Target Marketing magazine presents:

Why Have a Website?

Denny Hatch

I work every day. Compulsively.

Being a political junkie, I'll take a break Sunday morning if any of the talk shows have interesting guests. What I want is a quick, down-'n'-dirty schedule: 1) Name of the show; 2) who are the guests; 3) the panel of babble-heads.

With that information, I can make a view/no-view decision in 20 seconds.

Thus early on Sunday, Mar. 4, 2012, I Googled: Sunday Talk Shows March 4

The following entry was listed and I clicked on it: Sunday talk show tip sheet - Zack Hale - POLITICO.com

A large photograph of Newt Gingrich appeared on my screen and the following text:

Sunday talk show tip sheet
By ZACK HALE | 3/2/12 4:36 PM EST
This Sunday's television talk shows look ahead to next week's crucial slate of Republican presidential primaries on Super Tuesday.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) discusses his campaign on four of the five major network shows: CNN's "State of the Union," ABC's "This Week," CBS's "Face the Nation" and NBC's "Meet the Press."

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who's still searching for his first win of the season, appears on CBS and CNN as well.

And former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who finished a close second in Michigan's primary last Tuesday, is interviewed on "Fox News Sunday."

NBC also hosts House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

ABC also has President Barack Obama's longtime political strategist, David Axelrod.

CNN has as well House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and the committee's ranking Democrat, Maryland Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger - plus Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, and Nicholas Burns, who was undersecretary of state under President George W. Bush.

And Fox also hosts Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

On Bloomberg TV, "Political Capital" talks 2012 politics with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who made headlines by switching his support for the GOP presidential nomination from former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to Santorum.

Finally, C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" has House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), interviewed by AOL Defense Editor Colin Clark and Donna Cassata of The Associated Press.


This Was Useless!
I would have to channel-hop through all the shows to find out who was where and when.

Take a look at Zack Hale's biography in the media player at right-25 words describing his career and 33 words extolling his love for Seattle sports teams.

A former intern at Roll Call, he moved to Politico.com, where he has broken free of print constrictions-the nitty-gritty of word counts and self-editing.

Print costs money-ink, paper, distribution. Everything created for print must be tight and to the point.

(The exceptions: Vanity Fair and The New Yorker where apparently writers are probably paid by the word and verbal dysentery abounds.)

In the digital world, writers can sneer at the discipline of print. A wee spritz of electricity costs nothing. An author can wander all over the place, even detailing how the breakfast bacon wasn't crisp enough and the boiled egg was runny.

What's more, Zack Hale no doubt considers the job of merely organizing and typing a TV schedule to be the kind of grunt work left to an intern, and he's now way beyond interning.

Did he start by asking himself, "Why would a person come looking for information about the Sunday talk shows?"

The obvious answer: "To see who's appearing where and when in order to make a viewing decision."

Instead, like so many Web writers, Zack Hale "created content." But to the reader searching for the specific information promised, Hale's work is useless.

He wasted my time. Since my time is money, Zack Hale cost me money.

I used to stop by Politico.com every day on my Web prowl, but I've dropped it. Zack Hale's fecklessness tipped me off.

Then two days later-on Mar. 6-Politico ran a big story on President Obama's first news conference in three months that was to be broadcast later in the day. (See the second image in the media player.) NOWHERE on Politico.com could I find the time of the event!

The phone rang and I got sidetracked, whereupon I missed the president's news conference.

Politico.com is a website of undisciplined writers and editors whose mentors (if they had any) never taught them how to dot their "i's" and cross their "t's".

One Key Purpose of a Website: Create Dependency
Zack Hale could have created dependency. Had he fulfilled the Politco.com promise, I would have zeroed in on Zack Hale every Sunday, felt good about the service he was providing and-very likely-looked for other articles he writes. I might have become a loyal follower.

A loyal follower is one that shows up every day, looks for a fix and hopefully responds to ads. On free websites, advertising pays salaries.

