The person who runs the Communication Arts Twitter account likes to promote my writing. I am grateful. CA is the creative industry’s standard bearer, and each Tweet sent from @CommArts is seen by a segment of the magazine’s 81,300 followers. .@davidburn says the pursuit of brand truth is the real work of advertising professionals. https://t.co/PSw2Mi3UAg […]
Extraction. American industrialists posses a voracious appetite for it. In fact, their hunger for more precious metals, oil, and coal is so great, they want to find these untapped riches in our National Monuments. Thankfully, REI is taking a strong leadership role in the resistance, and actively encouraging its members to step up and help […]
When I was 18 years old, I walked into the offices of The College Reporter in Lancaster, PA and soon thereafter my work as a reporter commenced. My time as a college journalist was difficult but educational. The administration threatened to sue me and frat boys banned me from their parties and wanted to kick […]
Did Donny the Dangler employ a brilliant communications strategy to win the White House? According to Roger L. Martin, a business professor at the University of Toronto, he did, and the sooner we understand how it works, the more effectively we can combat him. What he was doing was creating with precise and relentless consistency […]
Don Trump the pussy grabber is President-Elect of the United States. How did this happen, and what do we do now? My friend Charlie Quirk—an Aussie who works as a brand strategist in San Francisco—made a good post this morning dealing with the “How” question. Here’s an except: Trump made concrete claims that are easy […]
In the advertising agency business, it’s best to get out before you get old. Or so goes the common wisdom. Naturally, there are many notable exceptions. David Ogilvy was 39 when he wrote his first ad, and he spent the next 25 years of his life actively involved in the making of advertising. One could […]
“What do you do?” It’s the age-old question that is always lurking, waiting to be asked at the next industry conference, cocktail party, and/or random encounter on an airplane. In one way, the question is innocent and a genuine attempt to understand more about you. On the other hand, it’s a moment of truth where […]
I met Faris Yakob of Genius Steals at a conference hosted by Henry Jenkins at MIT a number of years ago. I recall being pleased that he was familiar with AdPulp. And it was fun to rap with someone I’d only known from afar at the time. This morning, I learned that Faris wrote an […]
“I got so I simply gagged every time I sat before my desk to write an ad.” -Hart Crane I smile when “real writers” criticize their time making advertising. There’s a nostalgic quality to the criticism that lessens its impact and renders it charming. What makes me gag is the media garbage train, which includes […]
Nearly two months ago, I made the decision to stop adding new content to AdPulp.com. I wanted to starve the blog and my blogging habit in the process. In theory it ought to be easy to do, the starving of a blog. Just close the window on it. Shut down the machine. Look away. I […]
Digital disrupts all in its wake. Even our language is not safe. Consider the word “content.” It’s a word I have adopted to clarify my professional specialty. In April 2006, I was promoted from senior copywriter to content director at BFG Communications in Hilton Head. I was head of my own department, the content department, […]
I think every American can agree that wasteful spending by the federal government needs to be corrected. The problem is we can’t seem to agree on the “wasteful” part. As we have seen, people with radical views on the right want to slash and burn any shred of a safety net for our nation’s most […]
When I make time for broadcast news, I am appalled. The product is increasingly unwatchable at a time when the need for insightful and brave analysis is at a premium. I feel like a lot of people are shrugging their shoulders these days, and asking what the hell is wrong, and what can we do […]
I’m interested in media literacy and brand authenticity and corporate accountability; therefore, I enjoy seeing media critics take a running stab at Advertising and PR’s heart. We need quality criticism (from outside the field) to keep us honest, challenge our assumptions and to make us think and think again. Eliane Glaser is one such voice. […]
Thomas Peterffy, 68, of Greenwhich, CT is the epitome of self-made man, a first generation American and one of the richest men in the world. He’s also a political advertiser. According to Forbes, Peterffy was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1944 during a Russian bombing raid. He immigrated to the United States in 1965, and […]
In Spring of 1977, The Paris Review, published an interview with Kurt Vonnegut. The interview is a composite of four question and answer sessions with the writer, and edited by Vonnegut himself. Therefore, what he has to say in this “interview” is not as off-the-cuff as it might seem. Rather, it’s intentional, as most text-based […]
Warren Buffett, the greatest investor the modern world has ever known, just ponied up $142 million to add Richmond, Virgina-based Media General to his list of prized companies.
Media General operates 18 network-affiliated television stations and their associated websites, plus several dozen community newspapers across the Southeastern part of the U.S. Titles like Richmond Times-Dispatch and Winston-Salem Journal are well known, but most of the others like The Goochland Gazette and The Bland County Messenger have small circulations in the range of 5,000 – 25,000, according to paidContent.
Is the old man getting sentimental, or is this truly a wise investment? Both, I reckon.
“I’ve loved newspapers all of my life — and always will,” Buffett, who delivered newspapers as a boy, wrote in a letter introducing himself and his newly formed BH Media Group to the Media General team.
Berkshire Hathaway purchased The Omaha World Herald, its hometown newspaper last year, and has owned the Buffalo News since 1977. Buffett has also been on the board of The Washington Post and owned a large share of that national paper for years. One might say he’s making Omaha something of a genuine media town now. As a native of the hilly river city, I’m happy about that.
Of course, there are others with other more important media matters on their minds. Professor, consultant and writer Clay Shirky, for one. He argues that “ordinary citizens don’t pay for news. What we paid for, when we used to buy the paper, was a bundle of news and sports and coupons and job listings, printed together and delivered to our doorstep.” Shirky believes that news has always been a loss leader subsidized by advertisers. And now those advertisers are off to greener pastures. “Ad dollars lost to competing content creators can be fought for; ad dollars that no longer subsidize content at all are never coming back,” he contends.
GigaOm writer, Mathew Ingram, adds that “the subscription price of a newspaper and circulation revenues in general have historically only accounted for a small proportion of a media company’s overall revenue. In most cases, the bulk of that revenue comes from advertising.”
I’m a fan of both Shirky and Ingram, but I don’t agree that all the value is in the platform. The Oracle of Omaha believes there’s value in content and he wants his new newspaper managers to find ways to maximize that value for readers (who will be asked to pay for the content, regardless of the platform). “It’s your job to make your paper indispensable to anyone who cares about what is going on in your city or town,” Buffett outlines.
Carlos Santana is one of my musical heros. He’s also a board member and part owner of premium spirits brand, Tequila Casa Noble. I don’t drink a lot of tequila, and I can’t say that I have ever tried Casa Noble, but now that I know Carlos’ role in the company, I will give the […]