Martin Edelston

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

In more jobs than I care to remember, my single objective was efficiency: How could the most value be created for the least cost, and then sold to delighted customers and eager prospects at the highest profit? When I read last week that two Philadelphia TV stations—Fox29 and NBC10—are going to test the possibility of sharing video footage, I was intrigued. The idea that competing news gatherers would pool their resources is a breakthrough! For example, CBS and CNN spend millions of dollars on equipment and personnel gathering news in Iraq, mostly going after the same stories, interviewing the same people and doing stand-up

Only book publishing may have a worse business model than print journalism. It’s been a bad month for newspapers. * As well as 200 staffers being let go at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, news of the week included Le Monde in Paris axing 130, and the probable demise of the Journal Register Co. in New Haven, Conn.—which was summarily wiped off the New York Stock Exchange yesterday because of its “abnormally low” stock price. * Newspaper shares are in the tank. At the end of this story you will find stock charts of the seven largest publishing conglomerates, which are not pretty. *

Many years ago, I got a request from a lawyer to be an expert witness on behalf of a major publisher of books and magazines that was facing a nasty lawsuit. A test mailing went out for a diet book, and the art director came up with a revolting photograph—a montage of four self-portraits of a stark-naked elderly man in various stages of weight loss, from gross fat and disgusting to simply disgusting. The photographer-model was paid a royalty. The fact that I was grossed out mattered not. The mailing became a control and the publisher mailed millions—and was about to rake in millions when the

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