded survey. “It is our goal for this survey to evolve into an industry-wide annual PR benchmarking study of media professionals in the automotive industry,” Rettie said. If you would like more information on the survey, please e-mail Rettie at email@example.com or call him at (805) 687 7158. . . . Marty Habalewsky, former PRWire and Business Wire Detroit rep and long before that a publicist with BBDO’s ad agency in Detroit is now a vice president with AutoCom Associates which recently gained the Lear account. . . . Our apologies for misspelling BMW PR man Dave Buchko’s name in the last issue.
EVENTS & ANNIVERSARIES
The Car Buzzard let its first anniversary pass by without feasting on cake, releasing balloons or eating crow. Head buzzard John Matras has employed current technology’s amazing ability to organize vast amounts of data to provide easy access to 15,000 reviews of innumerable makes and models. He calls the site “A modern day interpretation of The Readers Guide to Periodical Literature, except without the green binders.” . . . The 5th Annual West Coast Stock Car Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony and Banquet will be held Friday, July 21, 2006 Holiday Inn, Monrovia, Calif. Contact: Hall of Fame website: www.stockcarreunion.com. . . . IMPA test days are Sept. 7 and 8 at Pocono Raceway and Split Rock Resort. Test Days Coordinator is Paul Licata, Licatap02@aol.com, and he welcomes IMPA member volunteers in a number of capacities: Design Supervisor, Split Rock Thursday Volunteer Coordinator, Spilt Rock Thursday Volunteers, Pocono Raceway Volunteer Coordinator. Pocono Volunteers Track Setup Coordinator, Sponsor Services, Supply Manager, Goodie Bag Stuffers. . . . Golden Quill entries are being sought by WAPA. Any journalist based in the Washington/Baltimore metro area is eligible to enter. The awards honor the best automotive story or series in print, broadcast or the web that contributes to the public good related to motor vehicles or the motor vehicle industry. Two printed copies of each entry, be it originally web, broadcast, or print should be sent to Frank Aukofer, Golden Quill Chairman, 6325 Beachway Drive, Falls Church, VA. 22044.
Motoring Press Organizations
The 13 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.Contacts
- Automotive Press Association (APA), Detroit - Jeff Gilbert president firstname.lastname@example.org
- International Motor Press Association (IMPA), NYC - email@example.com www.impa.org
- Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), Chicago - www.mamaonline.org
- Motor Press Guild (MPG), Los Angeles - www.motorpressguild.org
- New England Motor Press Association, (NEMPA), Boston - www.nempa.org
- Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA), Port Orchard, WA- www.nwapa.org
- Phoenix Automotive Press Association (PAPA), Phoenix- firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), Denver - email@example.com
- Southeast Automotive Media Organization (SEAMO), Charlotte, NC www.southeastautomedia.org
- Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), Red Oak TX - http://www.TexasAutoWriters.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Truck Writers of North America, www.twna.org Tom Kelley, Executive Director, email@example.com
- Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA), D.C. - www.washautopress.org
- Western Automotive Journalists (WAJ), San Francisco - www.waj.org, Michael Coates, president, firstname.lastname@example.org
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