Friday, June 5, 2009

Alan Mutter pitches his new advertising and e-commerce business to newspaper executives, watches credibility fall

Wow, this news comes out of left field.

Alan Mutter has gone from newspaper industry expert to huckster.

He was invited to the hush-hush Hilton O'Hare meetings last week to pitch his new venture to the industry leaders. Mutter's new business involves getting venture capitol from newspapers for a targeting advertising and e-commerce system and arranging for the publishers "to gain a permanent preferred share in the future preferred profits."

The news was broken yesterday by Zachary Seward, and confirmed early Friday morning on Mutter's blog.

Mutter wonders in his post if his readers will trust him.

I think readers' trust in Mutter has been damaged. He wasn't transparent about his plan to ask newspaper publishers for venture capitol until he was outed by Seward. And the biggest issue: how can Mutter be trusted to analyze Gannett or McClatchy or the New York Times on the one hand when he is asking them for money on the other?

Some humor in the comments. In a classic case of Pot Calling Kettle, Howard Weaver -- of all people -- calls Mutter's stance "insufferably arrogant and indulgent".

Hat tip: Walter Abbott


Anonymous said...

I lost trust in anything he had to say some time ago. I think it had to do with joining the Berkley Faculty and announcing that he would be a mouthpiece rather than a critic.

Dave D. said...

...Snake oil, it'll cure any and all newspaper problems. 100% guarantee'd to make money. A sad end to a guy looking for a last chance in a business he loves.

McClatchy watch said...

Dave D. it is a sad end.

Anonymous said...

Howard Weaver is just jealous he didn't think of it first. last time I checked HW was on deck as the good ship SS McClatchy nosedove and sank, bubbling under with our company.
maybe Howard could put a sock in it - he has had his turn at the microphone.

JAT said...

Alan understands the nuts-and-bolts of newspapers but if he is expecting end-users to sign onto to some intrusive cookie and script based regime -- as if this were 2002 -- he is sadly mistaken and reveals a fundamental lack of understanding of the technology.

In otherwords, he has no way to account for No Script, Greasemonkey and all the other tools users have at their disposal to control their interactions with Web sites. Mutter and crew are simply trying to build a NEWER top-down model, not a user-centric, opt-in model.