Galloni leaves TWA

As long as Bob continues to cover France, there is hope for the brand. But as for the rest of the WA coverage, that sound you hear is the future swirling down the drain. Best of luck selling their product to the Asian market. When Bob retires for good, the fat lady will sing loud and proud. At least over here. What the impact will be in Hong Kong and Singapore is still an open question. But not a question that interests me in the least.
How 'bout that. And a bunch of us just had a Cab dinner with Galloni two weeks ago, thinking he was going to be covering CA for a long time to come.

As far as the rest of the field being pretty weak, David S ia a wealth of knowledge, although Neal's passion is Burgundy and Bordeaux he's becoming better by the day when it comes to Spain, and Mark is actually a good reviewer so it's not like they're completely bereft of talent.

But I agree with WineDoc - seems to be a pretty crowded market. Look at Suckling - he's not really setting the world on fire trying to establish himself as a brand. Galloni has an advantage in that he was a bit of a brand before joining the WA, but I don't see how he makes a living off that. Seems like he's going to be doing dinners and events to make a living rather than writing copious reviews. That's tricky too because it's the reviews that make the dinners sell out, so who knows.

I wish him good luck.
quote:
Originally posted by JimmyV:
As long as Bob continues to cover France, there is hope for the brand. But as for the rest of the WA coverage, that sound you hear is the future swirling down the drain. Best of luck selling their product to the Asian market. When Bob retires for good, the fat lady will sing loud and proud. At least over here. What the impact will be in Hong Kong and Singapore is still an open question. But not a question that interests me in the least.


I must have missed something... what does AG leaving WA have to do with the Asian market, HK or Singapore?

I do agree that WA's value beyond RMP is negligible. However, since he's not due to retire anytime soon, WA will still be relevant and he'll have to find someone to cover Italy and Burgundy. If he wants the WA brand to have a future beyond him, he might be better off treating WA as a partnership (like a law firm) rather than a corporation and find a owner-partner rather than an employee to replace AG.
I follow futronic, otis, and Steve8 for my Italian recommendations. I like Suckling too but I think we're really at the point where anyone with internet access and a corkscrew has declared themselves a critic.

My gut tells me that where these guys are going or what they are doing is shortly to be as relevant as tracking the best buggy whip makers.
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
quote:
I can pretty much guarantee I'll be doing that also, EIT.

I was waiting for you to pipe in. Cool


Yeah, I was quite surprised when I read about it yesterday. That said, I'm glad Galloni has a plan for his own site. I've been a subscriber to his work going back to Piedmont Report, and will continue to do so.

With Antonio gone, It's highly unlikely I'll keep my subscription to WA, as very little of the remaining content is relevant to me.
quote:
Originally posted by Stevey:
I must have missed something... what does AG leaving WA have to do with the Asian market, HK or Singapore?
.


Yes, you did miss something. A significant interest in TWA has been sold to Asian investors and the editorial center is now in Singapore. As the saying goes, follow the money. In the wine world, that means Asia. TWA will more and more cater to the buying and collecting needs there. With neither RMP nor AG reviewing CA wines,and CA wines being largely irrelevant in Asia (except for the obvious trophies), it is hard to imagine that TWA will be terribly relevant when it comes to CA wine, at least until some new reviewer establishes him/herself. I don't see how the sale to Asian investors, coupled with the editorial move to Singapore and the departure of the respected reviewer of CA wines can add up to good news.
The purchasers are involved in a company called Hermitage, which imports wine. Or the guys have sold their shares but at least one of them is married to the person who manages and is CEO of the company. She tweeted what was basically a FU to people who questioned the propriety of mixing wine reviews and importing.

I think it's entirely possible to have editorial independence, but the new manager, Lisa, said she wants all the reviewers to be employees because that will give management more control. That's fine, but control of what? Side jobs? Well, Antonio has a company that puts together events like the upcoming Festa de Barolo. There's a lot of money to be made off those events and why should the WA give it up to a company owned by an employee?

Antonio is a decent guy. So is Bob actually, but the management and even more, the public relations of the WA has been a disaster. The news of Galloni came out in the NYT. Several hours later, Bob posted that he heard from Antonio a few hours earlier. Weird that it was already in the NYT. And Lisa didn't say boo about it. Too bad for the WA.

Decanter link
Greg

Do not act so surprised

The WA media debacles are becoming "legendary" to all of us. What a blunder.

And, someone up the line said that Galloni was passed over for editor in chief.

Sorta, not really.

Lisa appears to be a part of the buying group, so naturally they would promote her up the line.

Galloni seemed to have the inside track on buying the WA a few years ago (rumors swirled of a deal in place) but when push came to shove, Singapore came up with the cash, not Galloni.

The WA is dying in the United States, and it is not such a bad thing. One person should not and cannot have so much control in the wine world.
Yeah but that power is waning except for Bordeaux and the Rhone. I'm really curious to see who will be in the next group of people Lisa has mentioned will be hired. And even more curious to see who makes the decision. She said they'd be putting on someone from Asia, but that's only, oh, a few billion people and I guess she's not picking up anyone from Burma. Once it becomes an Asian publication, it loses influence in the west - I just don't see that the Americans and even the Europeans will be all that interested in how their wine or wine from Australia or NZ is rated by the "Asians", whoever they may be. There will be all kinds of explanations as to cultural differences, etc., but the world isn't like it was in the 1970s when the wine business was essentially made up of producers in France and Italy and consumers in Europe and the US.
From RMP this morning (WA bulletin):

