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The Decline and Fall of AOL
July 13, 2006

The Magic of the Two-line Address When I was growing up on Long Island, the mailman frequently would deliver an envelope addressed as follows: Mr. Alden Hatch Cedarhurst, New York The letter could come from anywhere in the world and in just two lines—six words—reach my father out of more than 2 billion people on the planet. This never ceased to amaze me. Every son hopes to outdo the father. So when I became a member of AOL, I had a one-line address: dennyhatch@aol.com. Think of it! In this horrendously complex world with 6.5 billion people, I am reachable with one line—17 characters and a dot—from anyplace on earth and

Monkeying Around With Distribution
February 2, 2006

Think Before You Act Feb. 2, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 9 IN THE NEWS Multimedia Launch of 'Bubble' Gets Mixed Response An experiment in launching a movie almost simultaneously in the cinema, on cable television and on DVD attracted few theater-goers, although the film has done well in DVD orders, according to its makers. —Sarah McBride, The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 30, 2006 In the film world, the time-honored sequence for release of a new movie is theater distribution first, followed by DVDs for purchase and rental, and finally presentation on cable or network TV. "Bubble" is a low-budget thriller directed by

Philly Phundraising Phollies
December 20, 2005

Plus … Best Wishes for a Joyous Holiday Dec. 20, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 57 IN THE NEWS Letters | Academy of Natural Sciences not serving well It's indeed a shame the museum is going under, but The Inquirer's article ["Dinosaur Museum Itself Is Threatened"] stresses its importance only to the scientific community. The museum hasn't been stressing its importance to the general public for many, many years; that neglect shows, and that's why the public has turned away from it. --Allene Murphey, Letter to the Editors, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 16, 2005 In the 1980s, the Whitney Museum of American

Can TV Teach People a Sense of Humor?
September 22, 2005

Cartoon Network's amazing unique selling proposition Sept. 22, 2005, Vol. 1, Issue #33 IN THE NEWS Don't touch that dial! Not unless you want your children to grow up to be clueless, sad-sack 40-year-old virgins. That's pretty much the message Cartoon Network is sending parents as it launches its new block of programming, "Tickle U," as in University: two hours of cartoons on weekday mornings that will ostensibly help preschoolers develop a sense of humor, without which they will lead a sad and lonely life. --Lenore Skenaky "TV telling kids what's funny? It's laughable." New

If Another Katrina--or a Dirty Bomb--Hits
September 15, 2005

Business interruption--are you prepared? Sept. 15, 2005--Vol. 1, Issue #31 IN THE NEWS Jose Suescun, who ran the one-man operation in Metairie, La., picking up the items from New Orleans merchants and shipping them out of his home, was forced to flee Hurricane Katrina in his pewter Hummer and can only wonder what became of his old neighborhood. From what he could glean from news accounts soon after, he concluded it was badly flooded. "My whole business went down the drain," Mr. Suescun

Rusty Downes--Authentic American Hero
September 13, 2005

Absolute courage in the face of absolute adversity Sept. 13, 2005--Vol. 1, Issue #30 IN THE NEWS Philadelphia Park starter Russell "Rusty" Downes will face "internal disciplinary and economic sanctions" after leaving a filly behind the starting gate in Monday's Pennsylvania Oaks. Downes, 65, has dispatched runners from the gate for 35 years at numerous tracks but had never left one behind until Private Gift was ignored while five other runners were sent on their way in the $100,000 stakes race. --Craig Donnelly "Penalty is promised after big error at gate"

Time Warner and the Vision Thing
August 18, 2005

As Time Warner Goes, So Goes TIME IN THE NEWS Despite recent major world events like the London terrorist bombings in July and the late December tsunami in Thailand, newsweeklies continued to struggle for the first half of the year. Time magazine, published by Time Inc., saw circulation remain flat for the period at 4.05 million, while newsstand sales dipped 3.4 percent to 157,217 copies. Newsweek saw its newsstand sales plummet 14 percent to 126,163, while total paid circulation rose 1.8 percent to 1.05 million. --Stephanie D. Smith "ABC: Celeb Titles Enjoy Circ Gains" MEDIAWEEK.COM, Aug. 16, 2005 NEW YORK - Financier Carl Icahn

Breeze Through Airport Security! (Hopefully.)
June 23, 2005

For Steve Brill and harried airline passengers, this could be really big On October 27, 2001, I took a taxi to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station and boarded a train to Chicago for a direct marketing convention. In the aftermath of 9/11, I was not afraid to fly. Rather, I had heard horror stories about travelers spending four hours dealing with airport security and even then missing their flights. I figured low-key down time on an overnight train was better than eight hours of high tension at PHL and ORD. While on the train, I wrote a piece for Target Marketing magazine's Web site saying

2001 Direct Marketer of the Year
October 1, 2001

AOL & The Genius of Jan Brandt By Denny Hatch In 1993, Internet access was essentially a three-horse race. The text-heavy CompuServe was owned by the tax accounting people H&R Block and had about a million members. So did the cartoon-oriented Prodigy, a joint venture among CBS, Sears and IBM. The longshot was America Online (AOL), with its elegant Graphical User Interface (GUI), chat rooms and exclusive community-building techniques, that had been taken public the prior year by founder Steve Case; he had just under 250,000 members and was doing about $40 million a year in revenue. One advantage Case had over the