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BringMeTheNews’ Hockert helps execs avoid making news

I know the ex-KARE11 weekend anchor is just a newsreader at Rick Kupchella’s new operation, but I’d prefer not to hear the news from someone paid to help others not make it.
By David Brauer

I know ex-KARE11 weekend anchor Amy Hockert is just a newsreader at Rick Kupchella’s new operation, but I’d prefer not to hear the news from someone who helps the powerful not make it.

From Thursday morning’s CJ:

With offices in Minneapolis, L.A. and D.C., Hockert does media training and presentation coaching with CEOs and business owners trying to improve the profile of their brands, authors and athletes. “Anybody who is going to be coming across the media,” she said.

Does she teach executives the art of avoiding the media? “Sometimes,” Hockert said sheepishly. She’s teaching them how to handle “today’s media” versus last year’s media: “Today’s media is running on a skeleton crew. They don’t have the time to do in-depth reporting. So now you are left with inexperienced reporters, a lot of things are falling through the cracks. If they [media avoiders] do their homework, they can take advantage of these situations and turn the interviews the way they want them to go.”

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Hey, a gal’s gotta eat, but where the f does Hockert think BMTN’s stories come from? (Besides other media organizations, mostly.)

I’ve been planning a longer piece on BMTN after it settles in, but the site pays the bills in part by inserting sponsored content directly into its news-aggregation “story stacks.” Such sponsored pieces are labeled (in some cases, not as obviously as they should be), and supplant annoying banner, pop-up, and drop-down ads.

I know news director Tom Elko and he’s a person of integrity. Still, because of the business model, Kupchella and Elko not only have to establish their product’s credibility, they must defend it. Employing someone who makes money exploiting the sorry state of her former medium doesn’t help.

Full disclosure: MinnPost uses freelancer Blois Olson, whose Tunheim strategic communications firm no doubt dispenses similar advice. Last year, I wrote about conflicts in my own shop here.