Media Perspective: Mr Hepworth's blog offers sound views on all things media

Those of you around 40, like me, will remember David Hepworth as the short Northern one in the Old Grey Whistle Test presenting duo.

Or as the editor of Smash Hits. Or as the founder of the magazine company Development Hell, which publishes The Word and Mixmag. Or as the man who Bob Geldof swore at during Live Aid. And, if you Google him right now, you'll realise that he's media savvy enough to tell you all this right on the front of his web page.

I'm mentioning this, not as an exercise in nostalgia, but as part of the interrupted but continuing series of "blogs you should read, which let you see behind the scenes of related industries". Because Mr Hepworth's blog, "and another thing" (www.whatsheonaboutnow.blogspot.com) is an excellent glimpse into world-class thinking about music, business, publishing and the general world of media; supplemented by excellent jokes and observations about a professional life lived adjacent to celebrity culture.

What makes for particularly good reading are the observations about the finer points of media businesses. Like this bit: "Whereas the colour spreads of advertising at the front of the book express the aspirations of a magazine's readers, it's the small ads tucked away at the back that tell you what they're really like. Small advertisers, usually selling products you can only buy mail order, only advertise in places where they definitely get response ... Post-internet, the small ad is a threatened species, but in certain places it is managing to hang on.

"The back pages of the New Yorker are full of products aimed apparently at the Niles Cranes of the Eastern Seaboard; highly educated, Anglophile and apparently yearning for a more genteel life ... All ads speak to the readership. But only with the small ads can you be certain somebody's responding."

Or this about fragmentation of attention and new types of relationship between artist and audience: "One of the most interesting representatives of the modest tendency in entertainment is Moby, who many years ago said that in the future there would be less millionaire rock stars.

"He's posted this about his new album: 'I like the idea of humble and reasonable metrics for determining the success of a record,' he says, and admits, 'for even one person to make the effort to listen to music that I've made is pretty remarkable, and I need to be humble and respectful in the face of that.' I'm sure his record company aren't keen on him saying that, but it's true."

Good stuff, isn't it? Mr Hepworth also has an excellent reputation as a speaker so if you've got the budget and a need for useful thoughts about media, you could certainly do worse. Failing that, read the blog, it's always worth it.

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