Before I say anything, I want to state that in no way is this BLOG intended to cast dispersion on Trade Schools.  It is painfully true that this country needs more people who can fix and build things, instead of just moving money around.

I read an essay in the Washington Post this past week by Fareed Zakaria in which he speaks to the issue of some of our political  leaders as emphasizing the need for more engineering and science curricula in colleges and the de-emphasizing or even elimination of the humanities and arts.

When I went to college at SIU in Carbondale Illinois, the first two years were devoted to “General Studies”.  students had very few “electives” options and were required to take, such “meaningless” course as Philosophy, Music Appreciation, Literature and yes physics and chemistry and language.

Today, in many large “Trade-iversities, students are required to declare their majors upon entering the system.  This is not only ludicrous, but I believe damaging to their development as total students and citizens.  Do we really believe that the average eighteen year old knows what she or he “wants-to-be-when-they-grow-up”?  I did not – I started out in engineering and my career in in advertising and media planning; and I will bet that a lot of us out there are not working in the fields of our chosen majors in college.

I see this problem as one, in large part, due to the insanely high cost of getting an education, today,

“… get that degree and start paying off your exorbitant student loan…”,  is a huge road block to an expanded curriculum.

President Obama’s initiative to make the first two years of trade schools, free is a great start in the right direction and should be carried over into the university system as well.  Ten percent of the military budget would go along way into starting this process.

Many CEO’s will tell you that a prospective employee with a more liberal arts background makes a more creative and total, employee.  As  Mister Zakaria points out, While U, S. test scores in Math and science are below those in other countries our inventors and scientist are still the most productive and creative in the world, due in a large part to our liberal education background.  The best test takers in the world – the Japanese and Chinese, are still better at copying than at innovating.

Sure, we need engineers and scientists but they should be able think in creative, and philosophical ways.  Let the trade school teach the trades – our universities should supply a more well rounded education.


We have been planning and buying media for many years, now, and the construct that “…everything has changed…” due to the internet, mobile, social media and the fall of network TV versus cable, strikes me as being mostly invalid.

I believe that the basic concepts of media planning and negotiations have changed very little from the very beginnings. Smart planners and buyers have always operated on the premise that the most successful campaigns are based on a few generic concepts:

  • Know your product or service as well as you can
  • Know your target audience
  • Build frequency of exposure
  • Maximize reach
  • Devise that plan to be frugal with the budget
  • Follow up with post analysis

The “New” media landscape while building on new vehicles of delivery are still contained within these seven or so basic rules of the game. We change the nomenclature (Pay-per-View/Sale is now pay-per-click), but the concepts remain the same.

The rush to embrace social media as a be all, end all has proved to be shortsighted – 80% of those using Facebook and Twitter do not read or respond to the ads on those sites.

There are no magic bullets.

Moreover, more than ever, the sensitive elements of quality of product, truthfulness of message and listening to the consumer are as valid today as when there were only Newspapers, Magazines, Radio and three TV networks.

We can change the name but the song remains the same.


A few years ago, my step-daughter asked me to see if I could help a friend of hers find a job in New York at Comedy Central.  I Introduced this young lady to the then Sales Manager of the network and she landed a internship at MTV Networks.

Last night we went to Hyena’s Comedy Club here in Dallas to see her new stand-up routine.  We were really thrilled with her performance.

Jamie Lee is now a rising star on MTV’s “Girl Code”, plus is writing for other MTV properties.  She has been noted as “one of the top five  comedian who should be movie stars” by  And she is a native of Dallas.

We will be following her career more closely now and wishing her the best.

You Go Girl!!

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LET’S START WITH THE OSCARS. The audience for the Oscars has fallen again this year and no wonder.  What a slow, unfunny show it has become.  With the exception of a couple of women, one gay and one black rapper, the acceptance speeches were total white bread and banal. The MC was unfunny and insulting without being humorous and the show looked like it was thrown together like pieces from someone’s  yard sale. Enough. STEADMAN – If you haven’t seen or heard of it, and have any appreciation of the art of Ralph Steadman, I highly recommend “For No Good Reason“, a documentary on this sardonic genius, his process of creation and his relationship to Hunter Thompson.  Hosted very low key by Johnny Depp with appearances by Terry Gilliam and the late William Burroughs, among others, it is a visually stunning couple of hours. See it!   It’s on Netflix. THE NET – It looks like we have won one against the big boys – at least the first round.  Net neutrality has been saved by the FCC.  And while the monsters of Cable have promised to fight it, all of us who have become as dependent upon the internet as we are on oxygen, can breath easier for a while.  Hang in there and keep after them. See you next week..

FIRST COLBERT…then STEWART…then Williams

ed. note:  The above typing is not a mistake, the lower case is intended.

