Thereaderiswhatwethoughtitwas | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Steve Timble Leaves Reader


You protest what you do not understand. The Reader Sales & Marketing department is the problem. Understand that the founding owners profited greatly during the good old days when clients had no alternative but to place their ads with the Reader, creating the most insular, entitled organization ever imagined. Know that picking up a phone to take an order is just that, order taking, easily accomplished by someone pulled from the local drive-thru. (Would you like fries with that?)

Consultative media sales is a craft, that begins with picking up the phone to call a business and begin a conversation about how the Reader's audience could benefit their business. This is not the Reader I came to know. Creative Loafing under the direction of Eason, MacDonald, DiSalvo, et al, took my earlier referenced tire fire and stoked the flames by introducing needlessly complex, and failed programs like Eats and Chicago Drinks when they should have been focused on changing the broken sales & marketing culture they oversaw. The good news is Eason & MacDonald are gone. Timble attepted to change the culture, and in that respect he deserves credit for just trying.

I have no doubt Timble ruffled some feathers along the way, but that should not be viewed as a bad thing. Business as usual had to change. Given more time I have every confidence that he would have succesfully transformed the culture to that of an effective, efficient, consultative sales organization. And you must know that this transformation is the only thing that will save the Chicago Reader.

I do hope that the new Creative Loafing understands this because I believe the city must have a credible, authentic alternative voice. I will however caution you that if/when the credible leadership you desire is in place, they will continue many of Timble's innovations. How do know this? Because they make good business sense and are necessary to the long term survival of the Chicago Reader. When that happens the order takers will be replaced with true sales & marketing professionals and the Reader will flourish again.

Posted by Thereaderiswhatwethoughtitwas on 11/14/2009 at 8:20 PM

Re: “Steve Timble Leaves Reader

I had the pleasure of working with Steve Timble in a sales capacity during his tenure at the Reader so I feel qualified to shed some light on his performance.

Understand that Timble inherited a sales & marketing tire fire that Ben Eason's Creative Loafing had been dousing with gasoline prior to his hiring. I see his hiring as the only good decision Eason's group made in their 2+ year stewardship of the Reader.

Timble's energy and enthusiasm combined with his knowledge and experience provided the only leadership I witnessed at the Reader. I don't believe it is possible to view his dismissal as a positive, unless you would like to see the Reader shuttered.

Put simply, I enjoyed working with the man and would do so again if the opportunity presented itself.

Posted by Thereaderiswhatwethoughtitwas on 11/11/2009 at 11:51 AM

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