Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bye Bye Ruth Ryon?

Over the last several months, media and politics website LA Observed has closely followed the turmoil at the Los Angeles Times during which several long time staffers and editors have quit and others have been encouraged to apply for buy outs to leave their jobs.

Early this morning Your Mama received an email message from a gay rabbi in Vermont that LA Observed posted an unnofficial list of staffers who have applied for buyouts. Included on the list is Ruth Ryon, the patron saint of celebrity real estate gossips who created the very popular Hot Properties column in 1984 and has been providing the dee-lishush dish on celebrity real estate transactions ever since.

Miz Ryon paved the way for real estate reporters and gossips like Your Mama who salivate, savor and snicker about big real estate deals and record breaking prices and should her application for buyout be accepted by the higher ups, her presence on the scene will be greatly missed.

And yes, children, Your Mama really did first learn of this buy out bizness from a gay rabbi in Vermont.


Anonymous said...

Loves it! We wouldn't want it any other way Mama!


Anonymous said...

That's a real special combination there Mama.
Mama Have a good week, I'll miss you I'm going a way with my gf's for a vacation so don't delete any fights the children's may have so I can read them when I get back next week!

Anonymous said...

you and here should team up that would be a great marriage of 2 great hot property columnists

Alessandra said...

First Robert Bruss dies, now Ruth Ryon is taking a buy out? The times, they are a changin'...

But now the LA Times will have those extra column inches to spread bad news about the market. I'm sure the UCLA/Anderson School economists are peeing in their pants for being right finally, after calling the market for eight straight years.

so_chic_darling said...

It just goes to show that newspapers are a dying business.Nobody I know buys an actual paper newspaper anymore because it's free online and you don't get your fingers dirty,plus don't forget saving the trees.
The dirty little secret regarding online advertising is that it is much cheaper than the mega bucks you have to pay for print.Declining sales with declining revenues means that if the big papers want to survive they will have to change and/or invent new revenue streams.

Anonymous said...

what it really points out is that print advertising is OVERPRICED.

advertising is sold as an "intangible" with unreliable metrics for impact, especially brand type campaigns.

the internet with click-throughs and all that exposed vulnerabilities.

in addition, craigslist gutted revenue from the classified sections, which was huge for papers.

he's so self-effacing in person, you'd never know that he basically detonated a bomb on an entire industry.

Anonymous said...

Is the gay Rabbi guy hung?

As noted in a prior comment, I'm in the market for a hung h**b

Anonymous said...


Would that it were true; I could retire happily then.

Been in print/web publishing for over 25 years now and it still won't die - the internet didn't put a stake in it's shriveled heart, it just shifted revenue around a bit. They just pour the money from print ads onto the web, where people just block them or click past them to the content. Our web ad revenue is pitiful, because it's so cheap. Print just won't die a dignified death. It's experientially different.

If I have to sit through one more meeting and hear "the print product drives our market to the web;" I'll throw him or her off the roof myself.

Oh, and Anon 6:55, get yourself a marble dildo.

so_chic_darling said...

Although I am not a member of any kind of religion or church,I once asked granny Darling why nobody in our family ever went to church to which she replied "if you go through two world wars and lose everything twice you know there's not a god",it pains me to hear people use anti Semitic remarks.Please stop it.

Alessandra said...

"If I have to sit through one more meeting and hear "the print product drives our market to the web;" I'll throw him or her off the roof myself."

I'll be the first one to help you. Spent many years in national print ad sales for newspapers. Can say that print advertising can work wonders in very specific instances but otherwise, like any medium, it can be like throwing paint cans at a barn in an attempt to re-paint. What saddens me is that in the pure revenue-driven model of newsprint, they make up the $$ by cutting reporters, which is like eating their seed corn. People buy magazines and newspapers to read them. The content has to be first-rate. As much time as I spend on-line, I like my morning WSJ and LA Times with my cup of coffee and my bowl of yogurt. Plus, a good newspaper will get me to care about stories that I otherwise might skip on the internet.

