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True Genius: How to go from “the future of journalism” to a fire sale in a few short years
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Dec. 17, 2008, 10:04 a.m.

Morning Links: December 17, 2008

— Go read this post from James Fallows about a longtime Minnesota radio host named Tommy Mischke who was recently fired. He points to this MinnPost piece on one advertiser’s response. The advertiser, a jeweler, had been having Mischke do personalized radio ads for his company for 15 years:

Mischke “made a profound difference in my business. Not a day goes by — not a day — where someone doesn’t walk into a store and say ‘Mischke sent me.'” I pressed [the jeweler] to tell me how much of a hit [the radio station] was taking for this. “It was well into seven figures” he says of his ad buys over 15 years.

So this guy spent literally millions of dollars on radio ads, over 15 years, and was happy to do it — because he felt it generated more than enough business to counter the cash he was spending. All this because one radio host connected with his audience in a direct, honest way — a way that generated business.

Is there any company that buys online ads that feels they’re getting this kind of return on their investment? Even one?

— The Albany Times-Union reports on still-soaring j-school enrollments. Their most recent numbers are from 2007; it’ll be interesting to see if events of the last few months (and the next few) will finally push those numbers down. Just last night, a friend was talking about a young relative who had just graduated with a journalism degree and had given up even trying to find an entry-level job.

— As an employee of the Nieman Foundation, I feel obliged to note that this report is utterly untrue. (The deadline for international journalists has already passed. Also, the shoe boutiques of Harvard Square have really declined over the years, I hear.) There is, however, still time for American journalists to apply for a Nieman Fellowship. It’s open to the gainfully employed and the talented-but-recently-laid-off. Deadline is January 31.

POSTED     Dec. 17, 2008, 10:04 a.m.
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