I know this is old news, but I just wanted to add my thoughts to the departure of the two most trusted names in news reporting and one who just couldn’t get over himself.

For all the talk about fake news that Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart were accused of reporting, in the end, theirs was probably, the most reliable.

Brian Williams, on the other hand, seems to have so taken with himself that he wished for some heroics for, then believed that the wish had come true.

Comedy Central and all of us news junkies will sorely miss those two honest reporters and I, for one, will not miss Mr. Williams.

The selection of Larry Wilmore to fill in the 11:30 block is, while not Colbert, a fine replacement .  He has a sharp wit and tongue and his “Keep it 100” is  an interesting take on interviewing (I can’t wait until he gets some real celebrities for that hot seat.)

As to who will replace B. Williams, who cares

And my vote for Jon’s replacement…Hey, Tina Fey, what are you up to lately?


As we indicated last week, the “El Corazon” art  show at the BATH HOUSE CULTURAL CENTER had a great grand opening and is, again this year a fabulous show.  From large exotic painting to grand sculptures and photographs. The BHCC is located on the eastern shore of White Rock Lake in Dallas and is a really fine venue for Art and Theater.  Please drop by to surprise your senses with this great exhibit. Parking and entrance is free.

On a sadder note, as you are probably aware of by now, David Carr of the NY times, died yesterday.  Anyone who appreciates fine, effective writing is now mourning his death.  you can check out some of his reporting at

See you next week

Bath House El Corazon Reception



If you haven’t been to the Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake Park in Dallas, it’s time to venture out. This modest gallery and live theater venue has some surprisingly good art exhibits and plays.

The exhibit that is opening next week, El CORAZON, is an annual event with some fabulous regional artists exhibiting works that will knock you out. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, one will find everything from sentimental, to religious, to edgy,—art, sculpture, and photography.

Admission is free and so is parking.

They also have quite a variety of live comedy and drama on an ongoing basis.

It rests at the foot of Northcliff Drive off Buckner, between Mockingbird and Lake Highlands.

Please, visit it soon. Check it out and get more info at:


You will not be disappointed.


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After a long Absence…

GonzoMedia has not posted anything in quite a while. I can give excuses for this, but it really is a matter of not being inclined simply to regurgitate articles from media publications, blogs and web sites, that are readily available to those concerned with this part of the advertising business.

I have never much cared for “cut-and-paste,” so mostly what you will see will be observations and commentary and occasionally, a very short story – longer than twitter-shorter than a page.

As always, you are welcome to comment, but don’t expect a long debate. Your opinion is yours and you are certainly welcome to it. If it is in opposition to mine, well, this is my blog and…enough said.

Please, visit again. I hope to have fun here.



9703I am proud to announce that GonzoMedia will be assigning all future creative projects to our new associate, Sharon Shero. As many of you know, she and I have been partners in life for the past 17 plus years and now we will be able to work together on future advertising projects as well.

Since GonzoMedia has begun to attract clients with more than pure media planning and buying needs, we will finally be able to take advantage of her many creative talents.

Sharon will serve as Creative Director, handling Art Direction, Graphic Design, Copy Writing and Photography—all of which she has been expertly providing for her own clients since 1998.

With her addition to our team, we will now be able to broaden our reach into the marketplace. We are excited about this change and are looking forward to great work from Sharon and an expanded client base for GonzoMedia.

Please welcome her aboard with a note at

A note to current Ad Agency clients of GonzoMedia, we won’t be pitching any of your accounts!


The New York Times has a lead story today regarding the ever present problem of the outrageous cost of sports programming on cable and how all of us have to pay for it.

I guess you see where my head is on this one. Nobody helps me pay for HBO or Showtime, why should I have to pay for something I never watch?

The dilemma, it is argued, is that if the cable systems charged back the entire cost to only those who watch, very few could afford to watch sports and we all know that already, attending sports events has gotten totally out of the reach of Joe Six-Pack and his family.

The fact that Time Warner just paid the LA Dodgers 7 billion–that’s right 7 BILLION-for the right to carry their games and that every subscriber in Los Angeles will have $4 to $5 added to their bill each month, just makes it more and more frustrating for those of us who already pay through the nose for premium channels.

Plus, some of the systems are planning to drop, “a few of their less popular”, channels in order to help pay for this. Great! Now we are approaching a cable landscape where only the big guys get to play and all of us have to pay.

Sound familiar??…….Bankers, Wall Street, AIG…….

It’s time that the industry treats the sports channels exactly like they do the premiums-you want ESPN? You pay extra for it. These guys are not even footing most of the bill for the broadcast, the sponsors are.

Hello Stupor Bowl….