The New Chicago Tribune Sucks

I guess some people might question the word “sucks” in the headline. It doesn’t fit the polite language that a PR person would use when describing a major media outlet. Stay with for a moment.

I think the Huffington Post captured the issue even before it was released this week when it wrote about how the new Tribune was “Less news, more pictures.” I’ve heard this referred to as the “USA Today syndrome” where substancial local papers provide article with little or no depth.

For years I’ve had great relationships with many fine reporters and editors at the Tribune. I am sure many of them (those who are still left) are not happy with the changes. Besides, it’s not just about content. It’s also about design.

First, the visual guide along the top of the page which tells you where you is well, stupid. I know where I am in the the new muddle of chopped up graphics and short stories. Second, the layout emphasis the advertising in way that is distracting and I believe hurts the advertiser.

The bottom line is that sales of the print edition will continue to decline because of new media and the all the options people have for getting the news they choose.


The Power of Whisky in Public Relations

One of my mentors in public relations is Ron Culp. He’s had a distinguised career in the industry. Ron has also helped make me a better communications professional for more than 15 years.

Recently Ron asked me to share my career path at his blog. Here’s the beginning of my guest post:
“I don’t drink. Not that I’m a Puritan that goes into bars and breaks the bottles along the back walls. I’ve known plenty of those bottles in days gone by. However, I can credit one small pint of whisky as the inspiration of my public relations career.”

I hope you’ll check it out. It’s a personal story that I’ve been wanting to write for a long time. When I think back about how I came up through the ranks, I’m amazed and it brings a smile to my face.