Craig Winn on WINA

Craig Winn, the man whom we can thank for Value America, will be appearing on WINA tomorrow morning during their 9-10am show. He (apparently) written a book about Value America, a tome that is certain to be of interest to many of us.

21 thoughts on “Craig Winn on WINA”

  1. Hmm. I thought there was a new book written by an employee with delusions of riches about Value America — it was recently reviewed in the Washington Post Book Review. Maybe instead Craig Winn is going on the air to dispute this book.

    BTW, besides other things that C’ville Weekly likes to sneer at, why does that paper sneer at that woman who ran through all that money continually? I mean, yes, it was funny while she was running through it but if people were that stupid to give her money, so what? What I find “funny” is that they seem to sneer at her staying in the area, working at places like Northern Exposure etc. I mean either she is working somewhere!

  2. I wonder about C’ville weekly.

    It constantly makes fun of a woman who tried to run a small business, Working Weekly.

    But it stays quiet about much larger business failures like Comdial.

  3. Hawes Spencer, the editor of C-Ville, can’t stand personal confrontation, so he hides behind his newspaper to express his petty jealousies and personal amusements at others’ suffering. It’s been something like a year and a half since Working Weekly folded, and C-Ville still finds excuses to work Gail Bentley’s name into articles that have absolutely no relevance to her. Most readers realize these are childish cheap shots; Hawes calls it “journalism” and relies on the sensationalism to draw readers. Granted, Bentley did make a number of mistakes, but hardly enough to merit such long-standing and juvenile public derision.

  4. Well, I think it would be interesting to make up a list of things that causes C’ville to sneer and/or make snide comments:

    –Gail Bentley, Working Weekly

    –People who eat at Wood Grill and/or Golden Corral (aka the masses who don’t “get” C’ville’s cutting edge commentary)

    –The Man (this take various shapes and sizes and situations although methinks it is jealously on C’ville’s part because they want to be viewed as “The Man”)

    –other media outlets (sometimes richly deserved and other times you go, “huh?” or “pot calling kettle black”)

    What else is there that C’ville sneers at?

    I read it b/c let’s face it: it’s a pile of pretentiousness with an occasional good piece that directly affects the community (although it was interesting that this week’s piece had to be credited to another publication and only at the very end like it was ashamed of it). If they didn’t have the columns (insert your favorite one here), it would be really boring. (I do miss the consumer column — although one could start a weekly section just on the horrors of Sprint service).

    But to paraphrase a Nora Ephron column (here I go dropping names again), it only takes me about a half hour to really read it including the “I Saw You” ads. Sometimes if the cover story is really full of drivel, it’s about 10 minutes. But it’s free and you get what you pay for. Cheers!

  5. Since the C-Ville lacks actual journalistic skill, they have to fall back on the old eyeball-generating tricks: focus on making fun of other people’s failures (“Gailforce” column), or hitch your pathetic wagon onto a success story and ride it to death (“DMBeat”). Speaking of which, I am rather tired of the DMB column… DMB management probably won’t give you an interview with Dave because your column resembles a freakin’ stalker’s diary. Besides, it’s usually just a rehash of everything you read on Waldo’s site (nancies.org).

    While we’re slamming C-Ville: the guy who reviews shows needs to be fired… I’m rather sick and tired of looking for a review of a show and instead finding a review of “how drunk was I that night.”

  6. TO all those who badmouth C-ville for their Gail Bentley coverage get a clue. This woman was the poster child, along with Craig Winn, of the puffup, no real-world business plan, waste other people’s money, and live the highlife at the expense of your employees -world class users.

    C-ville used their freedom of the press to point how morally bankrupted these people were-Oh and BTW C-ville was right. These people put the scum in “capitalistic scum”.

    As for why not make fun of Comdial- it was a real company with many years in the community that fail to compete. None of the pricipals there said they were changing the world and “WE” just didn’t get it. The world changed and they just couldn’t meet the challenge.

    C-ville competes in the arena of capitalism and is sucessful. It takes a chance by being the one media outlet that will say “the emperor has no clothes”. You expect that from WINA, Daily Progress, or most laughably Channel 29, you will be disappointed.

    If you still angry at C-ville you can vent your frustration here or you could go out into the marketplace and run C-ville out of business by making a better product. Good Luck!

  7. You’ve got to give C-Ville this: they’re the only news outlet in town that practices any sort of investigative journalism. Nobody else will touch it. Not only does it tend to be awfully expensive (a lot of research time), but you seldom make any friends doing it.

  8. Actually Comdial should’ve been a target for Cville. Comdial faked sales as they were selling the company. There was rampant stock speculation while the company negotiated its sale and just prior to the announcement that their past profits were losses.

