In defense of printed newspapers

It’s $2.00 for a slice of pizza and 50 cents for the Tribune. This is something someone says in a documentary on the death of the Tampa Tribune. I read about this in The Tampa Bay Times, which bought and killed the Tampa Tribune. It’s quite sad what is happening to daily newspapers.

Tampa Bay used to have the Tampa Tribune and Tampa Times. Across the bay was the St. Petersburg Times and one other I am not remembering now. The St. Petersburg Times became the Tampa Bay Times in 2012, they won the right in a lawsuit. This is sort of a dubious thing as it sort of was the writing on the wall for the end of the Tampa Tribune and reminiscent of the Tampa Times. But again, daily newspapers are going the way of the dinosaurs and that’s sad.

Ironically, The Tampa Bay Times is featuring the documentary about their own killing off of the Tampa Tribune in a story in their own publication along with a movie trailer
newspaper2

I still read the daily newspaper – holding in my hands the old fashioned way. I read the Miami Herald daily and sometimes the Sun-Sentinel which is the Ft. Lauderdale newspaper.

When I was a kid, I could read seven dailies in two counties – The Miami Herald, The Miami News, The Ft. Lauderdale News, the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the South Dade News-Leader and the Hollywood Sun-Tattler. Loved the name of that one – the Sun-Tattler. That building is now a Holiday Inn, I believe. I also want to mention the Key West Citizen, which is still published daily. Love them.

My parents subscribed to the Herald and the South Dade-News Leader and I would occasionally buy the others. In New York, I used to read the four dailies – the Times, Daily News, Post and Newsday. I sometimes still do. When I was a kid, I delivered the now defunct Long Island Press.

newspaper3

It’s shocking how small the Miami Herald is these days in size. In height and width, but also in content. When we were kids and we took road trips around the country, small towns in Tennessee and Georgia had tiny newspapers – at least they had newspapers. Now the Miami Herald is very small. But it still is delivered seven days a week and I read it, holding it in my hands, like the old days.

I do read many publications online that I normally would not if there wasn’t an online way to do it. I don’t read the whole newspaper, but I follow so many news organizations online that I read stories here in there from various newspapers around the country. So that is a great thing. But there is something about holding the actual newspaper in your hands, smelling the paper and ink, having it on your doorstep each morning. There’s something special in that.

newspaper1

Things that make you go hmmm

iphoneThere is a new app called Text to Ticket which pays you to snitch on people who are texting while driving.

So far it only works in California. The tattle tale gets $5 for reporting the offending driver.

Question: How much do you get for video taping the person who is video taping and tattle taling while driving?

Now here is an interesting new app called Wag. It’s dog walking on demand, sort of like Uber for dogs. It’s only in a few major cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and LA.

A 30 minute walk is $20, a longer walk is $30 and you can add another dog to the walk for $5.

Warhol estates sues over Prince image

warhol2Speaking of Andy Warhol (see the post below), I saw in the New York Daily News that the estate of Andy Warhol is suing a photographer before the photographer sues the Warhold estate.

Seems that in 1981, Warhol allegedly swipped an image of Prince and made it into a Warhol painting. Didn’t he do that often? I know he mostly took polaroids of people and then had them blown up and silk screened the image into usually four images, all the same but with different color schemes.

I read in the Andy Warhol Diaries that celebs would want their “portraits” done and Andy would try to sell them in foursomes, rather than twosomes, which many celebs wanted. If I remember right, they were $25,000 for each image, so of course, he would want to sell them as a foursome. All silk screened work – nice work if you can get it!

warhol3

Betsey Johnson just wants to have fun

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

I had the honor of interviewing fashion icon Betsey Johnson. Betsey made a stop at Macys at Boca Town Center in Boca Raton, Florida, to promote the premiere of TLC’s Say Yes to the Prom hosted by Betsey and Monte Durham premiering on April 1. It’s a 90 minutes special, which is a TLC tradition where the network partners with Macy’s to help make prom dreams come true.

betsey-johnson

Betsey Johnson, courtesy Twitter

TOM: I just saw a tv show recently about you and your daughter, I can’t remember what it was, I think it was CBS Sunday morning. I’m a man who knows nothing about fashion, and I know you, what’s it like being an American icon?

