Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Never write when you can talk. Never talk when you can nod. And never put anything in an e-mail" Eliot Spitzer

Americans love lists. American media understand this and offer up lists of every variety. Lists and awards abound. The nature of any list, and I'll include awards here because awards are nothing more than another type of list, are almost never fair. The lists offered up by American business and trade pubs can be especially unfair. Creating lists of the best or most important or most-admired business leaders is a mission fraught with peril. However, creators often hedge their bets since there seems to be no limits (or even commonly accepted rules) on creating new and improved lists. Accordingly it is possible for Carly Fiona to top list after list of great business leaders one month, suddenly vanish from those lists and then reappear at the top of some other list ("Top business leaders on the loose...what will they do next?" or "Execs falling off this year's list"). Riding high in April and shot down in May, that's life. I write here not to be unfair to Carly but to make a point. The list bidness ain't as easy as it might first seem.

But as even the blind squirrel is sometimes able to acquire the acorn, list makers do seem to get it right on occasion. In a moment of clarity they set the record straight listing a deserving or highly qualified individual inexplicably ignored or overlooked previously. Each new list provides for this opportunity. I don't like lists that appear to lack the rigor of serious standards for qualification while pretending to be serious work; they would be better served telling it like it is "here is my or our purely subjective opinion take it or leave it." I dislike the inclusion of individuals be they business leaders or bloggers or film editors at the exclusion of others without a proper disclosure of the rules or the knowledge that there are no rules. But such is the nature of any list. Most are merely popularity contests, parlor games at best, the stuff of amusement not any serious study.

Then there are the lists of media professionals. The Radio Ink Lists are in this group and the Radio Ink folks have just released their "55 Best Managers in Radio" list. Earlier they called this list "50 Best Managers in Radio" and "Best Managers in Radio". The latter was still 50 but not in title and they also appended that list with a list of ten most-admired corporate managers. I congratulate all those listed this year and rather than ask why the number 55 is so important or again name names not on the list that certainly deserved to be there...I would prefer to tell you a story. I'll share that story in my next post.

Perhaps Jimmy deCastro was right..."Radio is high school with money."

P.S. Taking my post to heart...My Other Voices blogroll is a list of those blogs I personally read at least weekly, some, not all, as many are not yet on the blogroll due to my lack of labor (and the convenience of my Bloglines feed); the Morning Coffee blogroll is just that, my daily reads. The only rule is I read the blog and like it. Do you have a blog to suggest that I've not listed - let me know and I'll share it here - thanks!

Any list of the best marketing and advertising writers working at a daily would have to include Lewis Lazare, yesterday he writes on the Donny Deutsch book...

Deutsch exposes himself as something of a hypocrite. First he waxes ecstatic about how being a television host has given him easy access to all kinds of bold-faced names he never thought he'd meet. Then, he quickly does an about-face, and insists he has never been impressed with celebrity, and that he really admires the simple folk he grew up with in Queens.

We suppose lucky rebels from Queens just assume they can have it both ways.

Lew's entire writing is here. I agree with Lew on the Deutsch book...disappointing. If you will imagine that I have access to the set of CNBC's one and only true star, the amazing Jimmy Cramer, watch me now push JC's "don't buy" button three times and, if you must have the book, suggest you wait for it to hit the clearance won't be waiting long.