First and foremost, we vow to live more genuinely and with greater purpose. Heck, life's too precious to squander on convenient truths.
Secondly, we promise to do some things that will leave this world a better place, and hope to use this column toward that end. So bear with us on that one. Hey, you can always opt-out.
Thirdly, we'll try (emphasis on the word "try") to be a little more sincere, and a lot less bitchy. But if you won't listen to us, who will? Plus, it's a two-way street. You can always rejoin us on the Riff blog.
Speaking of the Riff blog, we'd like to use today's edition to organize an informal memorial for all those we lost during '06. So, if there's someone or even something that you were sorry to see go, please take a moment to post a comment - even if it's just their name - by hitting reply to the Riff blog at the bottom of this page. Just to get things going, here are a few names we consider worth remembering:
John Higgins. Long-time editor and reporter at B&C, Multichannel News, and other good magazines.
Eric Schmuckler. Long-time editor and contributor to Mediaweek magazine.
Bernice Kanner. Long-time ad industry journalist, and author of the forthcoming book, "Watch This, Listen Up, Click Here," co-written with Carat chief David Verklin.
Peter Jennings. Long-time ABC evening news anchor.
Ed Bradley. TV journalist ("60 Minutes").
Louis Ruckeyser. Creator and host of public television's "Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser"
Aaron Spelling. Prolific prime-time TV producer ("Charlie's Angels," "Beverly Hills, 90210").
Reuven Frank, Former president of NBC News.
Curt Gowdy. Network TV Sportscaster.
Frank Stanton, former president of CBS.
Mike Douglas. TV talk show host.
Joe Barberra. TV cartoon animator (From "Yogi Bear" to "Scooby Doo").
Sid Barrett. Seminal rock musician, founder of Pink Floyd.
Steve Irwin. TV's "Crocodile Hunter."
Al Lewis. TV actor (Grandpa on "The Munsters").
Dennis Weaver, TV actor ("Gunsmoke," "McCloud").
Don Knotts, TV actor ("The Andy Griffith Show," "Three's Company").
Darren McGavin, TV actor ("Night Stalker," "A Christmas Story").
Peter Boyle. TV actor ("Everyone Loves Raymond").
Jane Wyatt. TV actress ("Father Knows Best").
Glenn Ford. Actor ("Blackboard Jungle").
The blackboard. (The slate-based medium.)
Milton Friedman. Economist.
Robert Altman. Film director ("M*A*S*H").
Harold Ostroff. Affordable New York public housing developer; manager who saved the Jewish Forward from the brink of closure, and spawned English- and Russian-language editions of the once Yiddish-only newspaper.
Gerald Ford. Accidental president.
James Brown. Godfather of soul.
Martin Nodell Creator of comic book hero "Green Lantern."
Betty Friedan. Author and feminist.
Corretta Scott King. Grace under fire, she provided an air of civility to the civil rights movement.
3,000 The number of Americans who've died in the Iraqi war through 2006.
The thirty-second spot. Differ on this one? Consider that it takes only 6-seconds to fast-forward through 30.
Theodore Levitt. Visionary Harvard professor who coined "marketing myopia."
Ken Kaess. President of DDB Worldwide.
O. Milton Gossett. Former head of Saatchi & Saatchi, and before that, Compton Advertising.
Joyce Brand, the artist who created one of our most endearing and enduring ad icons, the Coppertone Girl.
Robert Alter Founder of the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau. He helped make cable more than just a fable.
Ed Schillmoeller. The chief statistician and research consciousness of Nielsen Media Research for more than three decades.
William Croasdale. The dean of the network TV business. He presided over the buying departments at some of the biggest shops - BBDO, Backer & Spielvogel, Bates and Western International Media - and somehow always managed to beat the market by a couple of points.