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june 2012
newsletter


the road ahead

Confessions of a Magazine Junkie

By Richard Truesdell

Like many of my colleagues, I have watched as our profession, automotive journalism, has been transformed, first by the Internet, and over the last four years by this relentless recession that has caused an unprecedented consolidation among automotive publications.

Every morning before starting my work day I read a half-dozen publishing, tech, and media blogs, trying to get a handle on the intensifying transformation of our profession. And it's not just the automotive publishing segment that has been impacted. You name the genre – shelter, travel, culinary, sports, celebrity, lifestyle – all have seen titles contracting, going all-digital, or simply closing down.

Richard Truesdell, Co-founder and Editorial Director, Automotive Traveler magazine  AutomotiveTraveler.com

Just last week the Dow Jones publication SmartMoney announced that it was going all digital and was laying off 25 staff members. SmartMoney is not a magazine with insignificant readership; it has a paid circulation of more than 800,000. This reminded me of a couple of years ago when Conde Nast shut down Gourmet when it boasted a paid circulation of almost one million. You can see all the bad news on how magazine advertising is declining by clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/awclink2.

Last year we witnessed a seismic event that directly and indirectly affected us all, the Borders bankruptcy and the closure of its 600+ newsstands. What's so funny is that I haven't seen much of anything written on its impact on the magazine industry. But rest assured, it's has a major impact on single-copy sales coming in the aftermath of Walmart's well-publicized 2008 reduction of 1,000 titles it carries. With many other retail outlets, like supermarket chains, reducing their assortments and the space dedicated to displaying periodicals, it all paints a pretty bleak picture for those of us who write for a living.

Where is this leading to?

Of course there's the Internet, but few of us have found the way to fully replace good-paying magazine work by writing primarily for Internet properties. There's a pretty simple reason for this. The advertising that typically supported automotive magazines, mainstream and niche, has not migrated to the web in a meaningful way.

Don't believe me? Take a look at any of the four mainstream automotive magazines with huge circulations and compare their advertising packages today with their 2008 counterparts. The number of ad pages are down sharply, especially those double-page ads from the car manufacturers.

It's not much better for niche publications. Magazines that once enjoyed robust ad packages of 40 pages or more, now struggle to sell 20 pages of ads. I suspect that some of those ads are sold at a deep discount from the magazine's rate card or are packaged together with ads in other titles. The net result is that magazines that were once 100+ pages now are published with less than 70 pages between the covers.

One report I recently read said that only one dollar in 27 is migrating to the web. I'm not sure I believe it's that bad. But the difference of the loss of ad dollars in print magazines that hasn't migrated to the web is significant. The question that begs to be asked is where all those dollars are hiding? I don't have an answer.

Good journalism, automotive or otherwise, is expensive. Expensive if contributors are to be paid a living wage. We all bemoan that we're working harder and getting paid less today than 10 or 20 years ago. That's a fact, the reality that we all struggle with.

A while back, in answering a blind Craigslist ad seeking experienced automotive writers, what I found was a well-funded web publisher seeking contributors to produce 500-word "articles" for $10 a pop. Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather write for free for my own website and hope that at some point I'll get the breakthrough I think I deserve and find the necessary advertiser or subscriber support. But I know it's going to be a struggle.

What keeps me going every day is that even with all the success of the iPad, no publisher, large or small, has really been successful in monetizing their digital properties. I know of few digital-only publications that are self-sustaining, Automotive Traveler  included. But I know we are making progress and have invested heavily with my two partners to develop a platform – we call it a viewer – that is well-suited to present magazine-quality content to any tablet or computer.

What's great about the approach I've taken is that I have complete editorial control over what I publish. The content – automotive and travel – can be viewed on any device running a browser (but I think it works best on devices with screens nine inches or larger, like an iPad), that whatever I publish is indexed by search engines and shows up as text and image searches when you Google a search term. This is not true, to my knowledge, with any device-specific app.

I will acknowledge that apps do have their advantages in certain instances. I'll cite the British motoring magazine Octane. I think that many of you will agree that Octane is a top-tier print publication and that any of us would welcome being published in its pages. And it should be noted that Octane has not one, but two digital editions.

One digital edition is what I call a magazine replica. This is where the pages and layouts from the print version are simply carbon copied to the app with the addition of active links. This version suffers from the problem of when reading text – since it was originally designed for a vertical page layout with small text – requires zooming and scrolling.

But the publishers and editors of Octane have taken a second, separate approach, what they call their interactive edition. They have redesigned each new issue of the entire magazine with fresh, horizontally-oriented layouts that take full advantage of all the iPad's capabilities.

