DIARY: Old pros mourn a loss of Life, once the brass ring of PR

Long-time PR pros can be excused if they shed a tear or two following Time Warner’s decision to shut down Life magazine.

Long-time PR pros can be excused if they shed a tear or two following Time Warner’s decision to shut down Life magazine.

Long-time PR pros can be excused if they shed a tear or two

following Time Warner’s decision to shut down Life magazine.



In today’s splintered media world, chances are that only a handful of

people in the profession remember just how thoroughly Life dominated the

media scene half a century ago. Back then, a placement in the magazine

could make a PR person’s career.



’Life was our life,’ recalls Dan Edelman. ’It was before TV news, it was

before cable. It had ’voom’ value.’



Edelman still remembers how excited his bosses at The Toni Company were

in the late 1940s when he got them a major placement in the

magazine.



It was such an accomplishment that he can still recall the cover of the

issue - it featured the president of Studebaker, a long-defunct

carmaker.



Tom Harris, another PR veteran who helped create Golin/Harris after

working for Edelman, remembers laboring in the late 1950s to get client

Sara Lee into Life. ’What he (Charlie Lubin, Sara Lee’s founder) wanted

most of all was a story in Life,’ Harris recalls.



After pitching the magazine’s Chicago bureau for years, Harris finally

got Sara Lee into a theme issue that Life called ’The Bounty of the

Harvest.’ Lubin’s reaction? ’His first comment was ’I think the butter

looks a little green,’’ Harris says with a laugh.



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