Editorial Director Takes Hobby for a Magazine Test Drive

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When Jon Phillips drives up to the office, people take notice. As the editorial director for Future US titles such as Pregnancy, Official Xbox and Maximum PC, he's typically navigating a sea of minivans and Hondas, and the occasional Prius. Why does he stand out? Because he's pulling up in a bright-orange Lotus Elise modified with race seats, six-point harnesses and racing tires. (That's him putting his ride through its paces on a test track.)
Vroom: Someone loves his commute.
Vroom: Someone loves his commute.

Jon, who grew up in the car-crazy town of El Cerrito, Calif., is obviously a little car-crazy himself. After all, it seems a bit ostentatious, almost unseemly, for an editorial guy to be tooling around in a sports car. It just strikes us as something the sales side would do. (OK, we're totally jealous. The last vehicle Adages owned -- and this was years ago -- was an Isuzu pick-up with one headlight, a passenger-side door that refused to open and an air conditioner that wouldn't work.) Jon's so car-crazy that he lobbied Future US to launch a car title -- and it obliged with a low-risk, one-shot magazine. Hitting newsstands in August is High-Performance Driving, billed as the "first automotive magazine 100% focused on the sheer act of driving itself." It just so happens that Jon is the editor in chief.

The one question Adages really wanted to ask is how an editorial guy affords a car like that. "The Lotus is under $50K out the door," he assured us (leaving us to wonder how many thousands of dollars he dropped on improvements). "And it doesn't hurt being single."

CEO plays Homer for a day

If any EarthQuake Media clients were having a hard time reaching CEO Robert Davidman the afternoon of July 27, he played hooky to catch a movie matinee. He declared Friday, the opening day of "The Simpsons Movie," an official EarthQuake Media holiday and informed employees: "Anyone who wants to take the afternoon off to see the movie is welcome to do so." We'd heard that Robert was a bit of a Simpsons fan but didn't quite realize the extent of it. Apparently his office is covered in Simpsons memorabilia, including a Homer Simpson sketch drawn and signed by Matt Groening hisownself. The speech bubble reads "Y'ello to Robert Davidman, world's biggest Simpsons fan." (Before there was "D'oh!" there was "Y'ello.")

We caught up with him the day before and asked if he was worried he'd be let down. And, like a man defending his religion, he responded, "I have yet to be disappointed by 'The Simpsons.' There are always subtle jokes and things that make the show fun, so I expect the same from the movie. Regardless, the 10 bucks for the film is a small price to pay for the years of enjoyment 'The Simpsons' have given me."

Adages has no sarcastic comment to make; we feel the same way.

Goodbye, purple chair; hello, Grandma

Jerry Shereshewsky, he of the funny title and the purple chairs, left Yahoo last week. The company's so-called Ambassador Plenipotentiary to Madison Avenue was perhaps best known for making the rounds and loudly urging agencies and marketers to quit spending millions on 30-second TV spots (and, you know, start spending online, preferably with Yahoo). He was often on hand at industry awards shows to present the Yahoo Big Idea Chair, and Adages fondly remembers the time at the One Show that Jerry flipped out because Guinness' "Noitulove" spot won. "When are the guys without the biggest budget going to win one of these things?" Jerry demanded. "We're still doing 1950s advertising."

Well, Jerry's off to bring the future to boomers. According to an e-mail he sent to everyone in his database, he's now the CEO of Grandparents.com, a content and social-networking site aimed at baby boomers. Never one to mince words, Jerry wrote: "This younger, more affluent and tech-savvy group is different from all grandparents in history. They constitute the largest single demographic cohort, and did I mention that they have almost all the money!"

In a statement, Yahoo said, "Jerry Shereshewsky is a true industry legend who has left a lasting impact on Yahoo, and we wish him all the best in his new adventure."

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Send your miniature purple chairs to kwheaton@adage.com
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