The text in the interactive edition is bigger – important for those of us who now own shares in reading glasses companies – and this interactive edition includes outstanding videos. One case was a time-lapse film of a full day's studio photo session of the cover story on the four significant cars introduced in 1962 (the Ferrari GTO, Shelby Cobra, MGB, and Lotus Elan), that are fully integrated into the issue.

In the case of Octane, I think the digital interactive version is even better, more compelling and engrossing read than the already excellent print version.

As automotive journalists, we have to stop complaining and take our digital destiny into our own hands. We have to band together and innovate, coming up with our own fresh editorial concepts. One of the beauties of the Internet and the digital age that we are transitioning into, is that in many instances we have eliminated the need for traditional publishers. With the tools available to us, it's possible to publish directly to our readers.

The issue remains how to support ourselves as we move to this new and exciting publishing model. This will require a leap of faith on the part of advertisers and sponsors. Because we've grown up in an era where our readers expect content on the Internet to be delivered free, we need their support to publish the same level of high-quality, properly edited, and fully vetted content that serves our needs, those of our advertisers and sponsors, and most of all, our readers. That is the reason why most of us got into this business in the first place.

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road signs

Julie Hamp, Communications Chief Toyota Julie Hamp's appointment as communications chief for Toyota Motors Sales, USA, Inc. may halt or hasten the dismantling of what at one time was rated the most potent PR force among the automakers. Retirement, resignation and severances have removed four seasoned veterans from the Toyota field force and three of its PR field offices have been shuttered. Calls to them are either greeted with "out of service' or referred to Toyota's U.S., headquarters in Torrance, Calif. With Hamp's arrival the company may be following the perceived communications curve reported by the Center for Media Research that puts the marketing departments of most U.S. companies in charge of customer communications and fashionably assigning more marketing monies these days to multiple new channels at the expense of auto journalism - until the recalls begin.

Yet, Mark Walsh reports in Online Media Daily, a new study reveals "nearly two-thirds (64%) of people say they "hate" when a company targets them through their social networking profile, and 58% agree that social media marketing is invasive." Walsh concludes from findings of the study conducted by Insight Strategy Group, "In short, people like being able to provide feedback to marketers via social media -- but they don't necessarily want to be followed by them."

In another study reported in The Social Graf by Erik Sass it was revealed that the more time college students spent on Facebook, the more likely they were to have low self esteem. Published in an academic journal called Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking the study is titled "‘They Are Happier and Having Better Lives than I Am': The Impact of Using Facebook on Perceptions of Others' Lives." It is based on a survey of roughly 425 college students asking them about their own lives and the lives of friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Also, the time they spent and frequency of using Facebook. Sass notes other studies have shown a correlation between social media use and mental health issues but not, necessarily, a causal relationship. However, Facebook's IPO flop may have put some investors in a funk.

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mac's moments

Maynard 'Mac' Gordon Named AWcom Detroit Correspondent & Marketing Representative

Maynard 'Mac' GordonBorn September 5, 1927 in (Motown) Detroit, Maynard M. Gordon early on was a newspaper addict. He became editor of his intermediate school newspaper and co-editor of his senior high school newspaper.

At Wayne State University, 'Mac' Gordon was a night editor and recalls as one of his top stories student reaction to the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Gordon was drafted during the Korean War in 1952 and - what else - became editor of The Camp Gordon, Georgia Army newspaper.

In 1944, upon his release from the army, he joined Automotive News as a copy reader. 19 years later, as news editor, he purchased a dealer-focused newsletter called Motor News Analysis. Later Gordon acquisitions included The Imported Car Reports Newsletter. Gordon and five other Detroit-based auto writers co-founded the Detroit Auto Writers Group (DAWG) in 1967. He wrote the annual 'auto industry' report for the Encyclopedia Americana for 25 years and in 2011 received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Detroit Society of Professional Journalists.

He and his wife, Lucille Gordon, were married in 1949 and have three children, Dr. Julian Gordon, Elizabeth Anne Holmes and Adam Gordon.

Industry Insights By The Dean of Detroits Auto Writers: "Mac" Gordon

DEALERS, FACTORIES SPLIT ON FACILITIES

Despite rising new car sales, new-car franchised dealers are facing automaker pressures to modernize or expand their facilities.

Steve Wade, multi-franchise dealer in St. George, Utah, and NADA's president in 2011-2012, is spearheading NADA's first-ever resistance program to factory demands, which are especially costly for small-town dealers... GM chairman & CEO Dan Akerson tells Fortune magazine he wants a more customer-centric automaker and for the first time will pay dealers bonuses based on customer-satisfaction scores. Akerson fluffs off Toyota's regaining No. 1 global ranking in first quarter of 2012, declaring "I'd rather be the most profitable in terms of margins." Dealers starved for shipments of hot-selling Cruzes and Sonics don't agree with their boss's profit or production logic.