Anyway, I got tired of publishers telling my company that they needed to increase revenues by a certain percentage, but they were cutting content and special sections. The margins on newsprint aren't what they were thirty years ago, but they still make a decent profit. So, if Ruth Ryon leaves, I'm very sorry, because the Real Estate section in the LA Times is the first thing I read on Sundays. I don't think they'll replace her easily.

Anonymous said...

Selling ads in print is all about audience Composition versus overall Reach in terms of sheer numbers.

In a newspaper you can sell something like a spread in a far forward or resonant section and charge a lot of money, especially if you've got reach that makes your cpm even more seductive.

Since newspapers and magazines use editorial as a syringe to deliver advertising to readers in exchange for revenue, when the audience goes down, they are in deep, deep doo doo.

Also, often these print outlets have been designed to tap into emerging advertising markets, as opposed to thinking, "hey, what do our readers really dig/want?"

Therefore they often don't really have much reader loyalty.

Magazine's do readership studies all the time, and all the questions are keyed about founding out what they buy, versus what they read or want. All so they can go back to the advertiser and say, "see, 80% want to buy champagne," or some such thing.

Blogs and other internet vehicles are often inspired by the authors fascinations, like this here one, and if they tap into a heretofore unseen or undetected audience, they can become very attractive to advertisers. Or already established media looking for cool content.

At present, the whole concept of print/branding ads hasn't found a lucrative home on the internet, but will as richer media options become more plausible within a text context.

Broadcasters are working it to their advantage since they can repurpose stories from a newscast say, front it with a 30 second ad intro and voila, the eyeballs are there.

And eyeballs are so money!

Dang, I am being really tedious here, but I couldn't help myself.

Anonymous said...


t'was a joke.

as a Jew I use Heeb in the same way the august publication of the same name does - in the spirit of self-deprecating irony.

Anonymous said...


It's a date - there's another meeting coming up next week . . .


You make some very good points; the one thing they haven't focused enough on is the experience of reading print over web or electronic devices (just look at the number of electronic books that have tanked over the years); and look at the number of people on public transportation reading web pages they've printed out?

Until they can make it a disposable medium, the cultural shift is not going to happen. However, the day they come up with the media device that is as cheap as a newspaper, one you won't care about forgetting on the train, that will all change.

Anonymous said...

the kindle dude, kindle.

it's sold surprisingly well, and is the first step toward that type of device that will allow folks to read at will loaded up books, mags, etc.,etc.

there are also prototypes out there that use a flexible substrate that you could roll up just like a newspaper. you would basically plug it in, and transfer that day or that hours latest paper or whatever.

since these things use style guides and grids, the industry would just need to come up with standards of design on the content side, that fit the parameters of the reader side.

Anonymous said...

so_chic, you described it well. Print advertising revenue has had a miserable go for some time now. Nnewspapers have taken an especially brutal hit. Ask any publisher and they'll try to sound confident with online revenue projections, while simultaneously sweating out the ability to deliver numbers to the [protected $$$] brass that rein over the bonus/promotion/dismissal and/ as they know/knew it.

Today's print advertising execs are rightfully clueless to establish credible online ad rates. Their reps, who have to peddle the offer client-side, are sitting ducks. Marketing (the customer/brand) decision makers live by defending and delivering profit against ad/media budget outlay, based on a cluster-fuck of online ad rate senerios even they're confused by. The marketing people/buyers of media are in the same boat, don't know what they're buying online, let alone if it's effective, much less how to report results to save their asses. They too face bottom line accountability to brass (higher on food chain/self serving/protected) at the quarterly blood bath.

Online advertising is still uncharted territory. Print ad rates were an understood commodity. We all knew that game, had our pub rep relationships and danced the same dance at contract time. Everyone knew what the numbers meant and how to navigate a decent media buy.

Now, it's clicks vs. keywords vs. the next generation of value-added online measurable. The online ad packages are still a mess and the costs-value is still a devalued crap shoot for the media vehicle. Online, it's banner vs. skyscraper vs. above the fold (screen); or below vs. rotations per hit and how to calculating the rate.

