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John Motavalli

Member since February 2016Contact John

  • columnist Freelance
  • Fernandina Beach Florida
  • 32034 USA

John Motavalli has written for the New York Times, New York Post, USA Today, Adweek, TV Week, Inside Media, Success, Interview, and many other periodicals. He is the author of Bamboozled at the Revolution, (Putnam Penguin), a definitive account of the fatal collision between the Internet and major media.

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  • Facebook's Feed Changes, Cold Shoulder For Publishers by Melynda Fuller (Publishing Insider on 01/15/2018)

    Did nobody in the media learn anything from what happened with AOL? They all bend over backwards to work with AOL in the early 90s, learning the AOL system and hiring people to upload to AOL. Then AOL's Pittman reverses the deal and says AOL wants serious money to carry their content now. The media were left flatfooted. Most were so removed from the Internet that they didn't even register their eponymous URL (that's why so many magazine address end with mag). And now Facebook is doing the same thing 20 years later, TO THE SAME COMPANIES THAT AOL SCREWED. I HAVE TO LAUGH.

  • Before He Was Senator: An Al Franken Memory by Adam Buckman (TVBlog on 11/20/2017)

    He never called you,Adam? He called me. About 8 years ago I was an adjunct professor of opinion journalism at Quinnipiac University. Since I was commenting on Franken's bufoonish activities as a talkshow host for the leftist Air America network in the class, I decided to write an Op-Ed about why Air America was failing. It ran in a couple of national dailes, and specifically mentioned Franken's VERY unfunny skit, in which he portrayed an inept suicide bomber. Playing suicide bombing for laughs. A day or so later, after the piece ran, Franken called me. He was profane in the extreme, screaming at me. He couldn't point to any inaccuracies in the story, but he clearly hated me for writing it. It certainly surprise me that he treated women like some are alleging. I think he treated everyone--including you--as not worthy of his high intellect. I was appalled when he was elected to the US Senate and I hope he is booted from it.

  • 'Rolling Stone' Magazine Asks, 'Do You Want To Make A Deal?' by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 09/18/2017)

    Hey, Thom, reading this has me recalling my Inside Media interview with Wenner. I concluded he was the most unpleasant, uncooperative and generally obnoxious person I have evern interviewed, and that covers a lot of territory. It seems to me not a coincidence that Jann Wenner and Graydon Carter are going down at the same time. It's not just that magazines are in trouble. Both of them had turned their pubs into radical left politcal journals. In the August issue, Graydon Carter had something like 5 Trump attack articles, crowding everything else. And I have not seen any issue of RS without an attack on Trump, leftie raving from Matt Taibbi, etc. I don't think people buy Rolling Stone to read about Trump, one way or the other. They want to read about music. I am aware that RS has a long history of political reporting, but in the 60s it seemed to be part of the zeitgeist, and now it is just out of step. Completely. 

  • Graydon Carter Steps Down As Editor Of 'Vanity Fair' by Sara Guaglione (Publishers Daily on 09/07/2017)

    Isn't it kind of obvious that Carter had become obsessed with Donald Trump, which would have made CN uneasy. Not that they are Trump supporters, but VF was not supposed to be The New Republic or The Nation. I picked up a recent issue, and there 4 or 5 features slamming Trump. I don't think advertisers wanted that kind of stuff. And then there was his infamous editor's letter, that assumed Trump had lost the election and was regretting his decision to run. Everyone who read that knew Trump had won, and he looked less than prescient, one might say. I interviewed Carter a couple time, and met him a few times in CT. He liked going to flea markets. CN gets rid of everybody past a certain age anyway.

  • Goodbye To All That by John Motavalli (Programmatic Insider on 05/24/2017)

    Thanks, Ed. You may have noted I am not the only one. There is a widespread purge going on. 

  • Snap: Teenage Fad Or This Year's Silly Putty? by John Motavalli (Programmatic Insider on 05/17/2017)

    Right, Ed. You also have to have DEEP pockets to absorb the many failures you are bound to have. Consider this statistic: For the average TV season, Here are the averages broken down:   500: The average number of pitches heard by network and studio execs each summer 70: The average number of pilot scripts ordered each fall 20: The average number of pilot episodes ordered each January 5 – 12: The average number of series each network orders each MayAnd then, of the shows actually picked up, most will fail.  

  • Snap: Teenage Fad Or This Year's Silly Putty? by John Motavalli (Programmatic Insider on 05/17/2017)

    I think I see some of the logic of CEO Spiegel. He's thinking of MTV. My old buddy Tom Freston figured out that the only way for MTV to mature was to change the programming from videos to measurable programs. Previously, MTV did lousy in the Nielsens because who could remember what show one had watched? Which VJ was on? It was undistinguished blur. So Freston moved the programming into game shows and the like. Similarly Spiegel wants a hit show for watercooler talk about Snap, and for name recognition, and for getting some of that TV ad money aimed at the young demographic. But TV production is so expensive and so difficult to get right that I doubt he has the time to succeed. 

  • Snap: Teenage Fad Or This Year's Silly Putty? by John Motavalli (Programmatic Insider on 05/17/2017)

    So Douglas, if that's true, why are Snap's numbers so disappointing? I'm sure that why Spiegel says advertisers have to be educated but I'm not sure they have the patience for that.

  • Snap: Teenage Fad Or This Year's Silly Putty? by John Motavalli (Programmatic Insider on 05/17/2017)

    I'm reaching for my bong as we speak. And Facebook is now starting an online TV service. And Snap is going to compete with that? 

  • Up To 80% Fraud? Business As Usual For Ad Tech by John Motavalli (Programmatic Insider on 05/10/2017)

    Perhaps I see the irony here. The only way to verify online advertising is to forget algorithims and do it by hand? Back to the 90s, when men were men, media buyers did their jobs, and my Inside Media went to every ad agency.

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