DENZA'S ROLE AS COMING WORLD CAR

'Denza' means 'rising momentum' in the Mandarin language. BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu says the 'Denza' spells a forthcoming global role for all Chinese automakers as a joint venture between the world's youngest and oldest automakers.

In a media conference at the Beijing exhibition, Geely Group Vice President Frank Zhao declared that China's annual sales are approaching 20 million units, with every "international player here. In comparison, China now is a much more competitive market than the U.S. and Europe."

Zhao, who has worked in Japan, Great Britain and the U.S. (as a senior engineering executive at Chrysler Group) said the acquisition of the Volvo brand by Geely reflects the Westernization trend that sees more shared platforms and engines now taking hold in the Chinese auto industry. "Toyota has 25 platforms, and Geely only five," he explains. "Our goal is to offer consumers vehicle products that look all different from the outside but share the same parts and components inside."

The global 'buzz' surrounding the Denza could bring closer the dates when the first Chinese cars are exported to and built in the U.S., according to Yang Guoquing, China's counsel-general in Chicago. Yang Guoqiang spoke at a signal event - the 20th anniversary dinner of the Chinese Association of Greater Detroit, a supplier and service group.

EXPORTS COSTLY, SO JAPANESE BOOST U.S. OUTPUT

Honda for the first time admits it's losing money on exported vehicles to the U.S. The issue causing red ink is the dollar's weakness vs. the yen, says American Honda CFO Fumakiko Ike. Exported Hondas from Japan include the award-winning Fit subcompact, Insight Hybrid, CR-Z and Civic Hybrids and the Acura TSX. Honda, like Toyota and Nissan, has stepped up sales of vehicles built in North American plants, reaching nearly 90 percent of U.S. output in Hondas case, 85 percent at Nissan and 73 percent at Toyota. Each of the Japanese Big 3 is expanding production in North America-their biggest overseas market.

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passing scene

According to Media Digest, the Financial Times believes the future of news publishing is not only digital but also mobile. The Digest says Robert Grimshaw, managing director of the digital Financial Times, predicts that within three years 50 percent of the newspaper's digital audience will be accessing FT via mobile devices. .. . . A recent Nielsen Report on a key segment of the U.S. consumer market supports this trend. . . . As summarized by The Center For Media Research, Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 are "Generation C" (Connected) It takes its personal connection with each other and content to new levels, new devices, and new experiences like no other age group.

Whatever the device or age group, the digital content is likely to be regulated, according to The Verge. It reports, "Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) have started drafting a crowd-sourced digital bill of rights in hopes of preventing piecemeal laws like SOPA and CISPA from over-regulating the internet"

Regulated or not social networks will be under increased government surveillance reports Media Post's Social Graf in an article detailing the FBI's request for information about monitoring them for terrorist threats including instant translation of` foreign languages and mapping the locations and level of danger for any perceived threats. That's in addition to what the CIA, NSA and Department of Homeland Security are doing to detect, analyze and evaluate any suspicious conversations via the social networks. And that's with YouTube streaming four billion online videos a day, a 25 percent increase in eight months Reuters reported.

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autowriters spotlight

For no good reason autowriters.com has not until now put the Spotlight on an auto photographer. That oversight is corrected with this look at one of the best, Pete Lyons who has just launched his "freshly redesigned, rebuilt and revitalized" web site featuring thousands of historic motorsports photos at www.petelyons.com.

Mr. Campbell wonders how I got into this game. Well, Glenn, some lucky people just stumble into deep chocolate. I suppose I could have done something more PC all these years, but by great good fortune I drew a dad who liked both photography and motorsports and taught me to combine them. Voila, perfect lifestyle.
Pete Lyons racing photo journalist

Pete Lyons: Writer, Photographer, Author of "CAN-AM"

Ozzie Lyons was an engineer by training and that's how he approached his photography. He always had the latest high-end cameras and lenses, and whenever we moved to a new house Ozzie immediately hammered up a darkroom in the cellar.

I didn't inherit his aptitude for engineering, and I can't say sloshing around in photo chemicals was fun, but I did find out that working with a camera is a creative joy. Composition, panning, planning … I love it. The first time a magazine published one of my pictures was a thrill that still hasn't grown old.

That magazine was England's Autosport. Dad was their USA correspondent precisely during my formative teen years, when imported sports and racing cars made the automotive world exciting for us both, so it seemed natural to start sending in my own racetrack work. It began with photos and then, tentatively, apprehensively, I submitted words. I think my first published race report was from Bridgehampton in 1964. By 1967 racing coverage was my main livelihood.

