Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Often mistaken, but never uncertain

Cape Cod Voice attacks its imagined competition

For those among you who don't bother to pick up a free copy at the Hearth 'n Kettle or lower cape convenience stores, Cape Cod Voice is a flashy, four color fortnightly newsprint magazine which just entered the "business magazine" field with a new product named Cape Cod Business Voice. We can't show you its web site since it has none, and it's parent has one which has no editorial content.

The Publisher, Seth Rolbein, attempts to ingratiate himself and his publication with the business community by insulting his imagined competition in his first edition.

After getting the Cape Cod Times' Publisher Peter Meyer to graciously grant him an interview about its new glossy magazine Cape Cod VIEW, Rolbein proceeded to state that The Times discounts its rates while cravenly bragging about how his rates are so much better, and then complains that VIEW had "only 30 pages of paid advertising."

At the rates The Times charges for VIEW, that's serious money for a first edition and probably more than the Voice's total ad revenues per issue after five years of its precious existence. And View is a readable, general circulation magazine focusing on matters of interest to thirty-something houswives while the Voice continues to focus on one subject each issue and beat it to death.

And then he goes after Cape Business magazine as well

Not satisfied with dissing Cape Cod VIEW which Rolbein mistakenly thinks is his peer, he next tries to impugn the honesty and worth of Cape Business, another new glossy magazine published by Glenn Ritt, Bob Viamari and Ernie Johnson.

These gentlemen showed great wisdom in refusing an interview, as did Rusty Pierson the new Publisher of Cape Cod Life.

Despite that, Rolbein managed to snipe at Ritt as someone "who served a short stint as editor of Community Newspaper Company.... after moving here from New Jersey." St. Secaucus, image that! Someone came here from Off Cape.

Rolbein probably forgot that he himself served an even shorter time at the same post and quit in a huff when asked by the owners to reduce staff during a recession. He immediately announced he would start the Voice, but had to keep his investors on hold for a year because he also forget that he had signed a non-compete with CNC.

This is the financial brains behind CC Business Voice?

Running scared?

He proceeds to suggest Cape Business also breaks its rate card, although I know from personal experience this is not true. While Rolbein's CC Business Voice is full of insinuated nastiness, Ritt's new Cape Business is jammed full of valuable business information and data and fairly bulging with advertising, more in each successive issues.

Rolbein is obviously "running scared." His sponsors are among some of the cape's biggest and most successful businesses, and as business people rather than unreconstructed 1960's liberal writers like Rolbein, should realize what an error it was to back The Voice with their hard-earned reputations.

In the newspaper and magazine business, the 11th commandment is "Thou shalt not impugn your peers."

Rolbein's only excuse may be that he has none. Maybe his motto should be "often mistaken, but never uncertain." wb


At 2:08 PM, Blogger Solon Economou said...

Good show! He must be doing something really wrong, because I've never heard of Cape Cod Business Voice, but subscribe to his perceived competition.

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