Wild About Wheels TV launched in 1990 has a legitimate claim to sparking automotive lifestyle television to world-wide success and now that program’s founders, www.wheelstv.net, assert another first with a 16-channel broadband offering of vehicle-based news, information and entertainment with the opportunity for viewers to contribute and compete for awards. . . . Editor and publisher Jamie Moe is set to launch Dream Garage Magazine and web site this fall. . . . Wooden Horse News reports: Stock and Custom is all about the beauty of cars and the stories behind the experience. How-to articles and car show coverage will be offered along with profiles of owners and their cars. Michael Horton, Big Runners Publishing, is founder of the magazine. Four issues are planned for 2006 and a bi-monthly schedule is in the works for 2007. Distribution is largely on newsstands throughout the east coast, but quickly pushing westward. . . . Mike Bumbeck edits the just launched MOPAR Max online magazine with Tech, Road Tests, Resto Features and an outstanding roster of contributing editors. . . . Sport Z is no longer on the track but a successor magazine, Nissan Sport, has been launched by four of its former staff to cover the complete range of Nissan vehicles: every car and truck ever produced by Nissan, Datsun or Infiniti but focusing heavily on the sporty end of the spectrum. Editor-in-chief is Dave Ochenreider and managing editor is Dave Bexfield. Ship date for the first of four quarterly issues is September. It will be 80 pages and full-color. Between issues, they will publish the Nissan Insider. “Initially,” Bexfield says, “it will be four pages filled with timely news, like racing coverage, updates on project cars, new product releases, that sort of thing. Everything we can’t fit in the magazine, we’ll try to include in the INSIDER.” . . . The O’Neill brothers (recent college graduates Brandon and Patrick) appear to have put their mass-marketing plan for DVD car reviews on hold while focusing on building their day-job careers but may find their idea supplanted by another promising one: burning disks of car reviews at in-store video downloading kiosks – much simpler and more efficient than fighting for and stocking shelf space in Wal-Mart, Best Buy and other national outlets. Once established, kiosk download distribution may speed the long-predicted shift from print to digital publishing which Scott Donaton, writing in Advertising Age, says is being slowed by: “media executives' emotional attachment to ink on paper, a deeply held -- if largely indefensible -- sense that a newspaper's soul is inextricably linked to its format” and "not wanting to put their existing revenue streams at risk before they've built the ark that will carry them safely to a new business model.” Donaton calls the first factor “nonsense” and the second necessary number crunching. Yet another way of monetizing the web’s heralded ability to enable users to become creators is www.Revver.com. Revver will attach a small ad at the end of a submitted video, code it for tracking purpose and return it to the maker for posting. Any ad revenue from the posting is shared 50-50 if its on the maker’s site and 40-40-20 if it derives from posting on another’s site, blog or email.
For those readers who complain about the visibility we give Robert Farago’s “Truth About Cars” web offerings doing so is not necessarily an endorsement of his views and style. His hegira from throwing rocks at the church while his parents are inside getting married to taking a seat in the congregation was and continues to be a depression-era play unfolding before us: rebel with a cause uses powerful new tool to take on the establishment and is slowly co-opted by the need to make a living. The third act is still unfolding but for the time being, it appears his intelligence, energy and the web-provided power to be heard are not sufficient alone for him to right the injustices he perceives in the way Americans learn and think about their cars. From proudly offering his views free from the influences of advertising to unsuccessfully soliciting subscriptions to sustain his enterprise, he has now made arrangements for what he hopes can be non-contaminating advertising support. Farago also has added knowledgeable, non rant-addicted writers to help him post 10 columns a week. And we trust he has by this time obtained the car-test booker he has been seeking as well as motorsport correspondents for the various racing circuits. It is beginning to sound like a full-fledged emagazine. Is a name-change next and will it become the new establishment? . . . Akin to Farago’s complaint is Frank Gillette’s report in the Columbia Journalism Review of an article in Wired that illustrates, “The media's habit of slathering uncritical hype on whatever gizmo or widget is currently deemed worthy of "breakthrough technology." In the Wired piece Brad Stone, Silicon Valley correspondent for Newsweek, took a look back at the transponder technology introduced by auto companies in the early ‘90s to virtually “eliminate car thefts.” The new device was so widely reported without independent verification that insurance companies turned down theft claims for cars so equipped. When it happened to Stone’s own transponder- protected car he investigated and found that such thefts were not uncommon and in fact, that there were a number of ways that thieves regularly defeated the technology. . . . Another old road being kept alive is Lee Raskin’s photo chronicling of James Dean’s life-long (and ending) fascination with speed. Raskin attached a copy of his 19-page“James Dean At Speed” tribute along with his request to be included on our subscription list. . . . Mike Calla is offering an inexpensive CD of 1200 racing photos of a huge list of drivers active in the early to mid-‘60s. Most of them he says, have never been printed from the original negatives and 5% have not been seen for 40 years. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Jan Wagner writes with delight about automobiles. The “A” in his writing is neither “attack” nor “attitude” just appreciation.