For good old Autosport I spent six seasons going all over North America to races of all kinds: Can-Am, Trans-Am, Indycar, Enduros, F1, even Baja. Then for four years, 1973 through '76, I was F1 correspondent for both Autosport and the US AutoWeek, covering every Grand Prix around the world. That station felt pretty exalted.

More recently I've put in desk time as editor of a couple of monthly magazines, but mainly I've enjoyed good freelance relationships with a long list of publications (a premier one now is Vintage Racecar) and publishers. Of my nine books to date, three are based on my beloved Can-Am.
Pete Lyons with father Ozzie.

Pete Lyons with father Ozzie.

To my mind, writing and photography go together. They're different but associated means of examining and expressing what I think of as "the Magic of Motorsports." What's also magical is how, in either discipline, there's always something new to learn.

Long ago I switched to computers for writing, and it's been ten years since I gladly swapped film for digital photography. Now, thanks to my wife Lorna, the technologically gifted one in the family, I've been able to marry those two skill sets to build an Internet presence; we've just launched a third iteration of petelyons.com.

Goes some little way toward redressing what the Internet has done to the print publications which used to support us all.

If I had my motorsports career to do over again, I sure would, but I'd do more of it. I'd make the effort to attend more races, interview more racers, visit more race shops. I'd take more pictures, too. My silly thinking then was, "film costs money." Now, I try not to think of the unrealized value of those uncaptured images.

And of images I did shoot but no longer have. I used to blithely mail off film hither and yon, never worrying about getting it back. "Those pictures are only good for this week's news, nobody will care about them years from now."

My keen-eyed foresight argued against investing in old racecars, too.

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regional news

MIDWEST

Jake Lingeman reports in AutoWeek that this car will "star" at the Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's in Plymouth, Mich., on July 28-29. It is the "rare and famous" Graham-Paige known as the "Hollywood Convertible." . . . Experts in global manufacturing will kick off the Car Management Briefing Seminars at Traverse City, Mich., August 6- 9. One seminar will be, "Global Manufacturing Strategies" and the other is titled, "Tooling Up for Tomorrow's Cars." For more information contact: carregistration@cargroup.com.

MIDDLE ATLANTIC

Tickets for IMPA Test Days are on sale now. The two-day program Sept. 19-20 permits members to operate a broad number of vehicles in a variety of venues. Ticket purchases help defray expenses of the event that is centered at the Monticello Motor Club, Monticello, NY. Email impanews@impa.org  or check www.impa.org for more information, map and ticket ordering form.

SOUTHWEST

Michael Herzing President of TAWA presents three industry awards to Dodge executives.

Michael Herzing, president of the Texas Auto Writers Association and host of the InWheelTime radio show, presented three industry awards to Dodge executives at Dodge's first dealer drive away event at Texas Motor Speedway. The 2013 Dodge Dart won Compact Car of Texas, Best Value of Texas and Best New Feature for the Dart's TFT display. Dodge executives from left are: Shannon Carr, Director-Southwest Business Center, George Guba, Dodge Brand Product Planning, Ryan Nagode, Chief Interior Designer, Ram, SRT and Dodge Brand and Richard Cox, Director-Dodge Brand.

SOUTHEAST

Topless in Miami

Pictured are the winners of the SAMA second annual Topless in Miami competition (l-r) Fiat500c Gucci Edition; Mercedes Benz SLS AMG; Chevrolet Camaro; Audi TT-S; and the Jaguar XKR-S.

Brian Redman will serve as Grand Marshall of the Second Annual Bahamas Speed Week Revival, Nov. 24-Dec. 2, 2012. Redman joins Patron Sir Stirling Moss and Event Ambassador Derek Bell, MBE, for the second running of the Revival, a week-long celebration of racing, gala gatherings parties and events that will include a Speed Week Concert, a Miss Speed Week Beauty Pageant, the now traditional Pictet Bank Gala Ball, the 007 Island Tour, Arawak Cay Sprint and the Fort Charlotte Hillclimb.

The Revival salutes the original event by entering race cars of its era: 1954-1966 as well as classic cars and modern supercars. For more information go to: http://www.bahamasspeedweekrevival.com or contact: David McLaughlin, david@forcegrandprix.co.uk.

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awards honors and events

Hemmings' Senior Editor Jim Donnelly won his second straight writing award from the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. His column in Hemmings Classic Car on the Indianapolis 500's centenary earned him the prize. The prior year he won an award for the book Miller's Time, co-written with Penske Racing South co-founder Don Miller.