    Cville is an entertaining paper by our local standards. However they still focus on a small outfit long after it is gone, but ignore the big ones.

    Even the Daily Progress will print negative news about large local employers. However, both it and Cville seem to pick favorites. The DP ignores UVa problems and Cville ignores anyone who is from here, except UVa.

  9. I’m not being sarcastic but name some recently. I actually got excited about the most recent one on the secret eavesdropping government case and I applaud them reprinting an article. But I honestly can’t think of a fairly recent investigative. As for the expense, I suspect that many of their articles are written by freelance writers and is not a direct expense of C’ville Weekly.

    What I wish C’ville or any other paper had done was to critique campaign ads (both and not just Democratic ads) for truthfulness. Currently there’s an ad now about a candidate who has led the fight for breast cancer. What in hell does that mean? Has she taken patients to the hospital, done fundraising, or personally done medical research? That kind of phrasing can mean a lot. C’ville (or anyone) could have had a field day with the governor’s race. Here’s a title in case they are reading: Deconstruct This! (This has that ‘in your face’ kind of headline.)

    Maybe it’s Friday at 2 o’clock and I’ve not had enough caffeine but seriously give me some investigative articles. I am the one who wrote about the one column that they have intermittently (Consumer Advocate column) and despite their sneers (and they would sneer at me personally I suspect), I am willing to try and give them a little credit. However, they destroy it with the constant sneering, belittlement and “better than you” contempt that they exhibit.

  10. That’s simply not true. I can think of at least two investigative journalism pieces published in the Observer in the last year, just off the top of my head. Granted, they’re not as sexy and cool (one had to do with a senior citizen’s home, the other with a member of the school board) and they didn’t come with big flashy cover photos — but investigative journalism they were.

    And no, I’m not Jeff Peyton. :)

  11. Hey, I don’t think anyone is commenting on the fact that C’ville wrote about Working Weekly when it was in operation. But since Value America has gone belly up, how many articles are there about the whereabouts of Craig Winn and where he is working? That’s the point — after the dust settles, C’ville Wkly is still there, only being snide for snide’s sake. Since you are an unabashed capitalist, it would stand to reason you would at least applaud Gail Bently for working at any job especially in Charlottesville after publicly going down the tubes with an audience and a newspaper watching. What’s Craig Winn doing these days? Slinging hash?

    If C’ville Weekly is on the cutting edge of reportage (a term we shall use loosely for this media outlet and others), how about not relying on yesterday’s (or last year’s news) and keeping up with the news. Let’s face it, the news in Charlottesville is pretty dismal. You have the tv station which relies on the Daily Progress for stories (scary thought) and the Daily Progress which relies on the tv station at times and other outlets. The local radio station does send people out to meetings so I give them credit for that.

    But you can’t keep saying that C’ville Weekly is to applauded for basically beating a dead horse. And, I don’t feel too sorry for those people who invested in Gail Bentley’s enterprise — they had an opportunity to check out the business but I suspect that they were on the “let’s get rich quick” capitalist plan too. The real losers were her employees. And those are the real losers in Value America (who I believed hired many more people up to the point of going bankrupt).

    I wonder if the piling on Gail Bentley continues because she is a woman. It seems pretty petty to me and not worth going after.

  12. I can think of at least two investigative journalism pieces published in the Observer in the last year, just off the top of my head. Granted, they’re not as sexy and cool (one had to do with a senior citizen’s home, the other with a member of the school board) and they didn’t come with big flashy cover photos — but investigative journalism they were.

    That’s wonderful to hear. I seldom read the Observer, not out of any distaste for it, I just don’t think of it. I used to read it quite regularly up until a couple of years ago. It sounds like Jeff Peyton must be doing good things with the Observer if they’re going in that direction. I’m pleased to be mistaken. :)

  13. I’m not being sarcastic but name some recently.

    Oh, Lord, I’m not known for the quality of my memory. :) Too bad C-Ville doesn’t put their archives on-line. (That little comment will no doubt earn me a criticism in some upcoming issue, no doubt. ;) The first that comes to mind is their exhaustive analysis of WVIR’s news. That was a year (or six months, or something like that) of analysis on Coy Barefoot’s part, one of the most detailed and fact-based pieces that I think they’ve ever done. To play devil’s advocate, I’m sure that it contained a lot of subjected qualities, but the sheer volume of data was what made that impressive.

    More recently was their story about the Latino population in Charlottesville. I don’t know if that counts as investigative journalism, but it certainly was the first piece of its kind in our area, or at least that I’m aware of. If not investigative journalism, it was a story that wasn’t prompted by a press release, something that neither WVIR nor the Daily Progress are particularly apt at.

