Thursday, May 10, 2012

KRW b2b awards are playing 2nd fiddle, says publisher, and he's boycotting them

Rumblings of discontent among people in the Canadian business and trade press about  this year's Kenneth R. Wilson Awards have now bubbled to the surface with the wide circulation of an e-mail by Jim Glionna, the president of Newcom Business Media Inc.who says he's boycotting the event.Newcom publishes Today's Trucking, Canadian Technician, Truck & Trailer, Transport Routier and Plumbing & HVAC.  
The KRWs have been a standalone event celebrating excellence in business-to-business publishing until this year when, for the first time, the two events are being held on the same evening. The KRWs are being held in the late afternoon, then share a reception before the National Magazine Awards in the evening.

Here's the text of Glionna's e-mail which has been sent to a large number of people in both business and consumer publishing:
Dear Publishers and Editors:
I am quite concerned and upset by the way in which KRW Awards are being presented this year.
Whether intended or not, the optics are not good.
The KRW Awards for excellence in B2B journalism are clearly playing second fiddle to the National Magazine Awards. Great journalism should neither be judged on the target audience it serves nor by the amount of revenue generated by the magazine in which it appears. Great journalism is great journalism… period!
For the first time in 18 years I will not be attending the 2012 KRW Awards presentation. Nor will any of our editors and publishers be attending.
My protest does not end here. I intend to do whatever I can to change the current situation. In all fairness B2B writers, publishers, and designers deserve to have their best work portrayed as being just as good as their colleagues who toil in the popular press. 
If anyone would like to assist me in this effort, I’ll take all the help I can get.
Yours truly, Jim Glionna
The background to these developments is complicated and is best followed by reading related posts from the past few years:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, give it a chance already.

10:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim's comments are understandable but reflect only a partial understanding of the challenges that have faced CBP and the KRWs. This industry and the KRW Awards (58 years and counting) are too important to so many people, to let frustration win the day over constructive dialogue.

8:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really can't agree. Anyone who attended last year's KRWs knows the event was running on fumes. Silver winners got no prize money despite it being promised at time of entries, there weren't enough people there to properly fill the venue, and all the talk was about the reorganization of CBP. Plus, having KRWs and NMAs together means any publication nominated in both (there are a few) can save money on tickets (at least if they want to forego the NMA dinner sitting), they can afford to bring more nominees and staff, and freelancers are able to attend both events for less $$$.

11:01 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Glionna, wow. Imagine, for a moment if the NMAs were NOT following the KRWs and the reception. Would you still be whining? An awards event at the swank Carlu? Sweet. Followed by a cocktail party at the Carlu? Sweeter still. Optics. Gimme a break. If it weren't for the sharing of resources with the NMAs, the KRWs likely would have been a sad breakfast affair at some rundown highway HoJo. I applaud the KRWs and the NMAs for working together.

12:19 pm  

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