He unpretentiously shares his enjoyment in cars
and the automotive scene with the average reader. It shows in his newspaper column and his photographs that illustrate them on his web site:
Eric Convey has departed the Boston Globe to become managing editor at the Boston Business Journal. Jerry Kronenberg is the Globe’s Auto Editor. . . . Mike Ellis has left The Detroit Free Press to man Chrysler’s media blog. . . . Long time off-roading, four-wheeling, trailering writer Ken Freund no longer is with Trailer Life. A press member of the first U.S. Camel Trophy Team, Freund is freelancing and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . . . Ever-migrating Ro McGonegal reports he is on his best gig yet, contributing to four online journals from his home. The 2000 winner of IMPA’s Ken Purdy Award writes for Dragracing Online, Maxchevy, Muscle Rides and just launched Mopar Max. . . . Amanda Shelley has replaced Carrie McDuffie as auto editor for the Southern Maryland Newspapers, responsible for weekly, monthly and annual auto sections. . . . Sleepy Gomez is no longer tech editor for Primedia's Stock Car Racing magazine. He is now publisher and tech director of Oval Track Digest.Com, a monthly online stock car racing tech magazine. . . . Jay Heath returned to auto journalism last March as editor of Vette. . . . Michigan-based Eddie Alterman is now Werner Media’s auto editor at large contributing columns and features for Men's Journal and Rolling Stone.
EVENTS, HONORS & ANNIVERSARIES
Just about everything has been tried at least once in the auto industry but
David Stokols of AMCI may have come up with a “first” in his August 10
Southern California “Read and Drive” to introduce a book about cars.
The book is,
Branding Iron, an insiders account of great automotive successes and failures co-authored by former
Land Rover North America president Charlie Hughes and noted auto journalist
William Jeanes. Both men will be on hand for discussions with a selected list of invitees who will be able to drive a number of cars highlighted in the book. . . . Also On August 10,
APA members will adjourn to burn some rubber and enjoy some mid-day driving activities at the
Michigan State Fairgrounds & Exposition Center in Detroit. The
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company will host hands-on driving sessions on three different courses set
up for participants to drive cars and SUVs in wet and dry handling situations and a simulated ice surface experience. Goodyear's
Joey Viselli will address the lunchtime crowd with a presentation of
"Tire Technology - Carbon Fiber, Kevlar and Volcanic Sand ... in Tires?" . . . Member and
guest (minimum age 18) tickets for the 2006 IMPA Test Days are now available for $85 online. These tickets provide access to all events and meal functions at both
Split Rock Resort and Pocono Raceway. Driving is limited to members only. Online tickets can be ordered by going to either
www.impa.org and navigating to the
Test Days section or clicking on
http://impa.tix.com . . .
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 email@example.com
- International Motor Press Association (IMPA), NYC - firstname.lastname@example.org 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- email@example.com
- Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), Denver - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Southeast Automotive Media Organization (SEAMO), Charlotte, NC www.southeastautomedia.org
- Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), Red Oak TX - http://www.TexasAutoWriters.org, Albert Flores, email@example.com
- Truck Writers of North America, www.twna.org Tom Kelley, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA), D.C. - www.washautopress.org
- Western Automotive Journalists (WAJ), San Francisco - www.waj.org, Michael Coates, president, email@example.com
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