MayRav in Media Bistro (LA) said it was all pissed off by Lee Abrams latest blog. Abrams' blog pieces have been criticized for misspellings and grammar errors. Okay, the man probably didn't do well in English. But, after the first garbled piece, I think the blogs have been heading in a direction and outlining the changes Abrams is hoping to see.
In his latest brainstorm, Abrams discussed using the resources of the major newspapers to drive the branding of television. "In markets where there is a TV station, shouldn't the TV news be better branded and associated by the newspaper? " We now switch to the (newspaper) Newsroomâ€¦" kind of interaction. "
The talking heads ideas was tried in Chicago with Carol Marin, yes? And while critics loved it, the ratings indicated it was a failure as an idea. Abrams takes on critics, saying "there's a painful reality that TV stations don't want to associate with what they think is a tired declining brand.
"That's why I am so obsessed with rethinking and redesigning newspapers," he says.
A story I think I've seen in Abrams blogs is about his early days at the Tribune Co. He arranged for newspapers from every twenty years to be laid out on a conference table. There was a clear continuity. He discussed in his blog how changes in the newspaper were measured in font types and sizes. The challenges of the Internet, what we're told is a shorter concentration span and the revolution of USA Today are ignored in the reality that the front page hasn't changed much since before we were born.
Granted, it's not innovative to use newspapers in this way. But, Abrams ideas and observations shouldn't be dismissed so easily. Media Bistro's piece is an outline of his ideas that is not doing justice to his vision of the future of newspapers.