This was the summer when two good friends of ours finally had long-gestating books published -- Dave Astor’s Comic (and Column) Confessional and Bill McGee’s Attention All Passengers. (But please note: Those of you Googling the latter book who don’t know Mr. McGee on a personal level must refer to him as “William J.”! And Amazon insists that Dave's book was published in 2008!)
What are these two books about? Let their subtitles explain.
Astor: Finding Myself While Covering Syndicates, Celebrities and a Changing Media World
McGee: The Airlines' Dangerous Descent---and How to Reclaim Our Skies
While Bill’s book is obviously about the descent of the airline industry, Dave’s has a similar theme -- the descent of newspaper syndication in particular and newspapers themselves by extension. No, I wouldn’t call it a “dangerous” descent – the death of a bunch of newspapers can’t be compared with the deaths of hundreds of airplane passengers.
While Dave and Bill argue eloquently about how the industries they cover have specific attributes leading to unique corporate arrogance, they would both probably agree that newspapers and airlines don’t have any monopolies in this area. Take trade publishing, for example. Dave’s book – being a memoir of his 25 years at Editor & Publisher magazine before he was, well, himself downsized – also provides a good look at how business-to-business media play the same corporate game.
Hey, I could write a book! Hell no, that’s an awful lot of work. I’m sure Dave and Bill were holed up in a cave the past couple of years!
But I could write something under my own name for a change. Or under my first name, at least. And so I have.
(photos by Les)