AutoTrader is sponsoring a free, 60-minute webinar moderated by Automotive News's Online Editor Dave Versical on July 12 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Titled "Invent The Future: Transparency & Integration," it deals with the "disconnect between online shopping and offline purchasing." For more information or to register go to: https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet

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pit notes

Madelyn MillerMadelyn Miller is looking for car event stories for her www.carladynews.com.  She welcomes word of annual or recurring auto events, particularly those focused on women. Auto shows, enthusiast events, races, rodeos, owners clubs, are examples. If you do not have all the details, provide an email for a contact someone who might help. The top ten will be listed in her online pub's annual calendar. Email her: madelyntravellady2@gmail.com . . . John "Jay" Lamm spoofingly claims Omaha investment whiz Warren Buffet may be alarmed about the future of his hometown. "The noise, smoke, and general 'crapification' threatened by LeMons' Prairie Chicken Fricassee (11-12 Aug @ Mid-America Motorplex) could depress home prices and drive Nebraska businesses elsewhere." That may be why Buffet is investing heavily in newspapers – to suppress the story.Ronald Ahrens

While riding a 2012 Ducati Streetfighter 848 on assignment for Automobile, Ronald Ahrens (right) reunited with former co-worker John Stein near Santa Barbara, Calif. They were both associate editors in the early days of the magazine. Now freelance, Ahrens recently moved to the West Coast where Stein, with partner Jeff Karr, specializes in automotive corporate communications at Stein-Karr Marketing & Communications and also does automotive, motorcycle and marine editorial work. Ahrens is adding a new challenge this fall. In addition to contributing to Automobile and the Automobiles desk at the New York Times, he is launching a night class at the renowned Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Titled "Creating Content for Automotive Media" the workshop will emphasize the necessity of combining writing skills with good photography and video. Persons interested in enrolling should go to the school's website for night classes: www.artcenter.edu/

The last (and first) we heard, the Maserati Trofeo World Series is including Infineon Raceway in California on its world tour of top racing venues. Launched in 2010, the the Maserati Trofeo MC, is the international mono-brand racing championship, dedicated to all drivers aiming to race in the GT class with a prestigious brand. It offers a " ‘Fly and Drive' package, specifically made for gentlemen drivers." A brief scan of the entry form did not indicate women were excluded but it probably is something to pursue next year, with four of this year's seven race dates expired.

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new roads

Two years after it was revived, National Speed Sport News has launched a digital edition on Itunes, Speed Sport Magazine. Powered by Pixel Mags, it combines the look of the print version plus interactivity and bonus content and is available for both iPhone and iPad. . . . Michael Harley and Christian Wardlaw have teamed up to launch Speedy Daddy, a digital publication aimed at parents with a passion for driving who want a safe car for carrying their kids. The site went live in January, and had reached 15,000 unique organic monthly visitors prior to an official launch in June. In addition to using the main Internet site, consumers can follow Speedy Daddy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr, or sign up for an RSS feed of the daily updates. Wardlaw and Harley will continue to contribute to other publications.

Michael Karesh's True Delta got a record 25,000 reports from car owners telling him about their car's reliability. They are posted on his web site: www.truedelta.com/car-reliability. He's added car reviews to the site and he's making it mobile friendly. Initially, it is for reliability stats but he is adding more, starting with the fuel economy form and reliability survey. . . .The UK's Guild of Motoring Writers and Jaguar have teamed for what appears to be the 46th annual presentation of the Sir William Lyons award to an aspiring motor writer aged 17 to 23 years-old. Named after Jaguar's founder, the award includes cash and prize as well as a trophy. Entry is restricted to persons holding or eligible for a UK passport and resident in the UK. . . . Also from England comes word of interactive paper. Media Digest reports that students at the University of Central Lancashire are "collaborating with a printed electronics company to develop smart paper that responds to human touch.  "The aim is to bridge the digital gap, providing new ways for people to interact with news and foster communication and social engagement within local communities."

And from Media Digest a quote we like, it was said by legendary war photographer, Horst Faas, recently deceased. "You can't photograph a flying bullet, but you can capture genuine fear." . . .AutoZone and CarHelp have partnered to offer the formers' discounted parts with the latters' online reputation management, information and assistance to dealerships and repair facilities.

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lane changes

There's likely to be a lot of traffic on Lane Changes when Road & Track's move to Ann Arbor, Mich. is finally done. That could be by the end of September. CarPubInsider editor Eric H. Killorin writes the move is the likely beginning of consolidation amongst the big four auto magazines if not to two, at least to three. In the meantime, staffers at the renowned West Coast title are, as the Scottish say, "prankling" on the hot plate of financial and career uncertainty. Automotive News reports there will be no wholesale personnel moves to the Midwest, with each person being evaluated as to willingness to relocate and suitability for positions open. The economic logic for the move is in place, the details of making it work are left to Larry Webster, who now is Editor-in-Chief of Road & Track and Eddie Alterman will continue as editor-in-chief of Car and Driver. Former R&T editor-in-chief, Matt De Lorenzo will serve as a consultant for an unspecified period of time.