Websites I Can Depend On
• For Email: I used to pay AOL $24 a month but dropped it for Yahoo! Now I not only have splendid email service, but also Yahoo.com archives all my sent emails (17,907 over the past five years). They are completely searchable-great for sentimental and legal purposes and a huge saving of money on Pendaflex files and filing cabinets. And I have never paid Yahoo! a penny. This is dazzling, even though I think Yahoo! is nuts not to charge me something.

For E-Books: Jeff Bezos was the first guy to figure out the Internet order and fulfillment process. As a result, Bezos has taken over the book business with Amazon.com. I can find new titles and get them onto my Kindle in minutes from any place in the world with an Internet connection. And I can make the type size bigger for my lousy eyesight. Each e-book is usually cheaper than print. This, too, is dazzling!

For Instant News Headlines and Stories: Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal (I subscribe), Philadelphia Inquirer (home town paper), Daily Beast (Tina Brown has good news sense and lively graphics), Slate and several others.

For Dog Food: It takes me less than 3 minutes to buy two months worth of prescription food for our dog Auggie at PetFoodDirect.com, and I know it will be delivered in 3 to 4 days.

For Winter Bird Seed: I go to EBirdSeed.com and the product I always order appears instantly on my screen-60 pounds of hulled sunflower hearts and chips. I click to order, and I'm guaranteed that happy birds will populate my patio.

For Movies: Netflix and its simply brilliant business model!

For Shoes: ShopNewBalance.com has my weird size (8-1/2 EEEE) and is very efficient.

The beat goes on. This is the magic of the Internet-the greatest time-saver (and money saver) in the history of the world. Those who understand it have made me a dependent-and dependable-visitor and customer.

So What About That Sunday Morning Talk Show Schedule?
I found The Washington Post entry on Google and got precisely what I was looking for:

Sunday talk shows (3/4/12): Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Super Tuesday, Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week and more
By Allen McDuffee

Ahead of Super Tuesday, GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are making the Sunday political talk show run--all except Mitt Romney, who's not booked on any of them.

The only think tanker this week is Martin Indyk, Brookings vice president and head of foreign policy studies, on State of the Union with Candy Crowley to talk about Israel amid the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.

  • CBS' Face the Nation: Newt Gingrich; Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX); Michael Gerson, Washington Post; Norah O'Donnell, CBS News; John Dickerson, Slate and CBS News
  • NBC's Meet the Press: Newt Gingrich; Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA); Rep Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL); Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; Mike Murphy, GOP strategist; Mark Halperin, Time; Savannah Guthrie, NBC
  • Fox News Sunday: Rick Santorum, Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-SC); Sen. Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT); Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard; Jeff Zeleny, New York Times; Kimberley Strassel, Wall Street Journal; Juan Williams, Fox News
  • ABC's This Week: Newt Gingrich; David Axelrod, adviser to President Barack Obama's re-election campaign
  • CNN's GPS with Fareed Zakaria: Ronen Bergman, Yedioth Ahronoth; Joe Klein, Time; Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation;Chrystia Freeland; Reihan Salam, National Review
  • CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Newt Gingrich; Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX); Dana Bash, CNN; Ron Brownstein, National Journal; Martin Indyk, Brookings; former Undersecretary of State Nick Burns
  • CNN's Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: Dana Milbank, Washington Post; David Frum, Frum Forum; Julie Mason, radio show host; Jeff Jarvis, Buzz Machine
  • NBC's The Chris Matthews Show: Major Garrett, National Journal; Kathleen Parker, Washington Post; Bob Woodward, Washington Post; Becky Quick, CNBC

Hey, Washington Post, here's a marketing idea: Around 10 million people watch the Sunday talk shows.

For most of us news junkies, a schedule of Sunday talk shows is an indispensable weekly service.

How about this small offer under the headline of the article:

Free Service! You are invited to have the "Sunday Talk Shows" schedule sent directly to your computer each Friday afternoon.

Your e-mail:______________
Click here to send.


Then get a sales rep to find a sponsor and bring in some advertising revenue.

This ain't rocket science.