The Next Garfield

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I’ve long followed the work of Bob Garfield —  from his acerbic Advertising Age reviews to his weekly hosting of NPR’s “On the Media” through the publication of “The Chaos Scenario.”  The announcement about his leaving the Ad Age gig didn’t particularly surprise me.  Bob’s got a particular vision for the future of the media and communications industries and having him trash or praise a 30 second spot every week started to seem weirdly anachronistic.  It also seemed like a colossal waste of talent and brainpower.

If you’ve never listened to “On the Media”, make a point of doing so.  Bob and his co-host Brooke Gladstone do a superb job of plumbing the emerging media landscape, and it gives you a glimpse of what this guy can do.  If we ever needed Garfield the industry thinker and truth teller, it’s now.  So Bob, now that you’ve decided to hang out your shingle and go rogue, here are a couple of topics for you to bat around:

The Chaos Game Plan. OK, so we’re buying the whole Chaos Scenario but now what?  What do the interim business models and organizations look like in the space?  Who will profit from the tumult and what are some dos and don’ts for survival?

Ad Agency:  Game Over? Is it time to stick a fork in the whole agency business as we know it?  You’ve consistently trashed the award-mongers and the cult of self congratulation that dominates the Mad Men set.  But give us a timetable: how much longer before we see the agency model completely implode?

The Future of Talent. That our overall industry has become incestuous and self-referential is beyond question.  From your perspective, Bob, what professions and callings should we be calling on to help design the media and communications future?

Don’t get me wrong: I love snarky commentary as much as the next guy, and I hope that Garfield will never lose that quality.  But what an opportunity to make a significant intellectual difference in the future of the business you’ve so long critiqued.

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