 After 22 years serving as Toyota's West Coast field public relations agency, MDPR principal Michael Dobrin has announced that his firm has resigned the account.

In resigning, Dobrin said "We feel it is time that corporate communications vice president Mike Michels and field operations manager Celeste Migliore choose their own team."  In addition to handling all facets of Toyota's field operations – and serving motoring journalists from Vancouver, B.C., to San Diego – the agency and its staff were involved in producing product launches, providing dealer and regional support for all manner of community programs as well as administering press fleet operations in facilities from Seattle to San Francisco. Prior to the Toyota assignment, MDPR handled similar regional public relations programs for Chrysler.

Dobrin has been an automotive journalist himself since high school in the ‘50s. ("Yes, I was the editor of the high school newspaper and wrote the monthly hot rod column"). His love of cars led to pr gigs with the SCCA and the National Hot Rod Association, where he worked under Wally Parks, as well as a long string of free lance writing assignments. Beginning in the ‘80s and for nearly 15 years, he was the publicist for the Grand National Oakland Roadster Show, world's great showcase of the custom car and hot rod art forms. In the ‘70s he was public information officer at the Oakland Museum of California, where he later initiated and co-curated the 1996-97 landmark museum showing, "Hot Rods and Customs: The Men and Machines of California's Car Culture." He was also the curator at the same museum of a major retrospective on the life and times of American industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. In the early ‘60s he was with the San Francisco Chronicle's promotions department.

MDPR will be operating out of its Alameda, CA, offices until July 31, 2012, termination date of the Toyota assignment. The agency has taken new space for continued public relations operations and editorial services at 2901 Park Ave., Suite B6, Soquel, CA 95073. Dobrin can be contacted at mdobrin@mdpr.com and the cell phone is (510) 693-9701.

Paul LienertPaul Lienert, second-generation member of a notable Detroit auto writing family will take over as Motor City bureau chief for Reuters on July 2. He currently serves as the president and editorial director of Global Auto Systems, which he co-founded 30 years ago. Until he is settled in, the Reuters switchboard number in Detroit is 313-967-1900. Email protocol is: firstname.lastname@thomsonreuters.com . . .Res RoyFormer freelance writer Rex Roy has "seen his light" and returned to the independent life after a brief stint with a Lincoln car PR agency. He is now providing PR, marketing and media services to some startups, tech companies and companies in the "green sector." He can be reached at Regis Communications, Inc. at 332 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe, Mich. 48236. Telephone 313-882-2400. . . . "Click and Clack", the Magliozzi brothers, Tom and Ray, have announced the end of their live Car Talk show on NPR this fall. The Detroit Bureau reports they will be doing other things for the network and that the show's long-time producer, Doug Berman, "estimates his team has enough material to repurpose for at least eight years without the rebroadcasts repeating."

Vince Bond has been added to the Automotive News staff as a general assignment reporter. Previously, he was an editorial intern at Waste & Recycling News. Reach him at vbond@crain.com.  . . . Peter Bohr, one-time auto writer for the Riverside, Calif. Press-Enterprise, now writes a column for the 4 million plus circulation Westways, a publication of the Auto Club of Southern California. He resides in Eastsound, Wash. And can be reached at: 360-376-3403 or peterbohr1@gmail.com.

Tom Appel has been promoted to publisher of Consumer Guide Automotive from associate publisher. He succeeds Frank Peiler who continues as publisher of Collectible Automobile. Damon Bell, moves from Consumer Guide auto editor to senior auto editor. . . .Channel 10 in San Diego has made changes but auto reporter Bob Lawrence is still very much there at: bob.lawrence@10news.com  or by telephone: 619-237-6320. . . "Fitz" at the McComb Daily out side of Detroit can now be reached at ed.fitzgerald@mcombdaily.com  . . . send auto news to Michigan Citizen publisher catherine.kelly@michigancitizen.com . . . .and for The Washington Informer: in D.C., news@washingtoninformer.com  . . . Indianapolis freelance writer Stirling Matheson's email is: stirling.spera@gmail.com  (good town and good first name for an auto writer).

