Delta Bashing Makes Editorial Data Fly High

Delta Bashing Makes Editorial Data Fly High

Here’s a fun, Atlanta-specific, advertising/sales v. editorial modern media dilemma!

Clearly, anything related to Delta-bashing, particularly Delta‘s frequent flyer program SkyMiles, makes data go hog wild. As it did with some impressive CTR numbers I sent to the Atlanta Business Chronicle from my Facebook alone. (See graphic below. If you don’t know what CTR means by now, you shouldn’t be in the ad/sales side of the media biz. However, old fogey journos, I will give you a pass on it.)


I’ve yet to notice the AJC cranking out any of this trendy SkyMiles-bashing editorial product as did, rather gleefully, the Biz Chron. WABE also seems to have caught an editorial-minded whiff of blood in angry Delta customers’ waters.

(I can only dream of one day running a company whose profit margin and stock price chronically deflect the hatred of its own customer base! But let’s move on.)

And why would the AJC jump on the I Really Hate Delta! bandwagon? Delta’s a fine, legacy, ad-buying customer for the AJC and all of Cox Enterprises. I expect what Delta wants by now, editorially speaking, at the AJC or WBS, Delta’s going to get. Or have quietly overlooked. Barring plane-related disaster media, of course.

But there’s your data-driven media rub right there. As what the people want, editorially and as displayed by the numbers, is hardly what your dearest ad buyer would like to have lying around the house.

Torn loyalties. ATL style.

Podcast: The Theft of WRAS Album 88 By GPB



2014-06-30 12.07.36

A WaySouthMedia podcast: The Takeover of WRAS by GPB and the Campaign.

Click here to listen: 

For the Content Creator a New Website is a New Car


Photo courtesy CCL

Seeing an appealing new website come online is to a content creator what an exciting new model of car is for the auto enthusiast: One is itching to get behind the screens to an operating dashboard and take it for a rich content-creating spin.

Because the best sites make it a delight, not a burden, to create and showcase new content – particularly if you’re an enthusiastic writer and photographer.

The Coastal Conservation League (CCL) of South Carolina has just such a new website. It’s gorgeous. And immediately displays the astonishing amount of conservation work done in the southern United States lowcountry by the CCL.

However, as a media professional, I went right to the press releases portion of the site, and I am now busily touting how the CCL has presented their releases within the new site.

As someone who is often called upon to write press releases, which too often serve as a client’s only new content, I am constantly bemoaning how releases are not getting the “workout” some deserve.

Not only are too many of them poorly written (not by me!) and merely fired-out via PR Newswire, they are not made interactive (live, working links), they are not visually appealing, they’re not easily found on websites, and they’re not made easily share-able in social.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

CCL’s Laurin Manning, working with Wide Eye Creative, has clearly conquered all those media-related hurdles within their new site. I’m delighted to have their example with which to beat folk over the head with.

Rather, show them. Of course, it’s up to clients where they wish to spend their time and money. But nudging them towards investing in a better website and a better press release is always a media professional’s time well spent.

So You Think You Can Cover A Violent Protest?


CNN’s Don Lemon (L) and Chris Cuomo (R) deal with uninvited guests (center) in their Ferguson, MO live shot. Vine screen grab courtesy Tim Burke. 11-24-14.

Don Lemon of CNN’s such a douchebag. He’s so douchey he’s trending on Atlanta Twitter, and not in a good way. Mostly he’s trending for being too white-ish and jabbering on-air about smelling weed burning in Ferguson, MO last night, 11-24-14, as the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson news broke. Everyone loves to hate on Don Lemon. Me too!

That said about Lemon’s douchiness, as an aspiring cub news producer I once got caught-up in the midst of a downtown Atlanta protest that turned violent. Blacks were angry (Maria Saporta reminded me of what sparked the outburst) and were massing, yelling, marching, and breaking windows along Peachtree Street, and assaulting, brutally, innocent people who just happened to be near the protest and thus convenient targets.

When it became crystal clear there was no one around to protect me (I don’t think I ever saw a single cop in the mix), and after having had someone I thought was a friend scream ugly things in my face (she was part of the protesting crowd; I was news media covering the event; that’s what unnerved me the most), and my crew concentrating solely on getting the shot and not giving a rat’s ass if I was attacked, I immediately dropped my assignment like a scalding hot potato, ran to the edge of the protest, hailed a cab, and beat a swifty retreat back to the newsroom.

Never again would I put my own life in danger just to “get the shot.” I clearly got culled from any future potential war correspondent herd that day. Whew!