BETSEY: Great, I guess! I don’t really consider myself that, but I can tell you that to become appreciated for what you do you need to work hard and create a following. The word icon just comes over time, the happiness comes from your fans. I love my fans, they keep me going!

TOM: They said your fashion shows are like a three ring circus but there has to be some part you don’t like. What’s your least favorite part of your own fashion shows?

BETSEY: I have no least favorite part. I used to be afraid of critics in the audience but now I feel they love and support me. The whole process of a fashion show is pure fun to me!

TOM: I know you do a lot of the hand-drawn art yourself at the shows and there are DJ’s. Do you choose the music yourself?

BETSEY: Not backstage, I’m too busy running around getting everything ready to make the playlist. Up front, I work with a very skilled musical talent to create the music for the runway. Backstage it is just fun and free to start the party!

TOM: Your signature move is a cartwheel. When was the last time you did a cartwheel?

BETSEY: Not that long ago, but these days I lean more towards the splits which are easy peasy. Cartwheels make me a little afraid because I never know what I’m cartwheeling on and what will happen on that surface.I do love doing them so I will every now and then.

TOM: What was Andy Warhol like?

BETSEY: Quiet. A man of few words. Sweet, gentle and private.

TOM: What’s the secret to your success?

BETSEY: Lots of hard work, but most of all luck! And being nice to everyone you meet.

TOM: Favorite decade? Why?

BETSEY: By far the 60s! And for so many reasons, The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan, the moon, pantyhose and all the geniuses that were around during that time.

TOM: At what point did you realize you were famous?

BETSEY: Today, actually! At the airport I’ve never had so many fans come up to meet me. I’ve never taken so many selfies! I’m always surprised when I remember I’m a little bit famous.

TOM: What song would be the theme of your life. I think I can guess.

BETSEY: “I did it my way.”

TOM: In my mind, it was “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!”

TOM: Please tell me about Say Yes to the Prom, is that similar to the tv show Say Yes to the Dress?

BETSEY: Similar, but so much better since it is so wonderfully charitable! It has been such an honor to work with all the kiddos picking out outfits (especially the ones that are super pink, puffy and sparkly) for their big day. It makes me happy making so many kids happy.

TOM: Thank you Betsey, good luck with the show!

The Lyceum Theatre

lyceumI love this picture. It was taken in 1917. You can see the Lyceum Theatre sort of at the center, see it, next to the Loews sign? I was at a play at that exact theater last summer, 99 years later! We saw Jesse Tyler Ferguson in “Fully Committed,” a one man play.

I had a couple of premonitions that night. Stupid, but they played out as I described.

Before the play started, I told my cousin, who was seated next to me that the guy seated next to me would have his phone ring during the play. And it did. The only phone to ring! Jesse looked at the guy from the stage and made a joke of it, even though he was annoyed, but right on cue, the guy’s phone rang.

I also said something about spitting would happen. I wasn’t sure what, but I saw in my head that Jesse would spit on the stage or the audience. By accident. And he did. He talked so much during the play that at one point he just spat. Right onto the front row! He laughed about it and played it off, but it happened.

Now if I could only get a premonition about tonight’s lottery numbers!

lyceum2

This is the Lyceum Theatre stage last summer.

lyceum3

The logo game

When I was in my teens and maybe early 20s, I used to design logos. I think I charged $89.00 for a logo. I worked at a community newspaper and they would run the ad for me in the classified section. It was a small black box, about an inch square and it said “Logos” very large and then my phone number. This is before email or I would have put the email address in the ad.

I would prepare a few designs and the person would buy one and I would make it into a black and white contact sheet and that was there logo. No EPS files or PDF files or vector files, just a black and white piece to work from.

In the village where I live, there was a shoe store that had my logo on their window, for so many years. It was called “Coconuts” and the “T” was a palm tree. And every time I passed I was proud to say, “I did that.” That was years ago, ironically, I just ate at that location, it’s a restaurant now.

pepsi

The whole subject comes up because I read that Pepsi changed their logo from the one on the left to the one on the right. And guess what? They paid $1 million to Arnell Associates to create the new logo for them.

I would say I’m in the wrong business, maybe I should go back to it. It’s like you create logos and if you’re fortunate, you get one huge account, do the job and retire.