Brass Balls – Arthur Frommer

brass-balls by hartfordtechnologies

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…

Arthur Frommers

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….

Happy Hotelier's Momedia Guides

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

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3 Responses to Brass Balls – Arthur Frommer

  1. James says:

    No where does it say in the Times piece that Frommer bought back the books. The terms of the agreement were apparently not disclosed, according to the Associated Press.

    • GJE says:

      @James good point. No not exactly so, but the NY Times is quoting him:

      Travel guru Arthur Frommer said Wednesday that he has reacquired rights to his travel guidebook brand from Google, and that he intends to resume publishing Frommer guidebooks.

      and

      “It’s a very happy time for me,” Frommer, 83, told The Associated Press. “We will be publishing the Frommer travel guides in ebook and print formats and will also be operating the travel site Frommers.com.”

      What else would he do than start publishing Frommer’s Travel Guides again?

      In addition Pauline has some Guides on her own name.

      Hence my suggestion to Frommer to look out for good content.

  2. Arthur Frommer is about as sharp as they come. When I saw him at The New York Times Travel Show early 2013, he recognized me immediately from The Women’s Travel Group while apologizing that he had, I think it was, eye surgery! And Pauline Frommer is equally sharp, professional and travel savvy. These are people who combine business smarts with travel knowledge. I bet on their success.

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