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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Fine’

Laurel Touby: “I Haven’t Taken a Real Vacation Since I Started the Company in 1994″

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FishbowlNY caught up with mediabistro founder Laurel Touby for a feature interview as she begins her six-month sabbatical, traveling the world with husband Jon Fine.

On what she is most proud of:

When you look back at the hundreds or thousands of Internet companies that were around when we started in 1994, there’s not many of them left. There was Nerve and AOL, but The Knot wasn’t there, Google wasn’t there, YouTube didn’t exist. I wish you could take a snapshot of the Web and see what was there at the time and what is still there. There’s not a lot that’s survived.

On if she had any “pangs of guilt” from selling mediabistro two years ago or going on sabbatical:

No, not really. I always thought of myself as sort of an adoptive parent, because when I got funding for the company in 1996 — I got funding from VCs, who were pretty serious investors — they said to me, “Are you sure you can do what it takes? One day you may not be CEO, you may have to sell it, you may have to go public and let someone else run it and it may become a huge thing that you aren’t capable of running.

Touby is currently in Italy and this Italian PRNewser certainly agrees with this statement: “Right now, it’s harvest season in Italy and Italians really know how to relax.” Read the full interview here and check out Touby and Fine’s blog chronicling their travels, Culture Tripping.

(Photo by Jon Fine)

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The Ticker: BusinessWeek’s Prospects, Paid Tweets vs. WOM, BBC Considering Spinoff of Worldwide Division…

GM’s New Marketing Head: Company Took “Our Eye Off the Ball” for More Than Twenty Years

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[Image: daniel.gene/Flickr]

GM’s new marketing head Bob Lutz was interviewed by NPR’s Robert Siegel this week. Lutz is a longtime GM veteran who was on the verge of retirement but recently took the position of overseeing all marketing and communications efforts with the goal of reworking GM’s image. BusinessWeek‘s Jon Fine highlights this specific passage from the interview:

Mr. LUTZ: [W]here we really messed it up and took our eye off the ball in terms of product was in ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s. And I think we’ve – in the last five or six years – we’ve had a radical transformation in the way we approach the product and our goals for products and look at the awards we’ve gotten. We got car of the year.

SIEGEL: But when you take your eye off the ball for more than 20 years…

Mr. LUTZ: Yeah, well, that was bad. …

We appreciate the candor, but also wouldn’t be surprised if GM put Lutz through another round of media training.

FishbowlNY Blogger Joins Abrams Research

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[McNicol with Matt Cooper, via HuffingtonPost by way of the New York Observer]

Our colleague Glynnis MacNicol, editor of mediabistro’s FishbowlNY blog is jumping ship to join Dan Abrams in his new consulting venture, Abrams research. McNichol joins Rachel Sklar and ‘Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ producer Colby Hall as editors of Mediaite.com, the media news and aggregation blog site Abrams is launching as a “calling card“. Abrams and Sklar have been talking to a number of media writers about the venture.

If you haven’t been swimming in the New York media fishbowl lately, you may not know that BusinessWeek’s Jon Fine raised questions about Abrams’ approach to PR consulting, to which he shot back on Mediabistro’s daily podcast. Fine incidentally, is married to mediabistro founder Laurel Touby.

Related: Former MSNBC Exec Launches “Media Strategy” Firm

Jon Fine Examines Dan Abrams and the Rise of the “Journalist-Consultant”

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It’s been about five months since former MSNBC anchor and general manager Dan Abrams launched Abrams Research, a media strategy firm. The controversial part, from the start, has been the firm’s stance that it will use a stable of both former and current journalists to advise its clients.

As you can imagine, many media properties would not be all too happy to find out reporters are making extra money on the side by advising companies they could potentially cover. Abrams insists that current journalists will not be able to advise companies in their areas of coverage.

BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine dug into all of this in his column last week, which drew a response from Abrams when he appeared on mediabistro’s Morning Media Menu podcast on Tuesday.

Said Abrams:

It is interesting to me the timing [of the column]…Jon suddenly takes an interest in criticizing my business four and a half months in, for the same issues that you point out that people mentioned in the beginning, when lo and behold, there’s rumors that I could be creating a content producing site about media, that lo and behold, might compete–might, according to Jon–with mediabistro.

Well, isn’t that coincidental, that suddenly Jon is publishing his concerns about my business?

The site in question is a “media blogging and aggregation” site, potentilly akin to Ariana Huffington‘s Huffington Post or Michael Wolff‘s Newser. Fine goes on to clarify in a blog post: “the potential launch of a media site is not what I found troubling about Abrams Research. It’s the situation with working journalists serving as corporate consultants…”

One thing seems clear – the company doesn’t want to be labeled a PR firm. In a brief discussion with an Abrams Research consultant, this PRNewser called the company by that name and was quick to be corrected that they are a “media strategy” firm.

That being said, there are PR people who also report – the editors of this blog included, but you know who we are, and where to find us. As Fine states, “There’s much more muddiness in Abrams’ new venture.”

UPDATE: WebNewser has their take on the back and forth here.