We don’t have a lot of celebrities around here. Bob Kovachick is certainly a star —and maybe Joe Bruno, but he’ll probably be in prison soon.
But we’ve never seen anyone popular across so many different platforms as Kristi Gustafson. She writes On the Edge, the wildly popular Times Union blog, she’s all over the newspaper, and now she appears regularly on WFLY and on WTEN’s 4pm news.
Kristi has her detractors. Two guys in my office, old school journalist types, are constantly criticizing her work as insubstantial fluff. One of them, Doug, was actually named “Biggest Killjoy” on her blog last year. They complain about everything she writes, especially stuff like today’s post, Turn Your Va-jay-jay Into Jewelry. Oddly, they seem to read every word.
Me? I defend her. I explain that they are not the intended audience –and that On the Edge is very, very popular. Newspapering is still a business, I say, and clicks equal cash. I tell them that the Times Union is like a smorgasbord with a little something for everyone. I think I heard Rex Smith tell that to Alan Chartock on The Media Project.
That’s why I’ve developed the Gustafson Index™ It’s an easy way for Kristi’s legions of devoted fans to gauge her influence over local media. And for those who don’t like her, it’s sort of a warning system that will prompt them to unplug for a few days. Today’s Gustafson Index™ is orange, or intense.
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Tomorrow is TV day so we expect Condition Red. If you’re not a fan take cover.