    Can anybody come up with anything else? Any of you C-Ville Weekly folks that read this? If think of anything further, I’ll reply to this comment. I know that there’s more.

    As for the expense, I suspect that many of their articles are written by freelance writers and is not a direct expense of C’ville Weekly.

    That’s true, but I’d imagine that freelance writers get paid more for investigative pieces like that, such that they can recoup their expenses. (Though I don’t know that to be the case.)

    Currently there’s an ad now about a candidate who has led the fight for breast cancer.

    Goodness! I’d rather vote for whoever led the fight against breast cancer, myself. ;)

  14. Ah, I misspoke. I meant against breast cancer. And you’re right about the Latino community. That was interesting and well written. The news media analysis was interesting (I wish I or someone had had the time to write a letter to C’ville giving them a review of their output for comments).

    As I said, I am still under the influence of it being close to 5 o’clock and not enough caffeine. I do wish someone would do a critique of campaign ads. I do them for my own “enjoyment” (and I skewer equally) but that would be well worth reading any kind of even handed critique.

    Me, AGAINST breast cancer. Against, Against, against!

    PS I do enjoy this forum of all of us bickering back and forth and making well made arguments. Thanks again Waldo!

  15. I do wish someone would do a critique of campaign ads. I do them for my own “enjoyment” (and I skewer equally) but that would be well worth reading any kind of even handed critique.

    Indeed, that would be great. Bob Gibson gets into the fray in his excellent Progress column, but not the sort of analysis that I’d like to see. (And, I’m guessing, that you’d like to see.) I want screenshots, a listing of purported facts, and an analysis of their truthfulness. My family (including me the politics geek, my father the PoliSci major and my mother the essayist) certainly enjoys a lively discussion if the merits of various promotions, happily skewering Dems and Republicans alike…though perhaps a little more happily as regards the GOP. :)

    PS I do enjoy this forum of all of us bickering back and forth and making well made arguments. Thanks again Waldo!

    Thank you! If it weren’t for y’all, I’d be just takling to myself here. Not that I wouldn’t do that, but…well…that would just be sad. :)

  16. When I see that Republican guy from Green County on Jane Maddux’s TV commercial saying, “Emily Couric was great…” and then something about how ol’ Jane will be carrying Emily’s torch, I want to kick the TV screen in. Give me a break! Like this guy ever voted for a Democrat in his life. And get the hell OFF of Emily’s coattails, you two-faced, GOP jackals!

  17. “the whereabouts of Craig Winn”

    Last time I checked, he was living off Woodlands Road — in a palace with those God-awful, pretentious, Beverly Hillbilly wrought-iron gates with enormous cement EAGLES perched on top. THAT’s where he is. And what’s he doing? Counting his money.

  18. I wish I was taking notes, but he, essentially justified everything that he did. He had a vision and put the wheels in motion that should have ensured success. He saw himself as the entrepreneur, but as Value American grew, believed that it required “professional management” to achieve its goals. Somehow, though, the management that he hired were incompetent boobs, in the view of Craig Winn. Apparently, he’s not a very good judge of professional competence or character.

    I thought it interesting that he accused one such manager of “blackmail”, because she demanded more power (and money and/or stock? I forget) in exchange for continuing her employment. Isn’t that the way the job market works? If both parties are happy with the relationship between work and reward, the employment continues; if somebody’s dis-satisfied, they part ways? Anyway, Mr. Winn called it blackmail.

    As I remember, he also talked about not wanted certain things becoming public (the potential departure of a key executive) just prior to a public offering. If I’ve got that right, that would mean that he wouldn’t want people who were investing money in his company to be fully informed about the company’s prospects.

    This was one case where a telephone call during the radio show from Hawes Spencer was welcome to this listener. He challenged Craig Winn on many counts. It was particularly amusing because Winn had bragged about the confidence shown in Value America by Frederick Smith (of Federal Express fame), who made a significant investment, but he seemed to duck Mr. Spencer’s question about Value America hiring Smith’s bully-boy son after he got booted out of UVa for beating up a fellow student.

    Anyway, I suspect that we’ll see a nice long piece on the Craig Winn interview in the next issue of C’ville Weekly. I hope they were recording the show, so that they can get the details better than my feeble memory allows.

  19. You said, “When I see that Republican guy from Green County on Jane Maddux’s TV commercial…”

    Are you sure its someone from Greene County? Greene county doesn’t get to vote in the upcoming election. They were moved into a district that is mostly in the Shen valley.

    Greene doesn’t get a say in its representative until the Fall 2002 election.

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