In other words, a violent protest in America is a very scary place to be in the middle of. Kudos to anyone in news who lasted through the night in Ferguson. (Including His Douchiness, Don Lemon.) They’re a hell of a lot braver than I’ll ever be.

The Historical Legacy of WSB-TV Production



After pondering the despicable act by despicable people of attempting to suppress the black vote in the year 2014, in Georgia of all places, take a media moment with me as I say something nice about a Cox product: WSB-TV.

The above (click the pic of Junior Farmer to get to the video) is excellent news reporting and packaging of a complex issue breaking that day (yesterday 9/17/14). As it gets immediately to the heart of a complex and historical matter, the key players, the SOTs, and the visuals.

This type of deft political production work, by WSB-TV’s political reporter Lori Geary and her production team, could not have been done without a longstanding, working knowledge of the issues on deck for the day’s news coming down – to be able to turn around this kind of comprehensive media that fast. In other words, sit back and watch professionals do their thing, cub reporting wannabees.

Knowing exactly who to get to, in a precise and time-thrifty way, and who to focus on and zoom to in the contemporary Georgia/Atlanta political arena, is editorial and production tandem work sourced from a unique and historic talent base that exists almost exclusively in WSB-TV’s deep-benched, legacy production crew. It’s hard to duplicate that level of precision political packaging elsewhere, in other words.

And it’s something we see often with WSB-TV’s political reporting. Not just yesterday’s. They know their civil rights history and legends behind the scenes there, as their production crews have lived, worked and played around Atlanta for a very long time. If one loses a career cameraman or director of 40-years at a place like WSB-TV, they take a lifetime of some mighty historical production expertise with them. And that’s simply not replaceable with an iPhone and an intern.

Tip of the hat indeed, as TV political reporting tends to take a back seat to the more easily social-shared written word. And folk who take politics and media seriously are dismissive of Cox-derived TV news, so tainted they are by a self-directed reputation founded from featuring senseless violence, self-promotion, and roadkill carnage over more civic-minded news.

It’s important to remember that visuals and sound working together, as opposed to radio/print/static screens, are also important to a highly nuanced political story, particularly a voter fraud/voter suppression story from the south. Especially in a state with a mighty history of dubious political legacies, ghosts and legends.

Don’t miss it.

The Craptastic Digital Life Of The AJC



Don’t vote? Then don’t complain about politicians.

No doubt you’ve heard that one before. Exactly why I never miss a voting opportunity, as I sure don’t like missing out on a good political whine.

But the matter of digital at the (and other Cox digital products too, but I’ll worry about the others later) has gone beyond whining to just embarrassment at and for our flagship, hometown, news delivery outlet. (I’d call it a paper, but I’m not referencing any print product here. Just the digital stuff.)

I think of gorgeous pictures from the Atlanta Beltline lantern parade last night that could have enticingly filled out a compelling homepage this morning, 9-7-14, shifting to exciting sports-related photos later in the day to enhance the Falcons’ season opener, alongside the numerous political stories from the week in some kind of overview wrap-up. And, yes, even that craptastic Ross Harris (the dad accused of murder-by-hot-car) story somewhere in an appealing homepage-in-my-head Sunday edition presentation… and well, I just wanna cry for what could be And too. (They should be one e-product really, but that’s another rant altogether.)

When you don’t give a shit about digital, guess what? It shows! “Coming Sunday” on Sunday, plus all the cliched copy and grade school headlining imaginable? Gawd, today’s AJC digital product is so pitiful I wouldn’t dream of sharing it with my social network; I’d rather bury it out behind the woodshed.

My head is reeling, because the hard-working journalists, the few left around there, the proud, have done plenty of heavy journalistic lifting all through the past week, especially regarding the nasty level of corruption all through Georgia state and local politics. There’s been great work from numerous Cox employees reporting a massive amount of hanky panky straight out of DeKalb County, our bustling courtrooms, the AG’s and the governor’s offices, etc.

Only to piss it away on digi-crap you see a sample of in the above picture/screen grab. And on a Sunday too, the prime news reading and media consuming day for a serious journalism audience. And I’m not even highlighting their hideous homepage, whatever’s there, or not, now. Nor the online AJC’s rampant level of daily copyediting (or lack thereof) boo-boos. I’m scared to go back to their weekend-neglected homepage.

Since I gave-up on the AJC’s digital presentation with my croissant, second cup, and screens this morning, I thought about buying the paper product with which to properly absorb the Georgia political and otherwise news of a busy past week.

Not now. I’ll just put my $2.50 towards a NYT and call it a Sunday.