"Nice to see the reasonable responses...balances out the frustration from some of the negatives and hysteria...truth be told,if I had been in AG's shoes,I would have made the exact same decision...he already had a viable company ALL GRAPES MEDIA, and did not want to become an employee with much stricter controls of what he could do externally...he should do well, but to those that expect the demise of TWA, I think we will only get much stronger-news that won't sit well among some segments of the wine-writing community-TWA has been an enormously successful enterprise for the last 30 years,6 of which we were blessed with having AG working for us....but we now have a chance to find and hire the best and brightest of the younger up and coming writers, and we will do that..one of my personal pleasures is seeing previous contributors flourishing in their post TWA life....Pierre Rovani is a prime example, and AG will be as well...and keep this confidential ...I am thinking of making a comeback in California...I missed it to begin with,and you can't beat the working conditions out there in Shangri-La...besides...next Monday, I become the first wine critic to be enshrined in the Vintner's Hall of Fame...so maybe I still owe that state a little of my heart and soul...
Lastly, I wish we could have told you about AG's departure first,but he gave the story to Asimov first...and then called me...he gets a pass on that as he must be excited about going out on his own...."
quote:
Originally posted by EB Wine:
From RMP this morning (WA bulletin):

"Nice to see the reasonable responses...balances out the frustration from some of the negatives and hysteria...truth be told,if I had been in AG's shoes,I would have made the exact same decision...he already had a viable company ALL GRAPES MEDIA, and did not want to become an employee with much stricter controls of what he could do externally...he should do well, but to those that expect the demise of TWA, I think we will only get much stronger-news that won't sit well among some segments of the wine-writing community-TWA has been an enormously successful enterprise for the last 30 years,6 of which we were blessed with having AG working for us....but we now have a chance to find and hire the best and brightest of the younger up and coming writers, and we will do that..one of my personal pleasures is seeing previous contributors flourishing in their post TWA life....Pierre Rovani is a prime example, and AG will be as well...and keep this confidential ...I am thinking of making a comeback in California...I missed it to begin with,and you can't beat the working conditions out there in Shangri-La...besides...next Monday, I become the first wine critic to be enshrined in the Vintner's Hall of Fame...so maybe I still owe that state a little of my heart and soul...
Lastly, I wish we could have told you about AG's departure first,but he gave the story to Asimov first...and then called me...he gets a pass on that as he must be excited about going out on his own...."


Can I say "BS"?
You know Ed, maybe not. I'm not privy in any way, but I think Antonio really did like and respect Bob and that may be returned. I think the issue, and I have zero inside info on this, may have been more of an Antonio vs new owners than anything else.

It's not far-fetched to imagine Bob re-taking CA - it's a lot closer than Hong Kong.

Again, no inside info, but reading between the lines, Bob and Antonio seem OK. Lisa seems colder.

But maybe that's just my take.
Interesting piece in the NYTimes about this...AG laments the lack of wine being drunk at restaurants, and somehow thinks it's because people are intimidated and overwhelmed by wine lists.

No, it's because a glass of wine (and I mean a 4 ounce pour) can cost $15.00 - 20.00 at many restaurants these days. No wonder people drink beer or water!
Greg

I think there are a number of things at play here that we may/may not be aware of.

What we do know is that the sale of the Wine Advocate to Hermitage Wines, in Singapore, did not sit well with Antonio. It could be any number of reasons but first and foremost is Antonio's money making firm, All Grapes Media. He obviously could not continue to function in the same financial capacity under the new ownership. So, ironically, their ethical guidelines are stricter? Or they just want a bigger piece of the All Grapes Media Pie?

But there have been rumors that Parker sensed that Antonio was becoming too powerful. Just rumors and I love rumors...but where there is smoke, there is fire...just ask Daniel Thomases, Jay Miller, Dan Phillips, James Suckling, and whoever else...
quote:
Originally posted by Wino90210:
Interesting piece in the NYTimes about this...AG laments the lack of wine being drunk at restaurants, and somehow thinks it's because people are intimidated and overwhelmed by wine lists.

No, it's because a glass of wine (and I mean a 4 ounce pour) can cost $15.00 - 20.00 at many restaurants these days. No wonder people drink beer or water!


Exactly. People are simply fed up with the huge wine mark-ups (bottles +300%)and will go with the more reasonable options especially in this economy.
The new ownership at WA required all the writers be employees like WS. They would have no right to their work and the free use of their name in the industry at events etc. Galloni will take all his notes to his new site unlike former WS Suckling. I don't blame him for moving on when the rules changed. As with WS I will wait and see. I am not sure if I like the present WS notes/scores on Italy. I recently joined(2 month trial) Tanzers IWC and I find Ian D'agata all over the place with his notes/scores. I still find Suckling to be a great source for Italian and Bordeaux new releases. I enjoy his stories and history mixed in with his reviews. Galloni has a similar angle in that he spends a great deal of time in Italy and knows the people behind the wines. I don't usually drink wine blind so the story enhances the experience for me.
Let's see what change brings Wink
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
I contacted erobertparker yesterday and had them cancel my automatic renewal. I'll probably switch to ST instead.


Bro, I did not know you still took Parker.

While I do not take subscribe, he is pretty darn good predicting Rhone, imo.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by DoktaP:
I contacted erobertparker yesterday and had them cancel my automatic renewal. I'll probably switch to ST instead.


Bro, I did not know you still took Parker.

While I do not take subscribe, he is pretty darn good predicting Rhone, imo.


His greatest strength, I think, with red Burgundy his greatest weakness.
I was considering letting my subscription lapse and then when I got an email that said the credit card they had on file had expired, it made it an easy decision. Can't say it was all about Galloni leaving, but that did have an impact. It was a helpful tool, but I don't run out and buy things based on just released ratings/notes; so, it just seemed like it was time and put that money toward a bottle of wine.

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