Paper Prophet

(Eric Shansby)
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By by Gene Weingarten
Sunday, January 25, 2009

I am on the phone with Edward Rogoff, whom I have not seen since we were both 12 years old, living on the same block in the Bronx, playing "stoop ball," a game that exists, so far as I know, only in the Bronx and only in the past, played only among pre-adolescent Jewish boys too uncoordinated to succeed at real sports. I phoned Edward out of the blue after discovering that he has become a respected author and a professor of business theory.

Me: I need your professional advice. I'm willing to trade it for my professional advice.

Edward: Deal.

Me: I see you have written a book titled "The Entrepreneurial Conver-sation: The Powerful Way to Create Mutually Beneficial, Long-Term Business Relationships."

Edward: Yes.

Me: My friend, that is a title designed to not move books off the shelf.

Edward: And it has lived up to that strategy brilliantly!

Me: My professional advice is to change the title.

Edward: To...?

Me: "Breasts: A Pictorial History."

Edward: Great. We'll do it for the next edition. So, how can I help you?

Me: You can tell me I am not doomed. You can tell me how the newspaper industry can save itself.

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