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- 30-

Glenn Camppbell, Owner, Publisher autowriters.com

Glenn F. Campbell
Publisher
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CALENDAR
June 2012
2-3 3rd Annual Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, Infineon Raceway, CA
5 MPG: Trail Day, Cross Section of SUVS, Calamigos Ranch, Malibu, CA
7 PAPA: Event: Phoenix, AZ: Dodge
18 APA: Luncheon:  Detroit Athletic Club: Detroit, MI: J.D. Power
18 MPG Petersen Museum Annual Design Panel, Los Angeles, CA
18 WAPA: Dodge Dart Ride & Drive
July 2012
10 MPG: Luncheon:  STBD
18 APA: Luncheon:  Detroit Athletic Club: Detroit, MI: Honda
18 IMPA: Luncheon: New York City, Honda
19-20 NEMPA: Ragtop Ramble: Boston, MA
21 NEMPA: Cool Cars For Kids Event: Boston, MA
August 2012
6-9 CAR Management Briefing Seminars: Traverse City, MI
15 WAPA: Ford
September 2012
5 APA: Luncheon:  Detroit Athletic Club: Detroit, MI: Kia
16 Concours d'Elegance: Palos Verdes, CA
18 Automotive News Marketing Seminar, NYC, NY
18-20 IMPA:Test Days, Monticello Motor Club, NY
27-28 Paris Motor Show Press Days, Paris, France
27-29 Moscow Int'l Auto Show, Moscow, Russia
29 - Oct. 14 Paris Motor Show Public Days, Paris, France
October 2012
2 MAMA: Fall Rally Manufacturers Dinner, Hoffman Estates, IL
3 MAMA: Fall Rally Driving Event, Hoffman Estates, IL
9-10 MPG: Track Day, Fontana, CA
18-20 TAWA: Truck Rodeo, San Antonio, TX
23 APA/NADA: Luncheon, MGM Grand, Detroit, MI
24 30 APA/Consumer Reports: Luncheon, Detroit, MI

TOC

motoring press organizations

The 17 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.

AARWBA

Logo: AARWBA - Automotive Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association

American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, Inc.
Norma "Dusty" Brandel
President, Exec. Director
dusty@aarwba.org
www.aarwba.org

APA

Automotive Press Association
Detroit, MI
Joann Muller, President
jmuller@forbes.com
www.autopressassociation.org

ARPA

Logo: Ameican Racing Press Association

American Racing Press Association
Stan Clinton, President
stanclintonarpa@aol.com
americanracingpress.com

IMPA
Logo: IMPA Int'l Motor Press Association

International Motor Press Association
NYC, NY
Mike Spinelli, President
mike@jalopnik.com

www.impa.org

GAAMA
GAAMA: Greater Atlanta Automotive Association

Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Atlanta, GA
Davis Adams, President
www.gaama.org

MAMA
Logo: MAMA Midwest Automotive Media Association

Midwest Automotive Media Association
Chicago, IL
Tom Appel, President
www.mamaonline.org

MPG
MPG: Motor Press Guild

Motor Press Guild
Los Angeles, CA
Laura Burstein, President
motorpressguild.org

NEMPA
NEMPA Logo: New England Motor Press Association

New England Motor
Press Association
Boston, MA
Keith Griffin, President
www.nempa.org

NWAPA

Northwest Automotive
Press Association
Portland, OR
Nik Miles, President
nik.j.miles@gmail.com
www.nwapa.org

PAPA

Phoenix Automotive Press Association, Phoenix
Cathy Droz, President
drozadgal@aol.com
phoenixautopress.org

RMAP

Logo: Rocky Mountain Automotive Media Association

Rocky Mountain Automotive Press
Denver, CO
Nathan Adlen, President
www.rmapmedia.com
info@rmapmedia.com

SAMA

Log: Southern Automotive Media Association

Southern Automotive Media Association
Miami FL
Jaimie Flores, President
www.samaonline.org
 

SEAMO

Logo: Southeast Automotive Media Organization

Southeast Automotive Media Organization
Charlotte, NC
southeastautomedia.org

TAWA

TAWA Logo

Texas Auto Writers Association
Mike Herzing
mikeh@automotivereporter.com
www.TexasAutoWriters.org

TWNA

Logo: Truck Writers of North America

Truck Writers of North America
Tom Kelley, Executive Director
tom.kelley@deadlinefactory.com
www.twna.org 

WAJ

Logo: Western Automotvie Journalists

Western Automotive Journalists
San Francisco, CA
David Ray
www.waj.org

WAPA

WAPA Logo

Washington Automotive Press Association
Washington, D.C.
Jessica Anderson, President www.washautopress.org

TOC

automotive journalists

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

talk back

2012 NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE PR SURVEY

John Rettie reports that there has been a good response to the 2012 National Automotive PR Survey. However, he would still like to have more journalists participate so the deadline to respond has been extended until Monday July 2.

The biennial survey is truly national this year as it is no longer sponsored by MPG and more than half the regional auto groups have shown their support by encouraging their members to respond.

