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This from a guy who has managed most of a lifetime without using the word “potpourri” in a sentence … At any rate, here is a rundown of some Yellow Pages-related items of note from the past week.


It’s the end of an era of sorts at White Directory Publishers. Parent company Hearst announced Oct. 10 that COO Jeff Folckemer will become CEO, replacing Rick Lewis, who will ease into a consulting role. Lewis is the son of the late company founder Wilbur Lewis, who is something of a secular deity to independent Yellow Pages publishers. Hearst acquired White back in 2004 (deft timing by the Lewis clan), and Rick has run the company in the subsequent years. His move to a consulting role means that the company for the first time has someone at the helm who is not connected to the Lewis family. ##


Yellowbook has entered the Web site creation business. This week the company announced a deal with through which will “create custom stand-alone Web sites for Yellowbook’s advertising customers.” TKG’s Local Commerce Monitor data show that only 63 percent of small businesses have a Web site, which suggests plenty of upside in helping the remaining 37 percent establish an online presence. ##


SureWest Directories has launched a new IYP platform, powered by Innovectra.

From the press release:

“The new SureWest Directories Internet site is the first to feature ActivImpact–a fully integrated platform that enables a host of digital multi-media services including LeadSites, online video and dynamic coupons, to be offered on a large scale. In effect, SureWest Directories is able to meet the growing needs of its Yellow Pages customers by offering a broader array of Internet marketing services that generate clicks, calls and more sales.”

SureWest was a pioneer of sorts in Internet Yellow Pages, going back to its partnership with the Sacramento Bee newspaper, and its launch in 2004 of a keyword search driven IYP, a relative novelty at the time. ##

Maybe it’s just me, but this post seems a tad ironic. A college professor in New York has given the assignment to use a Yellow Pages directory as source material for a “100-page book” and the student is having a heck of time getting her hands on a copy of the local phone book. Just as conventional wisdom is making us believe print phone books are as ubiquitous — and unwanted — as litter, here is someone who has to jump through hoops to find one.

While this assignment is apparently related to graphic design, this post did make me wonder how you’d get started on a 100-page book based on the Brooklyn Yellow Pages.

“It was a quiet night in Flatbush, just me and the grizzled old guy that ‘AAAA Lock & Key — Your Local Expert for 35 Years’ sent to help me get back into my cramped, lonely apartment so I could feed my fat, ungrateful cat Clarence, who’s overdue for his shots at ‘Paizano’s Animal Hospital — Committed to Quality Service and Veterinary Excellence.’ ”

Actually, for years Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times has written an amusing annual Yellow Pages column, proof that a good writer can find material in something others might find dull on the surface.

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