deadlines amuse me

exploring how the world works and why it works that way …

Recent statements from morons …

with 3 comments

… or the signs of the impending collapse of civilization as we know it.

Today’s winner:

I’m betting we’re going to see regular under $2 a gallon again [but] what we have is volatility and the volatility may continue. [emphasis added; story TimesSelect, $$]

— Robert A. Lutz, vice chairman and product development chief of General Motors. The crystal-ball-festooned Lutz was explaining why GM, despite September sales of Chevy Tahoes and Suburbans and GMC Tahoes dropping 50 percent from August, gas prices near or more than $3 a gallon and negative credit watches by the ratings agencies, predicts the big SUV market will perk up again soon.

Today’s runner-up:

Papers are recognizing that advertisers will accept a smaller page size because readers like it. A lot of The Journal’s readers are commuters, and it’s easier to read smaller papers on the train. [emphasis added; story.]

Wall Street Journal newsprint consultant David Allan, focusing on a dumb-ass benefit of shrinking the size of The Journal from 15 to 12 inches wide beginning in 2007. The move will save the paper, its execs say, $18 million a year in newsprint costs. But what additional subscribers will The Journal get in sufficient numbers for advertisers to pony up higher ad rates?

The Journal may be “easier to read,” but it will have about 10 percent less space for news, the NYT reports in the same story. I predict few new subscribers …


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 15, 2005 at 1:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. “Recent statements from morons”?
    I *knew* there was a reason I liked you!
    Seriously, they’re dropping the paper size from 15 to 12 inches? How the heck do they expect to fit anything on the page, especially if windows are 6+ inches? And, way back when, they had large (huge) broadsheet sizes and the penny press, both of which took off because people read the paper on trains.
    Does anyone even ask readers what they want?


    October 16, 2005 at 4:48 am

    • Thanks, Kes. I’m going to try to do this more often, wallowing in the shadow of lullabypit’s hallowed “Daily Brushback.”
      Papers continue to do “readership surveys.” But do top editors *listen* to the readers? Or do survey results bypass local editors and end up on a corporate beancounter’s desk?
      At the very least, it’s apparent that some consultants ought to keep their mouths wired shut when the NYT asks for comment …

      Dr. Denny

      October 16, 2005 at 1:28 pm

      • Do top editors “listen” to the readers? Ah, clearly not. If they did, would they really fire local staff and run more canned stuff, as so many do? Or would they consider that it’s tough to cover a community well without people…?


        October 17, 2005 at 12:14 pm

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