The 2012 survey is being fielded as an entirely independent venture by the Gronstedt Group with Rettie managing it. In the seven years since the survey was first conducted it has become a valuable benchmarking tool for auto companies and they truly value your input.

Rettie would like to thank all those journalists who have already completed the survey so far. He encourages those of you who haven't yet completed it, or have meant to but keep putting it off, to please do so.

Click here to go to the Survey.

###

Re: Kim Custer And Other Thoughts

Hello Glenn,

I always enjoy the current issue of the Autowriters.com newsletter you furnish, and appreciate being on your mailing list. I think I recall your phone inquire(s) to me perhaps upwards of 10 years ago, when I was a staff editor at Motor Trend and more or less feeling on perpetual overwhelm with relentless deadlines. You may well have been in the formative stages of getting Autowriters.com up and running, and I believe you were laying out and updating your database - hence your proactive contact. If we had met, I had forgotten our introduction or otherwise did not recognize your name. Of course, I shortsightedly and with more than a substantial degree of self-importance regarded the interruption as a distraction that didn't help me get my work done. If I was less than cordial as a result, I apologize. You should be congratulated on your perseverance and the valuable resource you now create.

Autowriters.com helps keep me in the loop on industry players and issues that would otherwise be off my radar given that I'm - for now - on the sidelines of the auto journo world. Specifically, I'd like to thank you for your mention in your most recent newsletter of Kim Custer's passing. Kim is a guy I might otherwise never have thought of again in my lifetime - it had been years since I'd seen him or heard his name mentioned. In my limited experience with Kim during his time at Kia, he was the consummate "great guy". Given some of the online remarks I've read, it doesn't sound like Kim had a real easy go of things in life. Nevertheless, he apparently found a way to keep his joy and share it with most everyone he encountered. At age 54 I can relate to perhaps some aspects of the ageism he may have experienced late in his career - and it hurts. I guess it's no secret that the auto journalism profession does not treat aging, graying scribes particularly well. But, here's an optimistic guy like Kim who keeps plugging along, staying upbeat, working hard, and trying to prove to prospective employers that he still had a valuable contribution to make. Then, some terminal condition signals the end before there's any opportunity for him to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. And we know his career hadn't made him an independently wealthy man. What a sobering scenario to contemplate in an era of average annual CEO compensation equating to 244 years worth of the average worker's salary.

I dunno. At the risk of sounding excessively maudlin, it's the kind of story that breaks your heart. An American tragedy of sorts. Good guys like Kim deserve to be remembered. Apparently, Automotive News ran his picture and an announcement, but that nugget in your newsletter mention is what flagged his passing for me. Thanks again. Keep up the good work, and I wish you continued success.

Sincerely,

John Matthius
matthius@gmail.com
Sioux Falls, SD

###

Shelby Piece And Other Tidbits

Enjoyed the Carroll Shelby section & other tidbits. Here's a tidbit re Shelby:

Rinsey Mills, the British author, completed his masterwork CARROLL SHELBY The Authorized Biography, over 500 pages and hardbound, and got it out on the market only to have his subject die soon after. Mill's book went right up to the current year. The book was first published in the UK. Mills is somewhat of a specialist on the AC marquee.

In the book Mills has a tidbit about Shelby being chagrined after Paul Dean of the LA Times "outed" the fact that the 427 Cobras that Shelby had discovered weren't as old as claimed. Mills claims Shelby exacted some revenge but then frustrates the reader by not telling what it was! Dean now contributes to the Robb Report and many other "high line" life style publications.

Trevor Legate, another Brit who has written books on Cobras, is coming out with one that's a true limited edition, described by him as 12 x 12 inches, 160 pages, 99 euros, 289 copies printed, not for general sales, lots of nice words and happy pics (mostly of Cobras!)

Remember all the Karl Ludvigsen historical stories? The Ludvigsen Library, the vast collection has been acquired by the Collier Collection. Managed by the not-for-profit Revs Institute for Automotive Research of Naples, Florida, the Collection has more than 1 million books, documents and images. Ludvigsen, a string saver extraordinaire, began saving race programs, photos, etc. more than 60 years ago. He was also an editor at several car magazines, and even a GM PR man for a time!

Miles Collier owns the Museum, he is the son of a man who was one of the first to sponsor racing in America. Ludvigsen kept his aviation, aerospace, military and history collections, and items pertaining to books he still plans to write on a history of forced induction, an updating of his classic Corvette: America's Star-Spangled Sports Car, and a return to a favorite subject, Porsche, with two volumes on the wartime activities of Ferdinand Porsche.

Wallace Wyss

# # #

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