Eggg, what a nightmare. And for newspapers, it's come to offering buyouts to veteran revenue generators (talent) such as Ms. Ryon? That's just sad.

As readership, it's our loss, too.

Anonymous said...

Alessandra & Sandpiper,

Extremely well said. Have I told you lately I love you?


The Kindle is just another in a long line of devices that had great premiers, only to die out after the novelty wore off (remember the RocketBook, the eReader, books on Palm Pilots, etc.?)

It's not for lack of content; it's the experience of holding the physical media in your hand.

I loved my RocketBook because I could read in bed at night without waking BGD, but the format was limited to the size of a paperback book, a personal loathing of mine. Same for my books on my Palm Pilot - an even smaller screen, but I liked having a whole library with me while traveling, and they both needed to be recharged at some point.

The navigation wasn't completely terrible, but doesn't have the same frisson of turning a physical page, something they've tried to do with the Kindle; our testing results were that the "electronic page turning feature" was considered "clever", but overall our panel determined it was a loser as a device.

Not to mention the heft and feel of a good hardcover book, the sense of anticipation when you can see at a glance how much farther until you reach the end of a book, as opposed to a counter telling you you have 117 pages to go. It's just not the same.

And the technology will never replace large format, coffee table, and other oversized books, regardless of the resolution they may eventually achieve.

There's also something to be said for the smell of either a freshly printed book or one that has sat treasured on your shelf for years.

We commissioned some independent testing of these devices, as well as reading content directly off a computer screen, and although there was much that was positive, the negatives usually fell into the same narrow categories:

• "It doesn't feel like a book."
• "It hurts my eyes after a while."
• "I can't find a comfortable position to hold it."
• "I don't like scrolling back and forth."
• "The screen's too small.

But this one was the kicker:

• "It's too much like being at my computer at work; I want to relax."

The day of the disposable electronic book will eventually come, but it will augment, not replace, printed media.

Sorry for the rant; this particular technology is something I have been tasked with for years now and, as an avid, insatiable reader, I feel strongly that the pundits just don't listen to what their repeated, expensive focus groups are telling them - they're simply too in love with the technology to see that the market is limited at best; they'd do better investing in the disposable video device - that would revolutionize the industry.

Anonymous said...

Could somebody navigate me back to my stool please?

Anonymous said...

I don't like scrolling back and forth so get me another double fast.

Anonymous said...

girl at the bar,

I'll mix you up a Yellow Bird (ahhh Grand Cayman). It's orange juice and something. Trust me, five of these and it's all good.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:22,


Anonymous said...

little buddy, popeye, so_chic, alessandra,

This is an interesting exchange.

Anonymous said...

Best part of a blog - you never know where it will take you.

Anonymous said...

I loove how everyone who posts regularly on this blog happens to be an expert on pretty much any subject there is, whether it's real estate, cars, now publishing...I hope the next post is about some famous heart surgeon's house so we can hear LGB, Sandpiper, So Chic and others pontificate about how the last time they performed heart surgery, LMFAO...

Anonymous said...

I also love how PC and sensitive some people on this site are as well...this is the blogosphere, people, we're all supposed to be edgy and a little offensive, aren't we? Isn't unfiltered and snarky commentary a part of the tone Mama long ago set for this site with her own posts? This site is getting like NAZI Germany (can't wait for the "how insensitive" posts I'll get for that comparison) or some uptight liberal arts college, where all the fun is getting sucked out of it by the PC police, get lives and senses of humor, people!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Guys and Gals, very interesting. I agree with the whole palm iphone book thingie. There is nothing like the feel and smell of a new book. Gonna read Durma Key on my vacation in a few days..

Anonymous said...


Enjoy "Durma Key" and think of us whilst you turn those crisp, clean pages.


Ever consider that while you were out in the parking lot at high school & maybe even college (if you got that far), that the rest of us were inside retaining what we were learning?

