Brass Balls – Arthur Frommer
I post this in my What are you Thinking About? category. Why? Read the intro for an explanation. I mean I don’t want to be disrespectful towards Mr Arthur Frommer. Not at all. It is the first thought when I learned today from the NY Times that he has bought back the publishing rights for the Frommer’s Travel guides from Google: “The man must have Brass Balls!” Mind you! The man is 83! He sold the brand eons ago (in 1977) to Simon & Schuster who sold it to the ones who sold it to Google. I really admire the move.
About two week ago I saw Skift mentioning Google quietly planning to ditch the paper travel guides of Arthur Frommers.
I just love one comment made on Skift:
“Do they [ed:Google] really think the content that they acquired from the Frommer’s deal has a longer shelf life than yogurt?”
At about the same time BBC sold Lonely Planet at a hefty loss (bought it for 200 million and sold it for 79 million) without being it certain the new owner would continue with the paper guides.
As a side thought: Just wondering if Tony Wheeler would show the same balls…
BTW by the looks of this photo (thanks to Darien Library, Flickr) at his age Mr Frommer is still in good shape.
Frommer started the guidebook enterprise in 1957 with a self-published book called “Europe on 5 Dollars a Day.” It was an expanded version of a small travel guide he had written for American soldiers in Europe. With its emphasis on budget travel, it became an immediate best-seller and launched a guidebook company that became one of the world’s most recognized travel brands. Frommer’s daughter Pauline Frommer also has written numerous guidebooks for the brand and, like her father, is a much-quoted expert on consumer travel and related issues… .
And his daughter Pauline Frommerpublishes guide books of her own. Essentially Frommer now seems to be back to a Dad and Daughter business.
My Second and Third Thoughts
To come back to the yogurt shelf live Frommer will be facing: A lot of stale info bought from Google….
MoMedia is my fave travel guide for European cities, small so it fits in your pocket, good city plans included and over 50 European Cities in their portfolio, all reasonably up to date. I just have scanned some 100% city guides of them I’ve lying around here.
I believe it is worthwhile that Frommers has a look at MoMedia and MoMedia has a a look at the new Frommer …to see if they can work out something together..
Oh Yesss! Maybe I can be of (translation) assistance, as I see that although MoMedia moved from The Netherlands to Berlin and now have a German Language presence, they don’t seem to have a sound English Language presence…Just my 2 cents as Frommer started in Europe…
p.s. I borrowed the Brass Balls photo from Hartford Technologies