Anonymous said...

...Or perhaps you're all just full of shit and that's why you jump all over anyone who dares call you on know, I do my best to try and comment on the real estate, the homes, the neighborhoods, and sometimes the celebs themselves, but seems like even if you try and stay above the fray on this site, there's a certain clique of 5 or so people who do nothing but constantly try to tear you down or bait you into a personal arguement...well, to all the haters out there, I'm not going anywhere, so have fun acting like a bunch of 7th grade girls trying to cyber-bully one of there own, you can't get rid of me that easy!

Anonymous said...

You go big daddy j...This blog comments area needs more of you and less of that LGB and his "I pretend to be nice so all the middle aged mommies will think i'm so smart and funny and witty, but really I'm a bitchy uptight queen and you better not tread on my turf or I'll call you ignorant and uneducated and if that doesn't work I'll trot out my sick boyfriend and 9/11 so you'll all feel emotional for me."

Anonymous said...

>you know, I do my best to try and comment on the real estate, the homes, the neighborhoods, and sometimes the celebs themselves,

Really? Because I just read back through your comments on the topic and not ONE had anything to do with the real estate, the neighborhoods, or the celebrities.

You started with a veiled "you are a bunch of know-it-alls", jumped right insulting those who think the comments should be less offensive by comparing the blog to Nazi Germany, and ended with saying we are all full of shit.

If it types like a troll, it probably is a troll. Move on folks, nothing "bigdaddyj" is going to write is worth reading or believing.

Anonymous said...

bigdaddyj's other AKAs ...

Property Pimp
Average Joe (Average Jane)
Ed from Westwood
Plus, he becomes Anon and replies to above AKAs in agreement.

I feel sorry for him.

Anonymous said...

You're so right, I have nothing better to do than use 15 aliases beacuse I'm so pathetic...this from someone posting as "anonymous"...coward

Anonymous said...

Don't forget I have also been accused of being "Li'l Gay Boy" at various points in time (ironic), and Barren Karen recently paid me a compliment, so I must be her as well...Also, you're theory is not giving our dear mama much credit for having many readers and posters then, is it, beacuse apparently almost everyone on this website is me in disguise, alternately trashing and agreeing with myself, I guess dependent on whether or not I took my medication that day, LOL :-)

Anonymous said...

Bigdaddyj it's time for your medication I'm making a very special selection of pills for you.

Anonymous said...

no darlin [9:18 & company], all of your personas are overreacting again. The accusation was of being an LGB imposter; not accused of sounding like him. There is a difference. Consistently stupid is not hard to recognize. That's your flaw.

nurse beaver, please be merciful. you have the family's concent. There is no brain activity and bobo needs a face transplant.

Anonymous said...

All these attempts to bring me down or drive me away only solidify my desire to keep annoying you people, Hahaha

Anonymous said...


At the risk of sounding nice, I do value what you say at times and agree with your take on this blog needing to be a little snarky at times (hence the "college" crack.)

It's not always fun when people who don't know the real you come after you from so out of left field your jaw actually drops open, is it?

Keep commenting - that's what I'm going to do - so why shouldn't you, too?

Anonymous said...

Thanks LGB. It just floors me sometimes the way people attack other posters on this site, when it should really all be about the free exchange of ideas and opinions. If you don't like somebody's opinion, move on, why be a hater?

Like I said, normally I try to stay "above the fray", but lately I feel like a lot of people on this site are taking potshots at me (and others) completely unprovoked and out of left field. I must admit sometimes my temper gets the best of me, and then you wind up falling for their I admit I have been in an uncharacteristically agressive mood since I got back from my stomach flu...

Believe me, I'll keep posting...

Oh, and "Angel of mercy said...", can't you think of a better insult than that I'm "stupid". Scroll back through LGB's comment, he managed to call me stupid in a much better way, LOL...stupid is a 6th graders insult...maybe I should reply that you have cooties!!!

Anonymous said...